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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Interrogation of a PS1-Based Photocathode by Means of Scanning Photoelectrochemical Microscopy

Fangyuan Zhao, Nicolas Plumeré, Marc M Nowaczyk, Adrian Ruff, Wolfgang Schuhmann, Felipe Conzuelo
Small 2017 May 16
28508474
In the development of photosystem-based energy conversion devices, the in-depth understanding of electron transfer processes involved in photocurrent generation and possible charge recombination is essential as a basis for the development of photo-bioelectrochemical architectures with increased efficiency. The evaluation of a bio-photocathode based on photosystem 1 (PS1) integrated within a redox hydrogel by means of scanning photoelectrochemical microscopy (SPECM) is reported. The redox polymer acts as a conducting matrix for the transfer of electrons from the electrode surface to the photo-oxidized P700 centers within PS1, while methyl viologen is used as charge carrier for the collection of electrons at the reduced FB site of PS1. The analysis of the modified surfaces by SPECM enables the evaluation of electron-transfer processes by simultaneously monitoring photocurrent generation at the bio-photoelectrode and the associated generation of reduced charge carriers. The possibility to visualize charge recombination processes is illustrated by using two different electrode materials, namely Au and p-doped Si, exhibiting substantially different electron transfer kinetics for the reoxidation of the methyl viologen radical cation used as freely diffusing charge carrier. In the case of p-doped Si, a slower recombination kinetics allows visualization of methyl viologen radical cation concentration profiles from SPECM approach curves.

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