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Sample records for artificial light-harvesting self-assemble

  1. Zinc chlorins for artificial light-harvesting self-assemble into antiparallel stacks forming a microcrystalline solid-state material

    PubMed Central

    Ganapathy, Swapna; Sengupta, Sanchita; Wawrzyniak, Piotr K.; Huber, Valerie; Buda, Francesco; Baumeister, Ute; Würthner, Frank; de Groot, Huub J. M.

    2009-01-01

    We introduce a concept to solve the structure of a microcrystalline material in the solid-state at natural abundance without access to distance constraints, using magic angle spinning (MAS) NMR spectroscopy in conjunction with X-ray powder diffraction and DFT calculations. The method is applied to a novel class of materials that form (semi)conductive 1D wires for supramolecular electronics and artificial light-harvesting. The zinc chlorins 3-devinyl-31-hydroxymethyl-132-demethoxycarbonylpheophorbide a (3′,5′-bis-dodecyloxy)benzyl ester zinc complex 1 and 3-devinyl-31-methoxymethyl-132-demethoxycarbonylpheophorbide a (3′,5′-bis-dodecyloxy)benzyl ester zinc complex 2, self-assemble into extended excitonically coupled chromophore stacks. 1H-13C heteronuclear dipolar correlation MAS NMR experiments provided the 1H resonance assignment of the chlorin rings that allowed accurate probing of ring currents related to the stacking of macrocycles. DFT ring-current shift calculations revealed that both chlorins self-assemble in antiparallel π-stacks in planar layers in the solid-state. Concomitantly, X-ray powder diffraction measurements for chlorin 2 at 80 °C revealed a 3D lattice for the mesoscale packing that matches molecular mechanics optimized aggregate models. For chlorin 2 the stacks alternate with a periodicity of 0.68 nm and a 3D unit cell with an approximate volume of 6.28 nm3 containing 4 molecules, which is consistent with space group P21221. PMID:19587237

  2. Self-assembly and energy transfer in artificial light-harvesting complexes of bacteriochlorophyll c with astaxanthin.

    PubMed

    Alster, J; Polívka, T; Arellano, J B; Hříbek, P; Vácha, F; Hála, J; Pšenčík, J

    2012-03-01

    Chlorosomes, the light-harvesting antennae of green photosynthetic bacteria, are based on large aggregates of bacteriochlorophyll molecules. Aggregates with similar properties to those in chlorosomes can also be prepared in vitro. Several agents were shown to induce aggregation of bacteriochlorophyll c in aqueous environments, including certain lipids, carotenes, and quinones. A key distinguishing feature of bacteriochlorophyll c aggregates, both in vitro and in chlorosomes, is a large (>60 nm) red shift of their Q(y) absorption band compared with that of the monomers. In this study, we investigate the self-assembly of bacteriochlorophyll c with the xanthophyll astaxanthin, which leads to the formation of a new type of complexes. Our results indicate that, due to its specific structure, astaxanthin molecules competes with bacteriochlorophylls for the bonds involved in the aggregation, thus preventing the formation of any significant red shift compared with pure bacteriochlorophyll c in aqueous buffer. A strong interaction between both the types of pigments in the developed assemblies, is manifested by a rather efficient (~40%) excitation energy transfer from astaxanthin to bacteriochlorophyll c, as revealed by fluorescence excitation spectroscopy. Results of transient absorption spectroscopy show that the energy transfer is very fast (<500 fs) and proceeds through the S(2) state of astaxanthin. PMID:21833799

  3. One-Dimensional Multichromophor Arrays Based on DNA: From Self-Assembly to Light-Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Ensslen, Philipp; Wagenknecht, Hans-Achim

    2015-10-20

    Light-harvesting complexes collect light energy and deliver it by a cascade of energy and electron transfer processes to the reaction center where charge separation leads to storage as chemical energy. The design of artificial light-harvesting assemblies faces enormous challenges because several antenna chromophores need to be kept in close proximity but self-quenching needs to be avoided. Double stranded DNA as a supramolecular scaffold plays a promising role due to its characteristic structural properties. Automated DNA synthesis allows incorporation of artificial chromophore-modified building blocks, and sequence design allows precise control of the distances and orientations between the chromophores. The helical twist between the chromophores, which is induced by the DNA framework, controls energy and electron transfer and thereby reduces the self-quenching that is typically observed in chromophore aggregates. This Account summarizes covalently multichromophore-modified DNA and describes how such multichromophore arrays were achieved by Watson-Crick-specific and DNA-templated self-assembly. The covalent DNA systems were prepared by incorporation of chromophores as DNA base substitutions (either as C-nucleosides or with acyclic linkers as substitutes for the 2'-deoxyribofuranoside) and as DNA base modifications. Studies with DNA base substitutions revealed that distances but more importantly relative orientations of the chromophores govern the energy transfer efficiencies and thereby the light-harvesting properties. With DNA base substitutions, duplex stabilization was faced and could be overcome, for instance, by zipper-like placement of the chromophores in both strands. For both principal structural approaches, DNA-based light-harvesting antenna could be realized. The major disadvantages, however, for covalent multichromophore DNA conjugates are the poor yields of synthesis and the solubility issues for oligonucleotides with more than 5-10 chromophore

  4. Self-assembled light-harvesting peptide nanotubes for mimicking natural photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jae Hong; Lee, Minah; Lee, Joon Seok; Park, Chan Beum

    2012-01-01

    Light-harvesting peptide nanotubes are synthesized by the self-assembly of diphenylalanine with THPP and platinum nanoparticles (nPt; see picture; TEOA = triethanolamine). The light-harvesting peptide nanotubes are suitable for mimicking photosynthesis because of their structure and electrochemical properties that are similar to the ones of photosystem I in natural photosynthesis. PMID:21976303

  5. Self-assembled photosynthesis-inspired light harvesting material and solar cells containing the same

    DOEpatents

    Lindsey, Jonathan S.; Chinnasamy, Muthiah; Fan, Dazhong

    2009-12-15

    A solar cell is described that comprises: (a) a semiconductor charge separation material; (b) at least one electrode connected to the charge separation material; and (c) a light-harvesting film on the charge separation material, the light-harvesting film comprising non-covalently coupled, self-assembled units of porphyrinic macrocycles. The porphyrinic macrocycles preferably comprise: (i) an intramolecularly coordinated metal; (ii) a first coordinating substituent; and (iii) a second coordinating substituent opposite the first coordinating substituent. The porphyrinic macrocycles can be assembled by repeating intermolecular coordination complexes of the metal, the first coordinating substituent and the second coordinating substituent.

  6. Micelle-Induced Self-Assembling Protein Nanowires: Versatile Supramolecular Scaffolds for Designing the Light-Harvesting System.

    PubMed

    Sun, Hongcheng; Zhang, Xiyu; Miao, Lu; Zhao, Linlu; Luo, Quan; Xu, Jiayun; Liu, Junqiu

    2016-01-26

    Organic nanoparticle induced self-assembly of proteins with periodic nanostructures is a promising and burgeoning strategy to develop functional biomimetic nanomaterials. Cricoid proteins afford monodispersed and well-defined hollow centers, and can be used to multivalently interact with geometrically symmetric nanoparticles to form one-dimensional protein nanoarrays. Herein, we report that core-cross-linked micelles can direct cricoid stable protein one (SP1) to self-assembling nanowires through multiple electrostatic interactions. One micelle can act as an organic nanoparticle to interact with two central concaves of SP1 in an opposite orientation to form a sandwich structure, further controlling the assembly direction to supramolecular protein nanowires. The reported versatile supramolecular scaffolds can be optionally manipulated to develop multifunctional integrated or synergistic biomimetic nanomaterials. Artificial light-harvesting nanowires are further developed to mimic the energy transfer process of photosynthetic bacteria for their structural similarity, by means of labeling donor and acceptor chromophores to SP1 rings and spherical micelles, respectively. The absorbing energy can be transferred within the adjacent donors around the ring and shuttling the collected energy to the nearby acceptor chromophore. The artificial light-harvesting nanowires are designed by mimicking the structural characteristic of natural LH-2 complex, which are meaningful in exploring the photosynthesis process in vitro. PMID:26634314

  7. Self-assembly of light-harvesting crystalline nanosheets in aqueous media.

    PubMed

    Shahar, Chen; Baram, Jonathan; Tidhar, Yaron; Weissman, Haim; Cohen, Sidney R; Pinkas, Iddo; Rybtchinski, Boris

    2013-04-23

    A methodology leading to facile self-assembly of crystalline aromatic arrays in dilute aqueous solutions would enable efficient fabrication and processing of organic photonic and electronic materials in water. In particular, soluble 2D crystalline nanosheets may mimic the properties of photoactive thin films and self-assembled monolayers, covering large areas with ordered nanometer-thick material. We designed such solution-phase arrays using hierarchical self-assembly of amphiphilic perylene diimides in aqueous media. The assemblies were characterized by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM), revealing crystalline order and 2D morphology (confirmed by AFM studies). The order and morphology are preserved upon drying as evidenced by TEM and AFM. The 2D crystalline-like structures exhibit broadening and red-shifted absorption bands in UV-vis spectra, typical for PDI crystals and liquid crystals. Photophysical studies including femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy reveal that two of the assemblies are superior light-harvesters due to excellent solar spectrum coverage and fast exciton transfer, in one case showing exciton diffusion comparable to solid-state crystalline systems based on perylene tetracarboxylic dianhidride (PTCDA). PMID:23521176

  8. Structure determination of a bio-inspired self-assembled light-harvesting antenna by solid-state NMR and molecular modeling.

