Charge stabilization by reaction center protein immobilized to carbon nanotubes functionalized by amine groups and poly(3-thiophene acetic acid) conducting polymer



A large number of studies have indicated recently that photosynthetic reaction center proteins (RC) bind successfully to nanostructures and their functional activity is largely retained. The major goal of current research is to find the most efficient systems and conditions for the photoelectric energy conversion and for the stability of this bio-nanocomposite. In our studies, we immobilized the RC protein on multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNT) through specific chemical binding to amine functional groups and through conducting polymer (poly(3-thiophene acetic acid), PTAA). Both structural (TEM, AFM) and functional (absorption change and conductivity) measurements has shown that RCs could be bound effectively to functionalized CNTs. The kinetics of the light induced absorption change indicated that RCs were still active in the composite and there was an interaction between the protein cofactors and the CNTs. The light generated photocurrent was measured in an electrochemical cell with transparent CNT electrode designed specially for this experiment.