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Open AccessArticle

A Photovoltaic Device Using an Electrolyte Containing Photosynthetic Reaction Centers

1
Department of Electrical Engineering, University of South Florida (USF), Tampa, FL 33620, USA
2
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Advanced Materials & Process Engineering Lab, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver BC V6T 1Z1, Canada
3
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver BC V6T 1Z1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2010, 3(11), 1721-1727; https://doi.org/10.3390/en3111721
Received: 27 September 2010 / Revised: 20 October 2010 / Accepted: 26 October 2010 / Published: 28 October 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Compounds for Photo-Harvesting Applications)
The performance of bio-photovoltaic devices with a monolayer of the immobilized photosynthetic reaction center (RC) is generally low because of weak light absorption and poor charge transfer between the RC and the electrode. In this paper, a new bio-photovoltaic device is described in which the RC is dissolved in the electrolyte of an electrochemical cell. The charges generated by the illuminated RC are transferred to electrodes via mediators. The difference between the reaction rates of two types of mediator at the electrode surfaces determines the direction of the photocurrent in the device. Experimental results show that the magnitude of the photocurrent is proportional to the incident light intensity, and the current increases nonlinearly with an increase in the RC concentration in the electrolyte. With further optimization this approach should lead to devices with improved light absorption. View Full-Text
Keywords: reaction center; Rhodobacter sphaeroides; mediators; photocurrent; bio-photovoltaic (bio-PV) reaction center; Rhodobacter sphaeroides; mediators; photocurrent; bio-photovoltaic (bio-PV)
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Takshi, A.; Madden, J.D.; Mahmoudzadeh, A.; Saer, R.; Beatty, J.T. A Photovoltaic Device Using an Electrolyte Containing Photosynthetic Reaction Centers. Energies 2010, 3, 1721-1727.

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