Well-oriented monolayers of bacteriorhodopsin(bR)-containing purple-membrane patches are prepared on solid substrates (see Figure). Green-light illumination completely converts wild-type bR to the blue-light-absorbing M state, even at high humidity and pH 7. The possibility of bR-based optoelectronic devices is significantly enhanced by systems comprised of the long-lived M state, thus underlying the importance of this work.
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