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Title page for ETD etd-03212014-100953

Type of Document Dissertation
Author LeBlanc, Gabriel Adrien
URN etd-03212014-100953
Title Biohybrid Electrodes Based on Photosystem I for Solar Energy Conversion
Degree PhD
Department Chemistry
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
David E. Cliffel Committee Chair
G. Kane Jennings Committee Member
Janet Macdonald Committee Member
Sandra J. Rosenthal Committee Member
  • Alternative Energy
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biohybrid
  • Energy
  • Chemistry
Date of Defense 2014-03-11
Availability unrestricted
Over the course of billions of years, nature has developed incredible materials on the nanoscale for the efficient conversion of solar energy into chemical energy. One of these materials, Photosystem I (PSI), functions as a photodiode capable of generating a charge separation with nearly perfect quantum efficiency. Because of this efficiency and the natural abundance of PSI, researchers around the world have begun to study how this biomaterial can be integrated into biohybrid solar energy conversion devices. After briefly describing some of the history in the field, this dissertation will describe the effects of incorporating PSI into various electrochemical systems. Specifically, the improvement observed when using a semiconducting electrode will be discussed as will the use of carbon-based materials and catalytic platinum in conjunction with films of PSI. The potential for these materials can be quite dramatic. For example, the use a p-doped silicon electrode compared with a traditional gold electrode provides a photocurrent enhancement over three orders of magnitude. Finally, the dissertation will conclude with a discussion of the overarching results and possible future directions for further development for biohybrid electrodes based on PSI.
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