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

School of Biochemistry

About the Project

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.

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


Liu, J., Friebe, V.M., Frese, R.N. and Jones, M.R. (2020) Polychromatic solar energy conversion in pigment-protein chimeras that unite the two kingdoms of (bacterio)chlorophyll-based photosynthesis. Nature Communications 11, 1542.

Liu, J., Mantell, J. and Jones, M.R. (2020) Minding the gap between plant and bacterial photosynthesis within a self-assembling biohybrid photosystem. ACS Nano 14, 4536-4549.

Ravi, S.K., Rawding, P., Elshahawy, A.M., Huang, K., Sun, W., Zhao, F., Wang, J., Jones, M.R. and Tan, S.C. (2019) Photosynthetic apparatus of Rhodobacter sphaeroides exhibits prolonged charge storage. Nature Communications 10, 902.

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.

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