From Molecules to Fuel Cells
The focus of these research efforts is to understand the principles of the high efficiency of light energy conversion in photosynthesis and utilization and to mimic them in the construction of electronic, sensing, and energy converting devices. The research includes the study of mechanisms and factors controlling light harvesting (nonlinear adaptive antenna systems), charge separation (catalytic reaction centers), and electron transfer channels (molecular wires and switches). Special attention is paid to the analysis of these processes at bio-inorganic and organic-inorganic interfaces. The “soft” components of these interfaces include biopolymers and chromophores, while the inorganic part is composed of carbon nano tubes (CNT), graphene, or metallic nano-particles. The approach unique to the group is the utilization of biological organisms (photosynthetic bacteria) for the synthesis and assembly of components and complexes useful for technological application. Our recent achievement is the construction of a highly conductive molecular wire, oligo (phenylene vinylene) quinone (OPVQ).