    PubMed

    Pandit, Anjali; Ocakoglu, Kasim; Buda, Francesco; van Marle, Thomas; Holzwarth, Alfred R; de Groot, Huub J M

    2013-09-26

    The molecular stacking of an artificial light-harvesting antenna self-assembled from 3(1)-aminofunctionalized zinc-chlorins was determined by solid-state NMR in combination with quantum-chemical and molecular-mechanics modeling. A library of trial molecular stacking arrangements was generated based on available structural data for natural and semisynthetic homologues of the Zn-chlorins. NMR assignments obtained for the monomer in solution were validated for self-assembled aggregates and refined with (1)H-(13)C heteronuclear correlation spectroscopy data collected from samples with (13)C at natural abundance. Solid-state ring-current shifts for the (1)H provided spatial constraints to determine the molecular overlap. This procedure allows for a discrimination between different self-assembled structures and a classification of the stacking mode in terms of electric dipole alignment and π-π interactions, parameters that determine the functional properties of light-harvesting assemblies and conducting nanowires. The combination with quantum-mechanical modeling then allowed building a low-resolution packing model in silico from molecular stacks. The method allows for moderate disorder and residual polymorphism at the stack or molecular level and is generally applicable to determine molecular packing structures of aromatic molecules with structural asymmetry, such as is commonly provided by functionalized side chains that serve to tune the self-assembly process. PMID:23566216

  9. Self-Assembled Light-Harvesting System from Chromophores in Lipid Vesicles.

    PubMed

    Sahin, Tuba; Harris, Michelle A; Vairaprakash, Pothiappan; Niedzwiedzki, Dariusz M; Subramanian, Vijaya; Shreve, Andrew P; Bocian, David F; Holten, Dewey; Lindsey, Jonathan S

    2015-08-13

    Lipid vesicles are used as the organizational structure of self-assembled light-harvesting systems. Following analysis of 17 chromophores, six were selected for inclusion in vesicle-based antennas. The complementary absorption features of the chromophores span the near-ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared region. Although the overall concentration of the pigments is low (~1 μM for quantitative spectroscopic studies) in a cuvette, the lipid-vesicle system affords high concentration (≥10 mM) in the bilayer for efficient energy flow from donor to acceptor. Energy transfer was characterized in 13 representative binary mixtures using static techniques (fluorescence-excitation versus absorptance spectra, quenching of donor fluorescence, modeling emission spectra of a mixture versus components) and time-resolved spectroscopy (fluorescence, ultrafast absorption). Binary donor-acceptor systems that employ a boron-dipyrrin donor (S0 ↔ S1 absorption/emission in the blue-green) and a chlorin or bacteriochlorin acceptor (S0 ↔ S1 absorption/emission in the red or near-infrared) have an average excitation-energy-transfer efficiency (ΦEET) of ~50%. Binary systems with a chlorin donor and a chlorin or bacteriochlorin acceptor have ΦEET ∼ 85%. The differences in ΦEET generally track the donor-fluorescence/acceptor-absorption spectral overlap within a dipole-dipole coupling (Förster) mechanism. Substantial deviation from single-exponential decay of the excited donor (due to the dispersion of donor-acceptor distances) is expected and observed. The time profiles and resulting ΦEET are modeled on the basis of (Förster) energy transfer between chromophores relatively densely packed in a two-dimensional compartment. Initial studies of two ternary and one quaternary combination of chromophores show the enhanced spectral coverage and energy-transfer efficacy expected on the basis of the binary systems. Collectively, this approach may provide one of the simplest designs for

  10. Structure-property relationships for self-assembled zinc chlorin light-harvesting dye aggregates.

    PubMed

    Huber, Valerie; Sengupta, Sanchita; Würthner, Frank

    2008-01-01

    A series of zinc 3(1)-hydroxymethyl chlorins 10 a-e and zinc 3(1)-hydroxyethyl chlorins 17 with varied structural features were synthesized by modifying naturally occurring chlorophyll a. Solvent-, temperature-, and concentration-dependent UV/Vis and CD spectroscopic methods as well as microscopic investigations were performed to explore the importance of particular functional groups and steric effects on the self-assembly behavior of these zinc chlorins. Semisynthetic zinc chlorins 10 a-e possess the three functional units relevant for self-assembly found in their natural bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) counterparts, namely, the 3(1)-OH group, a central metal ion, and the 13(1) C==O moiety along the Qy axis, and they contain various 17(2)-substituents. Depending on whether the zinc chlorins have 17(2)-hydrophobic or hydrophilic side chains, they self-assemble in nonpolar organic solvents or in aqueous media, respectively. Zinc chlorins possessing at least two long side chains provide soluble self-aggregates that are stable in solution for a prolonged time, thus facilitating elucidation of their properties by optical spectroscopy. The morphology of the zinc chlorin aggregates was elucidated by atomic force microscopy (AFM) studies, revealing well-defined nanoscale rod structures for zinc chlorin 10 b with a height of about 6 nm. It is worth noting that this size is in good accordance with a tubular arrangement of the dyes similar to that observed in their natural BChl counterparts in the light-harvesting chlorosomes of green bacteria. Furthermore, for the epimeric 3(1)-hydroxyethyl zinc chlorins 17 with hydrophobic side chains, the influence of the chirality center at the 3(1)-position on the aggregation behavior was studied in detail by UV/Vis and CD spectroscopy. Unlike zinc chlorins 10, the 3(1)-hydroxyethyl zinc chlorins 17 formed only small oligomers and not higher rod aggregate structures, which can be attributed to the steric effect imposed by the additional

  11. Highly Efficient Photon Upconversion in Self-Assembled Light-Harvesting Molecular Systems

    PubMed Central

    Ogawa, Taku; Yanai, Nobuhiro; Monguzzi, Angelo; Kimizuka, Nobuo

    2015-01-01

    To meet the world’s demands on the development of sunlight-powered renewable energy production, triplet–triplet annihilation-based photon upconversion (TTA–UC) has raised great expectations. However, an ideal highly efficient, low-power, and in-air TTA–UC has not been achieved. Here, we report a novel self-assembly approach to achieve this, which enabled highly efficient TTA–UC even in the presence of oxygen. A newly developed lipophilic 9,10-diphenylanthracene-based emitter molecule functionalized with multiple hydrogen-bonding moieties spontaneously coassembled with a triplet sensitizer in organic media, showing efficient triplet sensitization and subsequent triplet energy migration among the preorganized chromophores. This supramolecular light-harvesting system shows a high UC quantum yield of 30% optimized at low excitation power in deaerated conditions. Significantly, the UC emission largely remains even in an air-saturated solution, and this approach is facilely applicable to organogel and solid-film systems. PMID:26057321

  12. A nanoscale bio-inspired light-harvesting system developed from self-assembled alkyl-functionalized metallochlorin nano-aggregates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ocakoglu, Kasim; Joya, Khurram S.; Harputlu, Ersan; Tarnowska, Anna; Gryko, Daniel T.

    2014-07-01

    Self-assembled supramolecular organization of nano-structured biomimetic light-harvesting modules inside solid-state nano-templates can be exploited to develop excellent light-harvesting materials for artificial photosynthetic devices. We present here a hybrid light-harvesting system mimicking the chlorosomal structures of the natural photosynthetic system using synthetic zinc chlorin units (ZnChl-C6, ZnChl-C12 and ZnChl-C18) that are self-aggregated inside the anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) nano-channel membranes. AAO nano-templates were modified with a TiO2 matrix and functionalized with long hydrophobic chains to facilitate the formation of supramolecular Zn-chlorin aggregates. The transparent Zn-chlorin nano-aggregates inside the alkyl-TiO2 modified AAO nano-channels have a diameter of ~120 nm in a 60 μm length channel. UV-Vis studies and fluorescence emission spectra further confirm the formation of the supramolecular ZnChl aggregates from monomer molecules inside the alkyl-functionalized nano-channels. Our results prove that the novel and unique method can be used to produce efficient and stable light-harvesting assemblies for effective solar energy capture through transparent and stable nano-channel ceramic materials modified with bio-mimetic molecular self-assembled nano-aggregates.Self-assembled supramolecular organization of nano-structured biomimetic light-harvesting modules inside solid-state nano-templates can be exploited to develop excellent light-harvesting materials for artificial photosynthetic devices. We present here a hybrid light-harvesting system mimicking the chlorosomal structures of the natural photosynthetic system using synthetic zinc chlorin units (ZnChl-C6, ZnChl-C12 and ZnChl-C18) that are self-aggregated inside the anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) nano-channel membranes. AAO nano-templates were modified with a TiO2 matrix and functionalized with long hydrophobic chains to facilitate the formation of supramolecular Zn-chlorin aggregates. The

  13. Anisotropic organization and microscopic manipulation of self-assembling synthetic porphyrin microrods that mimic chlorosomes: bacterial light-harvesting systems.

