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Photocurrent Generation from Porphyrin/Fullerene Complexes Assembled in a Tethered Lipid Bilayer

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journal contribution
posted on 2010-10-05, 00:00 authored by Wei Zhan, Kai Jiang, Matthew D. Smith, Heidi E. Bostic, Michael D. Best, Maria L. Auad, Joshua V. Ruppel, Chungsik Kim, X. Peter Zhang
A modular photocurrent generation system, based on amphiphilic porphyrin and fullerene species assembled in a tethered lipid bilayer matrix, is reported here. The key findings are (1) the amount of photoactive species can be quantitatively controlled in each leaflet of the bilayer and (2) the sequential formation of the bilayer allows a directional organization of these agents on electrodes. Photocurrent generation from seven differently configured photoactive bilayers is studied, which reveals several critical factors in achieving efficient photoinduced electron transfer across lipid membranes. Detailed fluorescence characterization is performed on porphyrin samples either in liposomes or surface-tethered bilayers; and the observed fluorescence quenching is correlated with photocurrents generated from the electrode-immobilized lipid films. The potential usefulness of this lipid-based approach is discussed in connection to several existing molecular photovoltaic systems.