Shedding light on photosystem I: From charge-transport to bio-photovoltaics

Olga Castañeda Ocampo

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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The goal of this doctoral project was to lay the groundwork for the fabrication of an unusual, microfluidic, bio-photovoltaic device that is bio-compatible and uses the protein complex, Photosystem I (PSI), as active material in the light reactions. Photosystem I is the single most important unit in the process of photosynthesis in plants and certain bacteria. This complex holds a reaction center where photons are absorbed and converted into useful, chemical energy.
This project devised a way of converting this chemical energy into electrical energy that can be stored and used, as in the case of a solar cell.
The work in this thesis sheds light on the mechanism of PSI on solid-state devices, demonstrates the possibility of incorporating biological complexes in solid and soft devices and shows a successful way of fabricating transparent and flexible devices responsive to light. The techniques used to fabricate these devices are transferrable to other fields. The ability to fabricate devices in a single photolithographic step, along with the ease of injecting a metal, opens up a wide range of possible applications. Having aligned, reticulated metallic fluids that span the whole length and width of the channel, can provide uniform electric fields, stable junctions and multiple spots for reactions throughout the device.
This doctoral thesis should contribute towards furthering the integration of biological materials into electronics. It provides a basis for well-grounded research and a new approach on bio-photovoltaics and may be of benefit in the research towards cost-effective, greener, cleaner energy sources.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Chiechi, Ryan, Supervisor
  • Herrmann, Andreas, Supervisor
  • Dickey, Michael D., Assessment committee, External person
  • van der Wal, Caspar, Assessment committee
  • Verpoorte, Elisabeth, Assessment committee
Award date17-Feb-2017
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-9555-5
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-9554-8
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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