    PubMed

    Chappaz-Gillot, Cyril; Marek, Peter L; Blaive, Bruno J; Canard, Gabriel; Bürck, Jochen; Garab, Gyozo; Hahn, Horst; Jávorfi, Tamás; Kelemen, Loránd; Krupke, Ralph; Mössinger, Dennis; Ormos, Pál; Reddy, Chilla Malla; Roussel, Christian; Steinbach, Gábor; Szabó, Milán; Ulrich, Anne S; Vanthuyne, Nicolas; Vijayaraghavan, Aravind; Zupcanova, Anita; Balaban, Teodor Silviu

    2012-01-18

    Being able to control in time and space the positioning, orientation, movement, and sense of rotation of nano- to microscale objects is currently an active research area in nanoscience, having diverse nanotechnological applications. In this paper, we demonstrate unprecedented control and maneuvering of rod-shaped or tubular nanostructures with high aspect ratios which are formed by self-assembling synthetic porphyrins. The self-assembly algorithm, encoded by appended chemical-recognition groups on the periphery of these porphyrins, is the same as the one operating for chlorosomal bacteriochlorophylls (BChl's). Chlorosomes, rod-shaped organelles with relatively long-range molecular order, are the most efficient naturally occurring light-harvesting systems. They are used by green photosynthetic bacteria to trap visible and infrared light of minute intensities even at great depths, e.g., 100 m below water surface or in volcanic vents in the absence of solar radiation. In contrast to most other natural light-harvesting systems, the chlorosomal antennae are devoid of a protein scaffold to orient the BChl's; thus, they are an attractive goal for mimicry by synthetic chemists, who are able to engineer more robust chromophores to self-assemble. Functional devices with environmentally friendly chromophores-which should be able to act as photosensitizers within hybrid solar cells, leading to high photon-to-current conversion efficiencies even under low illumination conditions-have yet to be fabricated. The orderly manner in which the BChl's and their synthetic counterparts self-assemble imparts strong diamagnetic and optical anisotropies and flow/shear characteristics to their nanostructured assemblies, allowing them to be manipulated by electrical, magnetic, or tribomechanical forces. PMID:22148684

  14. Artificial photosynthetic reaction centers coupled to light-harvesting antennas.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Pulak Kumar; Smirnov, Anatoly Yu; Nori, Franco

    2011-12-01

    We analyze a theoretical model for energy and electron transfer in an artificial photosynthetic system. The photosystem consists of a molecular triad (i.e., with a donor, a photosensitive unit, and an acceptor) coupled to four accessory light-harvesting-antenna pigments. The resonant energy transfer from the antennas to the artificial reaction center (the molecular triad) is described here by the Förster mechanism. We consider two different kinds of arrangements of the accessory light-harvesting pigments around the reaction center. The first arrangement allows direct excitation transfer to the reaction center from all the surrounding pigments. The second configuration transmits energy via a cascade mechanism along a chain of light-harvesting chromophores, where only one chromophore is connected to the reaction center. We show that the artificial photosynthetic system using the cascade energy transfer absorbs photons in a broader wavelength range and converts their energy into electricity with a higher efficiency than the system based on direct couplings between all the antenna chromophores and the reaction center. PMID:22304071

  15. Artificial photosynthetic reaction centers coupled to light-harvesting antennas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghosh, Pulak Kumar; Smirnov, Anatoly Yu.; Nori, Franco

    2011-12-01

    We analyze a theoretical model for energy and electron transfer in an artificial photosynthetic system. The photosystem consists of a molecular triad (i.e., with a donor, a photosensitive unit, and an acceptor) coupled to four accessory light-harvesting-antenna pigments. The resonant energy transfer from the antennas to the artificial reaction center (the molecular triad) is described here by the Förster mechanism. We consider two different kinds of arrangements of the accessory light-harvesting pigments around the reaction center. The first arrangement allows direct excitation transfer to the reaction center from all the surrounding pigments. The second configuration transmits energy via a cascade mechanism along a chain of light-harvesting chromophores, where only one chromophore is connected to the reaction center. We show that the artificial photosynthetic system using the cascade energy transfer absorbs photons in a broader wavelength range and converts their energy into electricity with a higher efficiency than the system based on direct couplings between all the antenna chromophores and the reaction center.

  16. Artificial light-harvesting arrays for solar energy conversion.

    PubMed

    Harriman, Anthony

    2015-07-28

    Solar fuel production, the process whereby an energy-rich substance is produced using electrons provided by water under exposure to sunlight, requires the cooperative accumulation of multiple numbers of photons. Identifying the optimum reagents is a difficult challenge, even without imposing the restriction that these same materials must function as both sensitiser and catalyst. The blockade caused by an inadequate supply of photons at the catalytic sites might be resolved by making use of an artificial light-harvesting array whose sole purpose is to funnel photons of appropriate frequency to the active catalyst, which can now be a dark reagent. Here we consider several types of artificial photon collectors built from fluorescent modules interconnected via electronic energy transfer. Emphasis is placed on the materials aspects and on establishing the basic operating principles. PMID:26086688

  17. Protein-Framed Multi-Porphyrin Micelles for a Hybrid Natural-Artificial Light-Harvesting Nanosystem.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yannan; Jin, Jiyang; Deng, Hongping; Li, Ke; Zheng, Yongli; Yu, Chunyang; Zhou, Yongfeng

    2016-07-01

    A micelle-like hybrid natural-artificial light-harvesting nanosystem was prepared through protein-framed electrostatic self-assembly of phycocyanin and a four-armed porphyrin star polymer. The nanosystem has a special structure of pomegranate-like unimolecular micelle aggregate with one phycocyanin acceptor in the center and multiple porphyrin donors in the shell. It can inhibit donor self-quenching effectively and display efficient transfer of excitation energy (about 80.1 %) in water. Furthermore, the number of donors contributing to a single acceptor could reach as high as about 179 in this nanosystem. PMID:27187799

  18. Self-assembly of natural light-harvesting bacteriochlorophylls of green sulfur photosynthetic bacteria in silicate capsules as stable models of chlorosomes.

    PubMed

    Saga, Yoshitaka; Akai, Sho; Miyatake, Tomohiro; Tamiaki, Hitoshi

    2006-01-01

    Naturally occurring bacteriochlorophyll(BChl)s-c, -d, and -e from green sulfur photosynthetic bacteria were self-assembled in an aqueous solution in the presence of octadecyltriethoxysilane and tetraethoxysilane, followed by polycondensation of the alkoxysilanes by incubation for 50 h at 25 degrees C. The resulting BChl self-assemblies in silicate capsules exhibited visible absorption and circular dichroism spectra similar to the corresponding natural light-harvesting systems (chlorosomes) of green sulfur bacteria. Dynamic light scattering measurements indicated that the silicate capsules had an average hydrodynamic diameter of several hundred nanometers. BChl self-aggregates in silicate capsules were significantly stable to a nonionic surfactant Triton X-100, which was apt to decompose the BChl aggregates to their monomeric form, compared with conventional micelle systems. BChls in silicate capsules were more tolerant to demetalation of the central magnesium under acidic conditions than the natural systems. PMID:16848406

  19. Donor-acceptor star-shaped conjugated macroelectrolytes: synthesis, light-harvesting properties, and self-assembly-induced Förster resonance energy transfer.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Li; Liu, Cheng-Fang; Xu, Wei-Dong; Jiang, Yi; Lai, Wen-Yong; Huang, Wei

    2015-06-01

    A novel series of donor-acceptor star-shaped conjugated macroelectrolytes (CMEs), denoted as 4FTs, including anionic carboxylic acid sodium groups (4FNaT), neutral diethanolamine groups (4FNOHT), and cationic ammonium groups (4FNBrT), were designed, synthesized, and explored as an excellent platform to investigate the impact of various polar pendent groups on self-assembly behaviors. The resulting CMEs with donor-acceptor star-shaped architectures exhibited distinct light-harvesting properties. The interactions between 4FTs and TrNBr, a star-shaped monodisperse CME grafted with cationic quaternary ammonium side chains, were investigated in H2O and CH3OH using steady-state, time-resolved fluorescence, dynamic light scattering (DLS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Highly favored energy transfer has been proven by the excellent spectral overlap between TrNBr fluorescence and 4FTs absorptions which can be tuned by adjusting the pendent polar groups and solvents. It is suggested that self-assembled structures are formed between TrNBr and 4FNaT, while there is no obvious change for TrNBr/4FNOHT and TrNBr/4FNBrT in both H2O and CH3OH at low concentrations (<10(-6) M). This result is confirmed by the change of the TrNBr and 4FTs fluorescence properties and the time-resolved fluorescence data. The overall results manifest that at low concentrations the self-assembly between TrNBr and 4FTs is dominated by the electrostatic interactions. This study suggests that the functionalization of pendent polar groups of star-shaped CMEs has proven to be effective to modulate the self-assembly behaviors in dilute solutions and thus provide a strategy to further manage the optoelectronic properties. PMID:25981514

  20. Molecular and mesoscale mechanism for hierarchical self-assembly of dipeptide and porphyrin light-harvesting system.

    PubMed

    Liu, Kai; Kang, Yu; Ma, Guanghui; Möhwald, Helmuth; Yan, Xuehai

    2016-06-22

    A multi-scale theoretical investigation of dipeptide-porphyrin co-assembly systems has been carried out to establish such understanding, where two different types of the dipeptides, dilysine (KK(3+)) and diphenylalanine (FF(+)) are compared on tuning the porphyrin organization. Density functional theory results reveal that the electrostatic attraction between different functional groups has significantly strengthened the hydrogen bonds between them, which are considered as the driving force of the self-assembly at the molecular level. All-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulation further indicates that the formation of the core-shell nanorods is driven and stabilized by the hydrophobic interaction between dipeptides and negatively charged porphyrin (H2TPPS(2-)), where the packed porphyrins stay inside as the core of the nanorods and the hydrophilic groups (amino- and carboxyl-groups) as the shell. With stronger hydrophobicity, FF(+) is more likely to insert into the porphyrin aggregates and build crosslinks than KK(3+). Moreover, dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulation suggests equilibrium morphologies with different dipeptides, where KK(3+)-H2TPPS(2-) assembled in fiber bundles, whereas FF(+)-H2TPPS(2-) assembled as microspheres, corresponding to the different packing behavior in MD simulations. The consistency of these results at different scales is discussed. The method used in this work could be extended for studying similar issues in hierarchical self-assembly of building blocks such biomaterials. PMID:27270974

  1. Artificial leaf structures as a UV detector formed by the self-assembly of ZnO nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fei; Zhao, Dongxu; Guo, Zhen; Liu, Lei; Zhang, Zhenzhong; Shen, Dezhen

