Scientific Results

Enhanced energy transport in genetically engineered excitonic networks

Year: 2016

Authors: Park H., Heldman N., Rebentrost P., Abbondanza L., Iagatti A., Alessi A., Patrizi B., Salvalaggio M., Bussotti L., Mohseni M., Caruso F., Johnsen H.C., Fusco R., Foggi P., Scudo P.F., Lloyd S., Belcher A.M.

Autors Affiliation: Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA; The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA; Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA; Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA; Research Center for Non-Conventional Energy, Istituto ENI Donegani, eni S.p.A., Novara 28100, Italy; European Laboratory for Non-linear Spectroscopy, University of Florence, Sesto Fiorentino 50019, Italy; INO CNR, Sesto Fiorentino 50019, Italy; QSTAR and Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Florence, Florence 50125, Italy; Department of Chemistry, University of Perugia, Perugia 06123, Italy; Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA Seth Lloyd

Abstract: One of the challenges for achieving efficient exciton transport in solar energy conversion systems is precise structural control of the light-harvesting building blocks. Here, we create a tunable material consisting of a connected chromophore network on an ordered biological virus template. Using genetic engineering, we establish a link between the inter-chromophoric distances and emerging transport properties. The combination of spectroscopy measurements and dynamic modelling enables us to elucidate quantum coherent and classical incoherent energy transport at room temperature. Through genetic modifications, we obtain a significant enhancement of exciton diffusion length of about 68% in an intermediate quantum-classical regime.

Journal/Review: NATURE MATERIALS

Volume: 15 (2)      Pages from: 211  to: 216

More Information: This work was supported from Eni, S.p.A. (Italy) through the MIT Energy Initiative Program. H.P. thanks Kwanjeong Educational Foundation for its financial support, and G. W. Hwang for allowing us to use a fluorometer. F.C. has been supported by EU FP7 Marie-Curie Programme (Career Integration Grant) and by MIUR-FIRB grant (Project No. RBFR10M3SB).
DOI: 10.1038/NMAT4448

Citations: 44
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