Journal article

Long term stabilization of reaction center protein photochemistry by carbon nanotubes

The long term stability and the redox interaction between single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and photosynthetic reaction center proteins (RCs) purified from purple bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides R-26 in the SWNT/RC complex has been investigated. The binding of SWNT to RC results in an accumulation of positive (the oxidized primary electron donor, P+) and negative (semiquinone forms, Q(A)(-) and Q(B)(-), the reduced primary and secondary quinones, respectively) charges followed by slow reorganization of the protein structure after excitation. The photochemical activity of the SWNT/RC complexes remains stable for several weeks even in dried form. In the absence of SWNT the secondary quinone activity decays quickly as a function of time after drying the RC onto a glass surface. Polarography measurements substantiate the idea that there is an electronic interaction between the RCs and SWNTs after light excitation, which was suggested earlier by optical measurements. The special electronic properties of the SWNT/protein complexes open the possibility for several applications, e. g., in microelectronics, analytics, or energy conversion and storage. (C) 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


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