    2013-04-01

    Artificial leaf structures have been fabricated by the self-assembly of ZnO nanoparticles. A hydrothermal method was used to synthesize the nanoparticles. The self-assembly patterns showed asymmetric dendritic morphologies, larger surface-to-volume ratios, a broad absorption band and high resistance. A non-equilibrium two-stage-formation process included diffusion limited aggregation, and the phase-field model was introduced to explain the formation mechanism of the pattern. A high-performance ultraviolet detector was fabricated on the artificial leaf structures, which showed that the current under the irradiation of a UV lamp (1.21 mW cm(-2)) was about 10(4) times greater than in the dark. The various and functional properties of the pattern show us the vast prospects of potential applications for light harvesting systems and other optical-electric devices. PMID:23446434

  2. Artificial leaf structures as a UV detector formed by the self-assembly of ZnO nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Fei; Zhao, Dongxu; Guo, Zhen; Liu, Lei; Zhang, Zhenzhong; Shen, Dezhen

    2013-03-01

    Artificial leaf structures have been fabricated by the self-assembly of ZnO nanoparticles. A hydrothermal method was used to synthesize the nanoparticles. The self-assembly patterns showed asymmetric dendritic morphologies, larger surface-to-volume ratios, a broad absorption band and high resistance. A non-equilibrium two-stage-formation process included diffusion limited aggregation, and the phase-field model was introduced to explain the formation mechanism of the pattern. A high-performance ultraviolet detector was fabricated on the artificial leaf structures, which showed that the current under the irradiation of a UV lamp (1.21 mW cm-2) was about 104 times greater than in the dark. The various and functional properties of the pattern show us the vast prospects of potential applications for light harvesting systems and other optical-electric devices.Artificial leaf structures have been fabricated by the self-assembly of ZnO nanoparticles. A hydrothermal method was used to synthesize the nanoparticles. The self-assembly patterns showed asymmetric dendritic morphologies, larger surface-to-volume ratios, a broad absorption band and high resistance. A non-equilibrium two-stage-formation process included diffusion limited aggregation, and the phase-field model was introduced to explain the formation mechanism of the pattern. A high-performance ultraviolet detector was fabricated on the artificial leaf structures, which showed that the current under the irradiation of a UV lamp (1.21 mW cm-2) was about 104 times greater than in the dark. The various and functional properties of the pattern show us the vast prospects of potential applications for light harvesting systems and other optical-electric devices. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c3nr33748k

  3. Design of a minimal polypeptide unit for bacteriochlorophyll binding and self-assembly based on photosynthetic bacterial light-harvesting proteins.

    PubMed

    Noy, Dror; Dutton, P Leslie

    2006-02-21

    We introduce LH1beta24, a minimal 24 amino acid polypeptide that binds and assembles bacteriochlorophylls (BChls) in micelles of octyl beta-glucoside (OG) into complexes with spectral properties that resemble those of B820, a universal intermediate in the assembly of native purple bacterial light-harvesting complexes (LHs). LH1beta24 was designed by a survey of sequences and crystal structures of bacterial LH proteins from different organisms combined with currently available information from in vitro reconstitution studies and genetically modified LHs in vivo. We took as a template for the design sphbeta31, a truncated 31 amino acid analogue of the native beta-apoprotein from the core LH complex of Rhodobacter sphaeroides. This peptide self-assembles with BChls to form B820 and, upon cooling and lowering OG concentration, forms red-shifted B850 spectral species that are considered analogous to native LH complexes. We find that LH1beta24 self-assembles with BChl in OG to form homodimeric B820-type subunits comprising two LH1beta24 and two BChl molecules per subunit. We demonstrate, by modeling the structure using the highly homologous structure of LH2 from Rhodospirillum molischianum, that it has the minimal size for BChl binding. Additionally, we have compared the self-assembly of sphbeta31 and LH1beta24 with BChls and discovered that the association enthalpies and entropies of both species are similar to those measured for native LH1 from Rhodospirillum rubrum. However, sphbeta31 readily aggregates into intermediate higher oligomeric species and further to form B850 species; moreover, the assembly process of these oligomers is not reversible, and they are apparently large nonspecific BChl-peptide coaggregates rather than well-defined nativelike LH complexes. Similar aggregates were observed during LH1beta24 assembly, but these were formed less readily and required lower temperatures than sphbeta31. In view of these results, we reevaluate previous in vitro

  4. Artificial Photosynthesis at Dynamic Self-Assembled Interfaces in Water.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Malte; Troppmann, Stefan; König, Burkhard

    2016-01-01

    Artificial photosynthesis is one of the big scientific challenges of today. Self-assembled dynamic interfaces, such as vesicles or micelles, have been used as microreactors to mimic biological photosynthesis. These aggregates can help to overcome typical problems of homogeneous photocatalytic water splitting. Microheterogeneous environments organize catalyst-photosensitizer assemblies at the interface in close proximity and thus enhance intermolecular interactions. Thereby vesicles and micelles may promote photoinitiated charge separation and suppress back electron transfer. The dynamic self-assembled interfaces solubilize non-polar compounds and protect sensitive catalytic units and intermediates against degradation. In addition, vesicles provide compartmentation that was used to separate different redox environments needed for an overall water splitting system. This Minireview provides an overview of the applications of micellar and vesicular microheterogeneous systems for solar energy conversion by photosensitized water oxidation and hydrogen generation. PMID:26552728

  5. Vibronic origin of long-lived coherence in an artificial molecular light harvester

    PubMed Central

    Lim, James; Paleček, David; Caycedo-Soler, Felipe; Lincoln, Craig N.; Prior, Javier; von Berlepsch, Hans; Huelga, Susana F.; Plenio, Martin B.; Zigmantas, Donatas; Hauer, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    Natural and artificial light-harvesting processes have recently gained new interest. Signatures of long-lasting coherence in spectroscopic signals of biological systems have been repeatedly observed, albeit their origin is a matter of ongoing debate, as it is unclear how the loss of coherence due to interaction with the noisy environments in such systems is averted. Here we report experimental and theoretical verification of coherent exciton–vibrational (vibronic) coupling as the origin of long-lasting coherence in an artificial light harvester, a molecular J-aggregate. In this macroscopically aligned tubular system, polarization-controlled 2D spectroscopy delivers an uncongested and specific optical response as an ideal foundation for an in-depth theoretical description. We derive analytical expressions that show under which general conditions vibronic coupling leads to prolonged excited-state coherence. PMID:26158602

  6. Extension of Light-Harvesting Ability of Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting Complex 2 (LH2) through Ultrafast Energy Transfer from Covalently Attached Artificial Chromophores.

    PubMed

    Yoneda, Yusuke; Noji, Tomoyasu; Katayama, Tetsuro; Mizutani, Naoto; Komori, Daisuke; Nango, Mamoru; Miyasaka, Hiroshi; Itoh, Shigeru; Nagasawa, Yutaka; Dewa, Takehisa

    2015-10-14

    Introducing appropriate artificial components into natural biological systems could enrich the original functionality. To expand the available wavelength range of photosynthetic bacterial light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2 from Rhodopseudomonas acidophila 10050), artificial fluorescent dye (Alexa Fluor 647: A647) was covalently attached to N- and C-terminal Lys residues in LH2 α-polypeptides with a molar ratio of A647/LH2 ≃ 9/1. Fluorescence and transient absorption spectroscopies revealed that intracomplex energy transfer from A647 to intrinsic chromophores of LH2 (B850) occurs in a multiexponential manner, with time constants varying from 440 fs to 23 ps through direct and B800-mediated indirect pathways. Kinetic analyses suggested that B800 chromophores mediate faster energy transfer, and the mechanism was interpretable in terms of Förster theory. This study demonstrates that a simple attachment of external chromophores with a flexible linkage can enhance the light harvesting activity of LH2 without affecting inherent functions of energy transfer, and can achieve energy transfer in the subpicosecond range. Addition of external chromophores, thus, represents a useful methodology for construction of advanced hybrid light-harvesting systems that afford solar energy in the broad spectrum. PMID:26403467

  7. Time dependent DFT investigation of the optical properties of artificial light harvesting special pairs.

    PubMed

    Agnihotri, Neha; Steer, Ronald P

    2016-06-01

    Computational modeling of selected artificial special pairs has been carried out. The structures chosen are bio-inspired molecular models of the light harvesting system II that have been previously investigated experimentally. Time-dependent density functional theory calculations have been employed to characterize the inter-macrocycle interactions resulting from two zinc porphyrins that are covalently linked with rigid linkers that vary the inter-porphyrin distance and the inter-planar angle in a C2v framework. The effects of varying the linker structure have been explored for electronic states with energies up to and including the Soret-correlated states in the dimer. An expansion of the Gouterman four orbital model for the monomers to an eight orbital model in the dimers provides a reasonable explanation of the inter-macrocycle interactions and provides insight into their experimental properties. PMID:27212274

  8. Functionalized dye encapsulated polymer nanoparticles attached with a BSA scaffold as efficient antenna materials for artificial light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Jana, Bikash; Bhattacharyya, Santanu; Patra, Amitava

    2016-09-21

    A potential strategy for a new generation light harvesting system is multi-chromophoric donor-acceptor pairs where light energy is absorbed by an antenna complex and subsequently transfers its energy to the acceptor via energy transfer. Here, we design a system of a functionalized polymer nanoparticle-protein scaffold for efficient light harvesting and white light generation where a dye doped polymer nanoparticle acts as a donor and a dye encapsulated BSA protein acts as an acceptor. Analysis reveals that 91.3% energy transfer occurs from the dye doped polymer nanoparticle to the dye encapsulated BSA protein. The antenna effect of this light harvesting system is found to be 31 at a donor to acceptor ratio of 0.82 : 1 which is unprecedented. The enhanced effective molar extinction coefficient of the acceptor dye is potential for the light harvesting system. Bright white light emission with a quantum yield of 14% under single wavelength excitation is obtained by changing the ratio of donor to acceptor. Analysis reveals that the efficient energy transfer in this polymer-protein assembly may open up new possibilities in designing artificial light harvesting systems for future applications. PMID:27546792

