Self-Regenerating Soft Biophotovoltaic Devices

Qiu, X., Castañeda Ocampo, O., de Vries, H. W., van Putten, M., Loznik, M., Herrmann, A. & Chiechi, R. C., 31-Oct-2018, In : ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 10, 43, p. 37625-37633 9 p.

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This paper describes the fabrication of soft, stretchable biophotovoltaic devices that generate photocurrent from photosystem I (PSI) complexes that are self-assembled onto Au electrodes with a preferred orientation. Charge is collected by the direct injection of electrons into the Au electrode and the transport of holes through a redox couple to liquid eutectic gallium-indium (EGaIn) electrodes that are confined to microfluidic pseudochannels by arrays of posts. The pseudochannels are defined in a single fabrication step that leverages the non-Newtonian rheology of EGaIn. This strategy is extended to the fabrication of reticulated electrodes that are inherently stretchable. A simple shadow evaporation technique is used to increase the surface area of the Au electrodes by a factor of approximately 106 compared to planar electrodes. The power conversion efficiency of the biophotovoltaic devices decreases over time, presumably as the PSI complexes denature and/or detach from the Au electrodes. However, by circulating a solution of active PSI complexes the devices self-regenerate by mass action/self-assembly. These devices leverage simple fabrication techniques to produce complex function and prove that photovoltaic devices comprising PSI can retain the ability to regenerate, one of the most important functions of photosynthetic organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37625-37633
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 31-Oct-2018

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