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(Photo)Synthetic Biology - Engineering Biohybrid Photosystems For Enhanced Solar Energy Conversion in Devices

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About This PhD Project

Project Description

There is growing interest in the use of photosynthetic proteins in devices for solar energy conversion, biosensing, photosensing, photocatalysis, touch sensing, molecular electronics and biodegradable solar cells. A central theme of my research is to engineer combinations of bacterial photosynthetic proteins, plant photosynthetic proteins and synthetic nanomaterials to self-assemble into novel photosystems for enhanced solar energy conversion. The project will address this topic and provide training in a variety of relevant teachniques including in silico modelling of protein structure, molecular biology, membrane protein biochemistry, microbiology, structure analysis (TEM, DLS, AFM and X-ray crystallography), photoelectrochemistry and steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopy. The project will benefit from a network of collaborations with biochemists, chemists, physicists, engineers and materials scientists that encompasses laboratories in the UK, The Netherlands, Poland and Singapore.

Keywords photosynthetic protein, photochemistry, solar energy conversion, synthetic biology, bio-solar cells


Ravi, S.K., Wu, T., Udayagiri, V.S., Vu, X.M., Wang, Y., Jones, M.R. and Tan, S.C. (2018) Photosynthetic bioelectronic sensors for touch perception, UV-detection and nanopower generation: toward self-powered e-skins. Advanced Materials 30, 1802290.

Ravi, S.K., Swainsbury, D.J.K., Singh, V.K., Ngeow, Y.K., Jones, M.R., and Tan, S.C. (2018) A mechanoresponsive phase-changing electrolyte enables fabrication of high-output solid-state photobioelectrochemical devices from pigment-protein multilayers. Advanced Materials 30, 1704073.

Friebe, V. M., Delgado, J. D., Swainsbury, D. J. K., Gruber, J. M., Chanaewa, A., van Grondelle, R., von Hauff, E. L., Millo, D., Jones, M. R. and Frese, R. N. (2016) Plasmon enhanced photocurrent of photosynthetic pigment-proteins on nanoporous silver. Advanced Functional Materials 26, 285-292

Kamran, M., Friebe, V. M., Delgado, J. D., Aartsma, T.J., Frese, R. N. and Jones, M.R. (2015) Demonstration of asymmetric electron conduction in pseudosymmetrical photosynthetic reaction centres in an electrical circuit. Nature Communications 6, 6530

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