  9. Stepwise photoconversion of an artificial light-harvesting array built from extended BODIPY units.

    PubMed

    Harriman, Anthony; Stachelek, Patrycja; Sutter, Alexandra; Ziessel, Raymond

    2015-06-01

    A molecular dyad, comprising two disparate extended boron dipyrromethene (BODIPY) units, has been identified as a potential component of artificial light-harvesting arrays. Highly efficient, intramolecular electronic energy transfer takes place under illumination but there is some competition from light-induced electron transfer along the molecular axis. The primary energy acceptor has a somewhat shortened excited-state lifetime and reduced emission quantum yield due to charge transfer from a terminal amine residue, the latter being required for the molecular system to operate in organic solar cells. Under continuous illumination with simulated solar light, the dyad undergoes very slow decomposition. In a protic solvent, both BODIPY units degrade at the same rate via an autocatalytic process. The products, one of which is a protonated analogue of the donor, degrade further by independent routes. In aprotic solvents or thin plastic films, the acceptor BODIPY dye absorbing at lowest energy undergoes photochemical degradation as above but the donor is much more stable under these conditions. At each stage of degradation, the molecule retains the ability to sensitize an amorphous silicon solar cell and the overall turnover number with respect to absorbed photons exceeds 10 million. The optical properties of the target compound nicely complement those of the solar cell and sensitization helps to avoid Staebler-Wronski photo-degradation. PMID:25898915

  10. In Vitro Self-Assembly of the Light Harvesting Pigment-Protein LH2 Revealed by Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Electron Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Schubert, Axel; Stenstam, Anna; Beenken, Wichard J. D.; Herek, Jennifer L.; Cogdell, Richard; Pullerits, Tõnu; Sundström, Villy

    2004-01-01

    Controlled ensemble formation of protein-surfactant systems provides a fundamental concept for the realization of nanoscale devices with self-organizing capability. In this context, spectroscopic monitoring of pigment-containing proteins yields detailed structural information. Here we have studied the association behavior of the bacterial light-harvesting protein LH2 from Rhodobacter spheroides in an n,n-dimethyldodecylamine-n-oxide/water environment. Time-resolved studies of the excitation annihilation yielded information about aggregate sizes and packing of the protein complexes therein. The results are compared to transmission electron microscopy images of instantaneously frozen samples. Our data indicate the manifestation of different phases, which are discussed with respect to the thermodynamic equilibrium in ternary protein-surfactant-water systems. Accordingly, by varying the concentration the formation of different types of aggregates can be controlled. Conditions for the appearance of isolated LH2 complexes are defined. PMID:15041674

  11. DNA-Mediated Self-Assembly of Artificial Vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Hadorn, Maik; Eggenberger Hotz, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Background Although multicompartment systems made of single unilamellar vesicles offer the potential to outperform single compartment systems widely used in analytic, synthetic, and medical applications, their use has remained marginal to date. On the one hand, this can be attributed to the binary character of the majority of the current tethering protocols that impedes the implementation of real multicomponent or multifunctional systems. On the other hand, the few tethering protocols theoretically providing multicompartment systems composed of several distinct vesicle populations suffer from the readjustment of the vesicle formation procedure as well as from the loss of specificity of the linking mechanism over time. Methodology/Principal Findings In previous studies, we presented implementations of multicompartment systems and resolved the readjustment of the vesicle formation procedure as well as the loss of specificity by using linkers consisting of biotinylated DNA single strands that were anchored to phospholipid-grafted biotinylated PEG tethers via streptavidin as a connector. The systematic analysis presented herein provides evidences for the incorporation of phospholipid-grafted biotinylated PEG tethers to the vesicle membrane during vesicle formation, providing specific anchoring sites for the streptavidin loading of the vesicle membrane. Furthermore, DNA-mediated vesicle-vesicle self-assembly was found to be sequence-dependent and to depend on the presence of monovalent salts. Conclusions/Significance This study provides a solid basis for the implementation of multi-vesicle assemblies that may affect at least three distinct domains. (i) Analysis. Starting with a minimal system, the complexity of a bottom-up system is increased gradually facilitating the understanding of the components and their interaction. (ii) Synthesis. Consecutive reactions may be implemented in networks of vesicles that outperform current single compartment bioreactors in

  12. Two-dimensional artificial light-harvesting antennae with predesigned high-order structure and robust photosensitising activity.

    PubMed

    Feng, Xiao; Ding, Xuesong; Chen, Long; Wu, Yang; Liu, Lili; Addicoat, Matthew; Irle, Stephan; Dong, Yuping; Jiang, Donglin

    2016-01-01

    Highly ordered discrete assemblies of chlorophylls that are found in natural light-harvesting antennae are key to photosynthesis, which converts light energy to chemical energy and is the principal producer of organic matter on Earth. Porphyrins and phthalocyanines, which are analogues of chlorophylls, exhibit a strong absorbance of visible and near-infrared light, respectively. A highly ordered porphyrin-co-phthalocyanine antennae would harvest photons over the entire solar spectrum for chemical transformation. However, such a robust antennae has not yet been synthesised. Herein, we report a strategy that merges covalent bonds and noncovalent forces to produce highly ordered two-dimensional porphyrin-co-phthalocyanine antennae. This methodology enables control over the stoichiometry and order of the porphyrin and phthalocyanine units; more importantly, this approach is compatible with various metalloporphyrin and metallophthalocyanine derivatives and thus may lead to the generation of a broad structural diversity of two-dimensional artificial antennae. These ordered porphyrin-co-phthalocyanine two-dimensional antennae exhibit unique optical properties and catalytic functions that are not available with single-component or non-structured materials. These 2D artificial antennae exhibit exceptional light-harvesting capacity over the entire solar spectrum as a result of a synergistic light-absorption effect. In addition, they exhibit outstanding photosensitising activities in using both visible and near-infrared photons for producing singlet oxygen. PMID:27622274

  13. Artificial life simulation of self-assembly in bacteriophage by movable finite automata.

    PubMed

    Shirayama, Masatoshi; Koshino, Makoto; Hatakeyama, Toyomasa; Kimura, Haruhiko

    2004-11-01

    This paper presents a model which is based on biological research using the movable finite automata (MFA) on a self-assembly of T4 phage, and exhibits the results of artificial life simulation. In the previous work, Thompson and Goel [Artificial Life, Addison Weley, 1989, pp. 317-340; Biosystems 18 (1985) 23; J. Theor. Biol. 131 (1988) 351] presented the movable finite automata (MFA) which has a capability of moving on finite automata, and simulated on a computer. They were represented individual rectangular boxes, however, the results of simulation was different from real T4 phage. We propose the sphere model as a protein structure, and simulate the self-assembly of the entire structure of the T4 phage on a computer. PMID:15527954

  14. Artificial light-harvesting arrays: electronic energy migration and trapping on a sphere and between spheres.

    PubMed

    Iehl, Julien; Nierengarten, Jean-François; Harriman, Anthony; Bura, Thomas; Ziessel, Raymond

    2012-01-18

    A sophisticated model of the natural light-harvesting antenna has been devised by decorating a C(60) hexa-adduct with ten yellow and two blue boron dipyrromethene (Bodipy) dyes in such a way that the dyes retain their individuality and assist solubility of the fullerene. Unusually, the fullerene core is a poor electron acceptor and does not enter into light-induced electron-transfer reactions with the appended dyes, but ineffective electronic energy transfer from the excited-state dye to the C(60) residue competes with fluorescence from the yellow dye. Intraparticle electronic energy transfer from yellow to blue dyes can be followed by steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy and by excitation spectra for isolated C(60) nanoparticles dissolved in dioxane at 293 K and at 77 K. The decorated particles can be loaded into polymer films by spin coating from solution. In the dried film, efficient energy transfer occurs such that photons absorbed by the yellow dye are emitted by the blue dye. Films can also be prepared to contain C(60) nanoparticles loaded with the yellow Bodipy dye but lacking the blue dye and, under these circumstances, electronic energy migration occurs between yellow dyes appended to the same nanoparticle and, at higher loading, to dye molecules on nearby particles. Doping these latter polymer films with the mixed-dye nanoparticle coalesces these multifarious processes in a single system. Thus, long-range energy migration occurs among yellow dyes attached to different particles before trapping at a blue dye. In this respect, the film resembles the natural photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes, albeit at much reduced efficacy. The decorated nanoparticles sensitize amorphous silicon photocells. PMID:22148681

  15. Ultrahigh-density storage media prepared by artificially assisted self-assembling methods.

    PubMed

    Naito, Katsuyuki

    2005-12-01

    Two types of recording media possessing nanodot structures were investigated. The media were prepared by an artificially assisted self-assembling (AASA) method, which includes simple nanopatterning using a nanoimprint and fine nanopatterning using self-assembling organic molecules. One type of recording media is circumferential magnetic patterned media prepared on a 2.5-in.-diam glass plate. A Ni master disk possessing spiral patterns with 60-250 nm width lands and a 400 nm width groove was pressed to a resist film on a CoCrPt film to transfer the spiral patterns. A diblock copolymer solution was cast into the obtained grooves, and then annealed to prepare self-assembling dot structures aligned along the grooves. According to the dot patterns, the lower magnetic films were patterned by ion milling to yield patterned media with 40 nm diameter. We have also prepared FePt dot media with high magnetic anisotropy for near-field and magnetic-field hybrid recording aiming at more than 1 Tbin.2 density. A Ni stamp disk with aligned dot structures was also prepared by the AASA method to produce patterned media at the lowest cost. The other type of media was organic patterned media for X-Y type near-field optical storage. Bulky dye molecules were evaporated in vacuum to produce self-assembling amorphous nanodots. The dots were arranged by the AASA method, i.e., according to the polymethylmethacrylate film hole arrays or chemically patterned surface. PMID:16396600

