We report on the capability of polydopamine (PDA), a mimic of mussel adhesion proteins, as an electron gate as well as a versatile adhesive for mimicking natural photosynthesis. This work demonstrates that PDA accelerates the rate of photoinduced electron transfer from light-harvesting molecules through two-electron and two-proton redox-coupling mechanism. The introduction of PDA as a charge separator significantly increased the efficiency of photochemical water oxidation. Furthermore, simple incorporation of PDA ad-layer on the surface of conducting materials, such as carbon nanotubes, facilitated fast charge separation and oxygen evolution through the synergistic effect of PDA-mediated proton-coupled electron transfer and the high conductivity of the substrate. Our work shows that PDA is an excellent electron acceptor as well as a versatile adhesive; thus, PDA constitutes a new electron gate for harvesting photoinduced electrons and designing artificial photosynthetic systems.
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