(636i) Spin Coating Photosystem I-PEDOT:PSS Composite Films | AIChE

(636i) Spin Coating Photosystem I-PEDOT:PSS Composite Films


Jennings, G. K., Vanderbilt University
Cliffel, D., Vanderbilt University
Photosystem I (PSI), a naturally abundant multi-subunit protein complex known for its ability to harvest solar energy and transform it into chemical energy in photosynthesis, is coupled with an intrinsically conducting polymer (ICP) poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) to make well-mixed thin films via spin-coating. PSI has been essential in the evolution and survival of photosynthetic organisms in nature, and its outstanding internal quantum efficiency has prompted multiple research labs to explore integrating this protein in solar cells and other photovoltaic devices through different deposition techniques. In this work, we explore a deposition technique that is inexpensive and allows for uniform, reproduceable, and rapid film formation where the composition and thickness of composite films can be readily tuned. We assess the composition, thickness, conductivity, scalability, and photoactivity of the resulting biohybrid PSI-polymer films. The spin-coated layers have easily tunable compositions and thicknesses, are electrically conductive, and are effective in retaining immobilized PSI’s photoactivity. The combination of the protein and ICP yields vastly increased photocurrents as compared to single-component films of the protein or ICP alone.