  16. Design and self-assembly of simple coat proteins for artificial viruses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernandez-Garcia, Armando; Kraft, Daniela J.; Janssen, Anne F. J.; Bomans, Paul H. H.; Sommerdijk, Nico A. J. M.; Thies-Weesie, Dominique M. E.; Favretto, Marco E.; Brock, Roland; de Wolf, Frits A.; Werten, Marc W. T.; van der Schoot, Paul; Stuart, Martien Cohen; de Vries, Renko

    2014-09-01

    Viruses are among the simplest biological systems and are highly effective vehicles for the delivery of genetic material into susceptible host cells. Artificial viruses can be used as model systems for providing insights into natural viruses and can be considered a testing ground for developing artificial life. Moreover, they are used in biomedical and biotechnological applications, such as targeted delivery of nucleic acids for gene therapy and as scaffolds in material science. In a natural setting, survival of viruses requires that a significant fraction of the replicated genomes be completely protected by coat proteins. Complete protection of the genome is ensured by a highly cooperative supramolecular process between the coat proteins and the nucleic acids, which is based on reversible, weak and allosteric interactions only. However, incorporating this type of supramolecular cooperativity into artificial viruses remains challenging. Here, we report a rational design for a self-assembling minimal viral coat protein based on simple polypeptide domains. Our coat protein features precise control over the cooperativity of its self-assembly with single DNA molecules to finally form rod-shaped virus-like particles. We confirm the validity of our design principles by showing that the kinetics of self-assembly of our virus-like particles follows a previous model developed for tobacco mosaic virus. We show that our virus-like particles protect DNA against enzymatic degradation and transfect cells with considerable efficiency, making them promising delivery vehicles.

  17. Towards building artificial light harvesting complexes: enhanced singlet-singlet energy transfer between donor and acceptor pairs bound to albumins.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Challa V; Duff, Michael R

    2008-12-01

    -natural systems have been self-assembled which can capture donor-acceptor pairs and facilitate singlet-singlet energy transfer. Such systems may form a basis for the design and construction of protein-based multi-chromophore self-assemblies for solar light harvesting, conversion and storage. PMID:19037505

  18. Quantum coherence controls the charge separation in a prototypical artificial light-harvesting system

    PubMed Central

    Andrea Rozzi, Carlo; Maria Falke, Sarah; Spallanzani, Nicola; Rubio, Angel; Molinari, Elisa; Brida, Daniele; Maiuri, Margherita; Cerullo, Giulio; Schramm, Heiko; Christoffers, Jens; Lienau, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    The efficient conversion of light into electricity or chemical fuels is a fundamental challenge. In artificial photosynthetic and photovoltaic devices, this conversion is generally thought to happen on ultrafast, femto-to-picosecond timescales and to involve an incoherent electron transfer process. In some biological systems, however, there is growing evidence that the coherent motion of electronic wavepackets is an essential primary step, raising questions about the role of quantum coherence in artificial devices. Here we investigate the primary charge-transfer process in a supramolecular triad, a prototypical artificial reaction centre. Combining high time-resolution femtosecond spectroscopy and time-dependent density functional theory, we provide compelling evidence that the driving mechanism of the photoinduced current generation cycle is a correlated wavelike motion of electrons and nuclei on a timescale of few tens of femtoseconds. We highlight the fundamental role of the interface between chromophore and charge acceptor in triggering the coherent wavelike electron-hole splitting. PMID:23511467

  19. Vibronic coupling explains the ultrafast carotenoid-to-bacteriochlorophyll energy transfer in natural and artificial light harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perlík, Václav; Seibt, Joachim; Cranston, Laura J.; Cogdell, Richard J.; Lincoln, Craig N.; Savolainen, Janne; Šanda, František; Mančal, Tomáš; Hauer, Jürgen

    2015-06-01

    The initial energy transfer steps in photosynthesis occur on ultrafast timescales. We analyze the carotenoid to bacteriochlorophyll energy transfer in LH2 Marichromatium purpuratum as well as in an artificial light-harvesting dyad system by using transient grating and two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy with 10 fs time resolution. We find that Förster-type models reproduce the experimentally observed 60 fs transfer times, but overestimate coupling constants, which lead to a disagreement with both linear absorption and electronic 2D-spectra. We show that a vibronic model, which treats carotenoid vibrations on both electronic ground and excited states as part of the system's Hamiltonian, reproduces all measured quantities. Importantly, the vibronic model presented here can explain the fast energy transfer rates with only moderate coupling constants, which are in agreement with structure based calculations. Counterintuitively, the vibrational levels on the carotenoid electronic ground state play the central role in the excited state population transfer to bacteriochlorophyll; resonance between the donor-acceptor energy gap and the vibrational ground state energies is the physical basis of the ultrafast energy transfer rates in these systems.

  20. Vibronic coupling explains the ultrafast carotenoid-to-bacteriochlorophyll energy transfer in natural and artificial light harvesters.

    PubMed

    Perlík, Václav; Seibt, Joachim; Cranston, Laura J; Cogdell, Richard J; Lincoln, Craig N; Savolainen, Janne; Šanda, František; Mančal, Tomáš; Hauer, Jürgen

    2015-06-01

    The initial energy transfer steps in photosynthesis occur on ultrafast timescales. We analyze the carotenoid to bacteriochlorophyll energy transfer in LH2 Marichromatium purpuratum as well as in an artificial light-harvesting dyad system by using transient grating and two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy with 10 fs time resolution. We find that Förster-type models reproduce the experimentally observed 60 fs transfer times, but overestimate coupling constants, which lead to a disagreement with both linear absorption and electronic 2D-spectra. We show that a vibronic model, which treats carotenoid vibrations on both electronic ground and excited states as part of the system's Hamiltonian, reproduces all measured quantities. Importantly, the vibronic model presented here can explain the fast energy transfer rates with only moderate coupling constants, which are in agreement with structure based calculations. Counterintuitively, the vibrational levels on the carotenoid electronic ground state play the central role in the excited state population transfer to bacteriochlorophyll; resonance between the donor-acceptor energy gap and the vibrational ground state energies is the physical basis of the ultrafast energy transfer rates in these systems. PMID:26049454

  1. Vibronic coupling explains the ultrafast carotenoid-to-bacteriochlorophyll energy transfer in natural and artificial light harvesters

    SciTech Connect

    Perlík, Václav; Seibt, Joachim; Šanda, František; Mančal, Tomáš; Cranston, Laura J.; Cogdell, Richard J.; Lincoln, Craig N.; Hauer, Jürgen; Savolainen, Janne

    2015-06-07

    The initial energy transfer steps in photosynthesis occur on ultrafast timescales. We analyze the carotenoid to bacteriochlorophyll energy transfer in LH2 Marichromatium purpuratum as well as in an artificial light-harvesting dyad system by using transient grating and two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy with 10 fs time resolution. We find that Förster-type models reproduce the experimentally observed 60 fs transfer times, but overestimate coupling constants, which lead to a disagreement with both linear absorption and electronic 2D-spectra. We show that a vibronic model, which treats carotenoid vibrations on both electronic ground and excited states as part of the system’s Hamiltonian, reproduces all measured quantities. Importantly, the vibronic model presented here can explain the fast energy transfer rates with only moderate coupling constants, which are in agreement with structure based calculations. Counterintuitively, the vibrational levels on the carotenoid electronic ground state play the central role in the excited state population transfer to bacteriochlorophyll; resonance between the donor-acceptor energy gap and the vibrational ground state energies is the physical basis of the ultrafast energy transfer rates in these systems.

  2. Triplet excitons in natural photosynthetic and artificial light harvesting systems: Measurement and modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartzler, Daniel Allen

    artificial (B)Chl and porphyrin dimers by experimental and computational methods. This data set obtained allowed for the development of an empirical model for prediction of the triplet state site energy from a given singlet site energy and for development and calibration of a T-T coupling model. Use of these models shows that triplet state lowering by pigment-protein interaction provides photoprotection to the FMO complex, while triplet state lowering by triplet exciton formation is insufficient to provide protection to the chlorosome antenna. Additionally, the T-T coupling model shows that in dimers and other aggregates, the coupling is highly sensitive to relative monomer orientation and position, contrary to what was previously assumed. The simple exponential models used to estimate T-T couplings miss this orientation sensitivity, thus in systems with significant contact between adjacent monomers a more accurate approach is required.

  3. Highly permeable artificial water channels that can self-assemble into two-dimensional arrays.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yue-Xiao; Si, Wen; Erbakan, Mustafa; Decker, Karl; De Zorzi, Rita; Saboe, Patrick O; Kang, You Jung; Majd, Sheereen; Butler, Peter J; Walz, Thomas; Aksimentiev, Aleksei; Hou, Jun-li; Kumar, Manish

    2015-08-11

    Bioinspired artificial water channels aim to combine the high permeability and selectivity of biological aquaporin (AQP) water channels with chemical stability. Here, we carefully characterized a class of artificial water channels, peptide-appended pillar[5]arenes (PAPs). The average single-channel osmotic water permeability for PAPs is 1.0(± 0.3) × 10(-14) cm(3)/s or 3.5(± 1.0) × 10(8) water molecules per s, which is in the range of AQPs (3.4 ∼ 40.3 × 10(8) water molecules per s) and their current synthetic analogs, carbon nanotubes (CNTs, 9.0 × 10(8) water molecules per s). This permeability is an order of magnitude higher than first-generation artificial water channels (20 to ∼ 10(7) water molecules per s). Furthermore, within lipid bilayers, PAP channels can self-assemble into 2D arrays. Relevant to permeable membrane design, the pore density of PAP channel arrays (∼ 2.6 × 10(5) pores per μm(2)) is two orders of magnitude higher than that of CNT membranes (0.1 ∼ 2.5 × 10(3) pores per μm(2)). PAP channels thus combine the advantages of biological channels and CNTs and improve upon them through their relatively simple synthesis, chemical stability, and propensity to form arrays. PMID:26216964

