Jacquet M, Izzo M, Osella S, Kozdra S, Michałowski PP, Gołowicz D, Kazimierczuk K, Gorzkowski MT, Lewera, A, Teodorczyk, M, Trzaskowski B, Jurczakowski R, Gryko DT, Kargul J (2021) Development of a universal conductive platform for anchoring photo- and electroactive proteins using organometallic terpyridine molecular wires. Nanoscale, in press.
The construction of an efficient conductive interface between electrodes and electroactive proteins is a major challenge in the biosensor and artificial photosynthesis fields to achieve the desired performance of various types of nanodevices. As a major step towards this ambitious goal we report in a prestigious journal RSC Nanoscale the rational design and novel bottom-up approach to build a highly conductive interface based on metallo-organic terpyridine wires forming a uniform and well-structured self-assembled monolayer (SAM) on the transparent conductive electrode composed of indium tin oxide (ITO). We show for the first time that the TPY-ligand-SAM can be successfully used as a universal platform for the specific anchoring of the model electroactive protein (cytochrome c). The ITO-TPY nanosystem reported in the RSC Nanoscale, even without the biotic electroactive component, generates photocurrents whose densities are 30-fold higher that those reported for the pristine ITO electrodes and 2-fold higher than the best performing electrodes functionalised with the biophotocatalysts such as photosystem I. Thus, the development of a universal chemical platform for nanostructuring of electroactive proteins reported in our study provides a major advancement for construction of efficient (bio)molecular systems requiring a high degree of precise supramolecular organisation as well as efficient charge transfer between photoactive molecular components and various types of electrode materials to ensure maximised power output.
Importantly, the highly conductive photoactive nanosystem described in our study is fully based on non-toxic and earth-abundant elements and operates in water-based electrolyte without external mediators, which makes it attractive for future upscaling of the sustainable artificial photosynthesis devices and biosensors.
This interdisciplinary, collaborative effort combining experimental and theoretical studies was led by Prof. Joanna Kargul, with the great contribution of Dr Margot Jacquet as the lead author (Solar Fuels Lab, CeNT UW), and involved several groups from the Faculty of Chemistry/CNBCh UW (led by Rafał Jurczakowski and Adam Lewera), CeNT UW (led by Bartosz Trzaskowski and Krzysztof Kazimierczuk), Institute of Organic Chemistry PAS (led by Daniel Gryko) and Institute of Electronic Materials Technology / Łukasiewicz Research Network (led by Paweł P. Michalowski and Marian Teodorczyk).
Links to the OA article in RSC Nanoscale: