2022 journal article

Graphene oxide decorated with gold enables efficient biophotovolatic cells incorporating photosystem I

RSC Advances, 12(14), 8783–8791.

Source: ORCID
Added: March 30, 2022

This paper describes the use of reduced graphene oxide decorated with gold nanoparticles as an efficient electron transfer layer for solid-state biophotovoltic cells containing photosystem I as the sole photo-active component. Together with polytyrosine-polyaniline as a hole transfer layer, this device architecture results in an open-circuit voltage of 0.3 V, a fill factor of 38% and a short-circuit current density of 5.6 mA cm-2 demonstrating good coupling between photosystem I and the electrodes. The best-performing device reached an external power conversion efficiency of 0.64%, the highest for any solid-state photosystem I-based photovoltaic device that has been reported to date. Our results demonstrate that the functionality of photosystem I in the non-natural environment of solid-state biophotovoltaic cells can be improved through the modification of electrodes with efficient charge-transfer layers. The combination of reduced graphene oxide with gold nanoparticles caused tailoring of the electronic structure and alignment of the energy levels while also increasing electrical conductivity. The decoration of graphene electrodes with gold nanoparticles is a generalizable approach for enhancing charge-transfer across interfaces, particularly when adjusting the levels of the active layer is not feasible, as is the case for photosystem I and other biological molecules.