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Biological Construction of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Electron Transfer Pathways in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Authors

  • Dr. Ippei Inoue,

    1. Frontier Research Labs., Institute for Innovation, Ajinomoto Co., Inc. (Japan)
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  • Kiyoshi Watanabe,

    1. Graduate School of Materials Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, 18916-5 Takayama, Ikoma, Nara, 630-0192 (Japan)
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  • Hirofumi Yamauchi,

    1. Graduate School of Materials Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, 18916-5 Takayama, Ikoma, Nara, 630-0192 (Japan)
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  • Prof. Dr. Yasuaki Ishikawa,

    1. Graduate School of Materials Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, 18916-5 Takayama, Ikoma, Nara, 630-0192 (Japan)
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  • Dr. Hisashi Yasueda,

    1. Frontier Research Labs., Institute for Innovation, Ajinomoto Co., Inc. (Japan)
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  • Prof. Dr. Yukiharu Uraoka,

    1. Graduate School of Materials Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, CREST Japan Science and Technology Agency (Japan)
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  • Prof. Dr. Ichiro Yamashita

    Corresponding author
    1. Graduate School of Materials Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, 18916-5 Takayama, Ikoma, Nara, 630-0192 (Japan)
    • Graduate School of Materials Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, 18916-5 Takayama, Ikoma, Nara, 630-0192 (Japan)

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Abstract

We designed and mass-produced a versatile protein supramolecule that can be used to manufacture a highly efficient dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC). Twelve single-walled carbon-nanotube (SWNT)-binding and titanium-mineralizing peptides were genetically integrated on a cage-shaped dodecamer protein (CDT1). A process involving simple mixing of highly conductive SWNTs with CDT1 followed by TiO2 biomineralization produces a high surface-area/weight TiO2-(anatase)-coated intact SWNT nanocomposite under environmentally friendly conditions. A DSSC with a TiO2 photoelectrode containing 0.2 wt % of the SWNT–TiO2 nanocomposite shows a current density improvement by 80 % and a doubling of the photoelectric conversion efficiency. The SWNT–TiO2 nanocomposite transfers photon-generated electrons from dye molecules adsorbed on the TiO2 to the anode electrode swiftly.

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