Bio-Inspired Solar Energy Conversion Devices

Solar Energy Conversion Devices

Our research in artificial photosynthesis focuses on the challenge of building the next generation of sustainable, high-efficiency solar energy conversion systems. We are developing molecular devices that will use light to reduce carbon dioxide and other small molecules in single or binary protein systems. The devices are based on naturally-occurring protein architectures, which have been modified by molecular biological (site directed mutation) or physical/chemical changes (environment, temperature) to promote the desired reactions. Static and time-resolved visible-to-near infrared absorbance and pulsed-electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopies are being used to probe the molecular structure and dynamics that underlie the energy conversion processes, in an effort to understand, and therefore optimize, the processes.