  4. Highly permeable artificial water channels that can self-assemble into two-dimensional arrays

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Yue-xiao; Si, Wen; Erbakan, Mustafa; Decker, Karl; De Zorzi, Rita; Saboe, Patrick O.; Kang, You Jung; Majd, Sheereen; Butler, Peter J.; Walz, Thomas; Aksimentiev, Aleksei; Hou, Jun-li; Kumar, Manish

    2015-01-01

    Bioinspired artificial water channels aim to combine the high permeability and selectivity of biological aquaporin (AQP) water channels with chemical stability. Here, we carefully characterized a class of artificial water channels, peptide-appended pillar[5]arenes (PAPs). The average single-channel osmotic water permeability for PAPs is 1.0(±0.3) × 10−14 cm3/s or 3.5(±1.0) × 108 water molecules per s, which is in the range of AQPs (3.4∼40.3 × 108 water molecules per s) and their current synthetic analogs, carbon nanotubes (CNTs, 9.0 × 108 water molecules per s). This permeability is an order of magnitude higher than first-generation artificial water channels (20 to ∼107 water molecules per s). Furthermore, within lipid bilayers, PAP channels can self-assemble into 2D arrays. Relevant to permeable membrane design, the pore density of PAP channel arrays (∼2.6 × 105 pores per μm2) is two orders of magnitude higher than that of CNT membranes (0.1∼2.5 × 103 pores per μm2). PAP channels thus combine the advantages of biological channels and CNTs and improve upon them through their relatively simple synthesis, chemical stability, and propensity to form arrays. PMID:26216964

  5. Energy transfer in aggregates of bacteriochlorophyll c self-assembled with azulene derivatives.

    PubMed

    Matěnová, Martina; Lorelei Horhoiu, Viviana; Dang, Florian-Xuan; Pospíšil, Petr; Alster, Jan; Burda, Jaroslav V; Balaban, Teodor Silviu; Pšenčík, Jakub

    2014-08-21

    Bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) c is the main light-harvesting pigment of certain photosynthetic bacteria. It is found in the form of self-assembled aggregates in the so-called chlorosomes. Here we report the results of co-aggregation experiments of BChl c with azulene and its tailored derivatives. We have performed spectroscopic and quantum chemical characterization of the azulenes, followed by self-assembly experiments. The results show that only azulenes with sufficient hydrophobicity are able to induce aggregation of BChl c. Interestingly, only azulene derivatives possessing a conjugated phenyl ring were capable of efficient (∼50%) excitation energy transfer to BChl molecules. These aggregates represent an artificial light-harvesting complex with enhanced absorption between 220 and 350 nm compared to aggregates of pure BChl c. The results provide insight into the principles of self-assembly of BChl aggregates and suggest an important role of the π-π interactions in efficient energy transfer. PMID:24999619

  6. Structure of Light-Harvesting Aggregates in Individual Chlorosomes.

    PubMed

    Günther, Lisa M; Jendrny, Marc; Bloemsma, Erik A; Tank, Marcus; Oostergetel, Gert T; Bryant, Donald A; Knoester, Jasper; Köhler, Jürgen

    2016-06-23

    Among all photosynthetic organisms, green bacteria have evolved one of the most efficient light-harvesting antenna, the chlorosome, that contains hundreds of thousands of bacteriochlorophyll molecules, allowing these bacteria to grow photosynthetically by absorbing only a few photons per bacteriochlorophyll molecule per day. In contrast to other photosynthetic light-harvesting antenna systems, for which a protein scaffold imposes the proper positioning of the chromophores with respect to each other, in chlorosomes, this is accomplished solely by self-assembly. This has aroused enormous interest in the structure-function relations of these assemblies, as they can serve as blueprints for artificial light harvesting systems. In spite of these efforts, conclusive structural information is not available yet, reflecting the sample heterogeneity inherent to the natural system. Here we combine mutagenesis, polarization-resolved single-particle fluorescence-excitation spectroscopy, cryo-electron microscopy, and theoretical modeling to study the chlorosomes of the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobaculum tepidum. We demonstrate that only the combination of these techniques yields unambiguous information on the structure of the bacteriochlorophyll aggregates within the chlorosomes. Moreover, we provide a quantitative estimate of the curvature variation of these aggregates that explains ongoing debates concerning the chlorosome structure. PMID:27240572

  7. Membranes with artificial free-volume enabled by block copolymer self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petzetakis, Nikos; Balsara, Nitash

    2015-03-01

    There has been considerable success towards the development of polymeric porous materials with pore sizes in the meso- or macro-scale regime. However, manipulation of polymer porosity in the micro-scale (pore diameter < 2nm) remains challenging. Previous studies relied on changes on the chemical composition and structure of the polymeric material in order to achieve the formation of larger fractional free volume. In the present report we demonstrate a methodology with which we can force a polymeric material away from structural equilibrium and then kinetically arrest it at this -out of equilibrium- state, ultimately, enabling the creation of a polymeric material with artificial free volume. Our methodology is based on block copolymer/homopolymer binary blend self-assembly where the membranes are made by first creating a heterogeneous film of a ABA type triblock copolymer containing a soluble homopolymer, B. Then in a second washing step the soluble homopolymer chains are dissolved away. The volume fraction of the composite membrane occupied initially by chains of homopolymer B is now converted to extra free volume in the microphase of block B. Key role of block A is to kinetically arrest the structure of the polymer during and after the washing step.

  8. Selective internalization of self-assembled artificial oil bodies by HER2/neu-positive cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiang, Chung-Jen; Lin, Li-Jen; Lin, Che-Chin; Chang, Chih-Hsiang; Chao, Yun-Peng

    2011-01-01

    A novel delivery carrier was developed using artificial oil bodies (AOBs). Plant seed oil bodies (OBs) consist of a triacylglycerol matrix surrounded by a monolayer of phospholipids embedded with the storage protein oleosin (Ole). Ole consists of a central hydrophobic domain with two amphiphatic arms that extrude from the surface of OBs. In this study, a bivalent anti-HER2/neu affibody domain (ZH2) was fused with Ole at the C terminus. After overproduction in Escherichia coli, the fusion protein (Ole-ZH2) was recovered to assemble AOBs. The size of self-assembled AOBs was tailored by varying the oil/Ole-ZH2 ratio and pH to reach a nanoscale. Upon co-incubation with tumor cells, the nanoscale AOBs encapsulated with a hydrophobic fluorescence dye were selectively internalized by HER2/neu-overexpressing cells and displayed biocompatibility with the cells. In addition, the ZH2-mediated endosomal entry of AOBs occurred in a time- and AOB dose-dependent manner. The internalization efficiency was as high as 90%. The internalized AOBs disintegrated at the non-permissive pH (e.g. in acidic endosomes) and the cargo dye was released. Results of in vitro study revealed a sustained and prolonged release profile. Taken together, our findings indicate the potential of AOBs as a delivery carrier.

  9. Genetic exchange leading to self-assembling RNA species upon encapsulation in artificial protocells.

    PubMed

    Zenisek, Sergio-Francis M; Hayden, Eric J; Lehman, Niles

    2007-01-01

    The encapsulation of information-bearing macromolecules inside protocells is a critical step in scenarios for the origins of life on the Earth as well as for the construction of artificial living systems. For these protocells to emulate life, they must be able to transmit genetic information to other cells. We have used a water-in-oil emulsion system to simulate the compartmentalization of catalytic RNA molecules. By exploiting RNA-directed recombination reactions previously developed in our laboratory, including a ribozyme self-assembly pathway, we demonstrate that it is possible for information to be exchanged among protocells. This can happen either indirectly by the passage of divalent cations through the inter-protocellular medium (oil), or by the direct interaction of two or more protocells that allows RNA molecules to be exchanged. The degree of agitation affects the ability of such exchange. The consequences of these results include the implications that prototypical living systems can transmit information among compartments, and that the environment can regulate the extent of this crosstalk. PMID:17567246

  10. An enzyme-coupled artificial photosynthesis system prepared from antenna protein-mimetic tyrosyl bolaamphiphile self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Kwak, Jinyoung; Kim, Min-Chul; Lee, Sang-Yup

    2016-08-11

    An artificial photosynthesis system coupled with an enzyme was constructed using the nanospherical self-assembly of tyrosyl bolaamphiphiles, which worked as a host matrix exhibiting an antenna effect that allowed enhanced energy transfer to the ZnDPEG photosensitizer. The excited electrons from the photosensitizer were transferred to NAD+ to produce NADH, which subsequently initiated the conversion of an aldehyde to ethanol by alcohol dehydrogenase. Production of NADH and ethanol was enhanced by increasing the concentration of tyrosyl bolaamphiphiles. Spectroscopic investigations proved that the photosensitizer closely associated with the surface of the bolaamphiphile assembly through hydrogen bonds that allowed energy transfer between the host matrix and the photosensitizer. This study demonstrates that the self-assembly of bolaamphiphiles could be applicable to the construction of biomimetic energy systems exploiting biochemical activity. PMID:27480074

