Metal-supported Semiconductor/Biomolecular Composite for Solar Hydrogen Generation

S. Balasubramanian, T. Rajh, E. Rozhkova
Argonne National Laboratory, US

Keywords: photocatalyst, bacteriorhodopsin, hydrogen

Summary:

Photocatalysis remains one of the efficient ways to capture solar energy on a large scale. Here, we report on the application of light harvesting proton pumps such as bacteriorhodopsin (bR) for solar hydrogen generation. bR protein molecules was self-assembled on to Pt/TiO2 photocatalyst and the performance of the hybrid system was characterized by gas chromatography and photoelectrochemical measurements confirming H2 generation without the addition of electron donors. Such simple bio-nano hybrid systems might overcome the limited stability of other photocatalytic systems based on hydrogenases and even can offset carbon-based feedstock requirement for solar H2 generation.