  11. In vitro re-hardening of artificial enamel caries lesions using enamel matrix proteins or self-assembling peptides.

    PubMed

    Schmidlin, Patrick; Zobrist, Katja; Attin, Thomas; Wegehaupt, Florian

    2016-02-01

    Objectives To assess the re-hardening potential of enamel matrix derivatives (EMD) and self-assembling peptides in vitro, hypothesizing that these materials may increase the mineralization of artificial carious lesions and improve hardness profiles. Material and Methods Forty-eight enamel samples were prepared from extracted bovine lower central incisors. After embedding and polishing, nail varnish was applied, leaving a defined test area. One third of this area was covered with a flowable composite (non-demineralized control). The remaining area was demineralized in an acidic buffer solution for 18 d to simulate a carious lesion. Half the demineralized area was then covered with composite (demineralized control), while the last third was left open for three test and one control treatments: (A) Application of enamel-matrix proteins (EMD - lyophilized protein fractions dissolved in acetic acid, Straumann), (B) self-assembling peptides (SAP, Curodont), or (C) amine fluoride solution (Am-F, GABA) for 5 min each. Untreated samples (D) served as control. After treatment, samples were immersed in artificial saliva for four weeks (remineralization phase) and microhardness (Knoop) depth profiles (25-300 µm) were obtained at sections. Two-way ANOVA was calculated to determine differences between the areas (re-hardening or softening). Results Decalcification resulted in significant softening of the subsurface enamel in all groups (A-D). A significant re-hardening up to 125 µm was observed in the EMD and SAP groups. Conclusions This study showed that EMD and SAP were able to improve the hardness profiles when applied to deep demineralized artificial lesions. However, further research is needed to verify and improve this observed effect. PMID:27008255

  12. In vitro re-hardening of artificial enamel caries lesions using enamel matrix proteins or self-assembling peptides

    PubMed Central

    Schmidlin, Patrick; Zobrist, Katja; Attin, Thomas; Wegehaupt, Florian

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Objectives To assess the re-hardening potential of enamel matrix derivatives (EMD) and self-assembling peptides in vitro, hypothesizing that these materials may increase the mineralization of artificial carious lesions and improve hardness profiles. Material and Methods Forty-eight enamel samples were prepared from extracted bovine lower central incisors. After embedding and polishing, nail varnish was applied, leaving a defined test area. One third of this area was covered with a flowable composite (non-demineralized control). The remaining area was demineralized in an acidic buffer solution for 18 d to simulate a carious lesion. Half the demineralized area was then covered with composite (demineralized control), while the last third was left open for three test and one control treatments: (A) Application of enamel-matrix proteins (EMD - lyophilized protein fractions dissolved in acetic acid, Straumann), (B) self-assembling peptides (SAP, Curodont), or (C) amine fluoride solution (Am-F, GABA) for 5 min each. Untreated samples (D) served as control. After treatment, samples were immersed in artificial saliva for four weeks (remineralization phase) and microhardness (Knoop) depth profiles (25-300 µm) were obtained at sections. Two-way ANOVA was calculated to determine differences between the areas (re-hardening or softening). Results Decalcification resulted in significant softening of the subsurface enamel in all groups (A-D). A significant re-hardening up to 125 µm was observed in the EMD and SAP groups. Conclusions This study showed that EMD and SAP were able to improve the hardness profiles when applied to deep demineralized artificial lesions. However, further research is needed to verify and improve this observed effect. PMID:27008255

  13. Self-assembled chromophores within mesoporous nanocrystalline TiO2: towards biomimetic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Marek, Peter L; Sieger, Hermann; Scherer, Torsten; Hahn, Horst; Balaban, Teodor Silviu

    2009-06-01

    Artificial light-harvesting antennas consisting of self-assembled chromophores that mimic the natural pigments of photosynthetic bacteria have been inserted into voids induced in porous titania (TiO2, anatase) in order to investigate their suitability for hybrid solar cells. Mesoporous nanocrystalline TiO2 with additional uniform macropores was treated with precursor solutions of the pigment which was then induced to self-assemble within the voids. The chromophores were tailored to combine the self-assembly characteristics of the natural bacteriochlorophylls with the robustness of artificial Zn-porphyrins being stable for prolonged periods even upon heating to over 200 degrees C. They assemble on the TiO2 surface to form nano- to micro-crystalline structures with lengths from tens of nm up to several microm and show a photosensitization effect which is supposed to be dependent on the assembly size. The natural examples of these antennas are found in green sulfur bacteria which are able to use photosynthesis in deep water regions with minute light intensities. The implementation of biomimetic antennas for light harvesting and a better photon management may lead to a rise in efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells also under low light illumination conditions. PMID:19504907

  14. Light-harvesting dendrimers.

    PubMed

    Balzani, Vincenzo; Ceroni, Paola; Maestri, Mauro; Vicinelli, Veronica

    2003-12-01

    Dendrimers are well-defined, tree-like macromolecules, with a high degree of order and the possibility to contain selected chemical units in predetermined sites of their structure. Dendrimers are currently attracting the interest of many scientists because of their unusual chemical and physical properties and the wide range of potential applications. It is possible to design and synthesize dendrimers containing a variety of chromophoric groups organized in the dimensions of time, energy and space so as to obtain efficient light-harvesting devices that can be useful for solar energy conversion and other purposes. PMID:14644173

  15. Towards Self-Assembled Hybrid Artificial Cells: Novel Bottom-Up Approaches to Functional Synthetic Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Brea, Roberto J.; Hardy, Michael D.; Devaraj, Neal K.

    2015-01-01

    There has been increasing interest in utilizing bottom-up approaches to develop synthetic cells. A popular methodology is the integration of functionalized synthetic membranes with biological systems, producing “hybrid” artificial cells. This Concept article covers recent advances and the current state-of-the-art of such hybrid systems. Specifically, we describe minimal supramolecular constructs that faithfully mimic the structure and/or function of living cells, often by controlling the assembly of highly ordered membrane architectures with defined functionality. These studies give us a deeper understanding of the nature of living systems, bring new insights into the origin of cellular life, and provide novel synthetic chassis for advancing synthetic biology. PMID:26149747

  16. The supramolecular organization of self-assembling chlorosomal bacteriochlorophyll c, d, or e mimics

    PubMed Central

    Jochum, Tobias; Reddy, Chilla Malla; Eichhöfer, Andreas; Buth, Gernot; Szmytkowski, Jędrzej; Kalt, Heinz; Moss, David; Balaban, Teodor Silviu

    2008-01-01

    Bacteriochlorophylls (BChls) c, d, and e are the main light-harvesting pigments of green photosynthetic bacteria that self-assemble into nanostructures within the chlorosomes forming the most efficient antennas of photosynthetic organisms. All previous models of the chlorosomal antennae, which are quite controversially discussed because no single crystals could be grown so far from these organelles, involve a strong hydrogen-bonding interaction between the 31 hydroxyl group and the 131 carbonyl group. We have synthesized different self-assemblies of BChl c mimics having the same functional groups as the natural counterparts, that is, a hydroxyethyl substituent, a carbonyl group and a divalent metal atom ligated by a tetrapyrrole. These artificial BChl mimics have been shown by single crystal x-ray diffraction to form extended stacks that are packed by hydrophobic interactions and in the absence of hydrogen bonding. Time-resolved photoluminescence proves the ordered nature of the self-assembled stacks. FT-IR spectra show that on self-assembly the carbonyl frequency is shifted by ≈30 cm−1 to lower wavenumbers. From the FT-IR data we can infer the proximal interactions between the BChls in the chlorosomes consistent with a single crystal x-ray structure that shows a weak electrostatic interaction between carbonyl groups and the central zinc atom. PMID:18755898

  17. The supramolecular organization of self-assembling chlorosomal bacteriochlorophyll c, d, or e mimics.

    PubMed

    Jochum, Tobias; Reddy, Chilla Malla; Eichhöfer, Andreas; Buth, Gernot; Szmytkowski, Jedrzej; Kalt, Heinz; Moss, David; Balaban, Teodor Silviu

    2008-09-01

    Bacteriochlorophylls (BChls) c, d, and e are the main light-harvesting pigments of green photosynthetic bacteria that self-assemble into nanostructures within the chlorosomes forming the most efficient antennas of photosynthetic organisms. All previous models of the chlorosomal antennae, which are quite controversially discussed because no single crystals could be grown so far from these organelles, involve a strong hydrogen-bonding interaction between the 3(1) hydroxyl group and the 13(1) carbonyl group. We have synthesized different self-assemblies of BChl c mimics having the same functional groups as the natural counterparts, that is, a hydroxyethyl substituent, a carbonyl group and a divalent metal atom ligated by a tetrapyrrole. These artificial BChl mimics have been shown by single crystal x-ray diffraction to form extended stacks that are packed by hydrophobic interactions and in the absence of hydrogen bonding. Time-resolved photoluminescence proves the ordered nature of the self-assembled stacks. FT-IR spectra show that on self-assembly the carbonyl frequency is shifted by approximately 30 cm(-1) to lower wavenumbers. From the FT-IR data we can infer the proximal interactions between the BChls in the chlorosomes consistent with a single crystal x-ray structure that shows a weak electrostatic interaction between carbonyl groups and the central zinc atom. PMID:18755898

  18. Towards a comprehensive insight into efficient hydrogen production by self-assembled Ru(bpy)3(2+)-polymer-Pt artificial photosystems.

    PubMed

    Lin, Huan; Liu, Dan; Long, Jinlin; Zhang, Zizhong; Zhuang, Huaqiang; Zheng, Yi; Wang, Xuxu

    2015-04-28

    The role of polymers in artificial photosystems has been studied in detail. The photosystems were composed of tris(2,2'-bipyridyl) ruthenium(II) chloride as a photosensitizer (PS), colloidal Pt stabilized by polymer as a hydrogen-evolving catalyst and sodium ascorbate as an electron donor, without the addition of a traditional molecular electron mediator. Comprehensive insights into the production of hydrogen on irradiation with visible light were achieved. Several polymers, including neutral polyvinyl pyrrolidone, anionic poly(sodium 4-styrene sulfonate) and poly(acrylic acid) not only stabilized the nanoparticles, but were also effective in the production of hydrogen. Under the optimum conditions, an outstanding apparent quantum efficiency of 12.8% for the evolution of hydrogen was achieved. The formation of self-assembled and spatially separated donor-acceptor complexes via the non-covalent intermolecular interaction between PS and the polymer-Pt was pivotal in the efficient conversion of solar energy to hydrogen fuel. Important details of the photo-induced electron and energy transfer processes in the self-assembled artificial photosystems were determined by nanosecond transient absorption spectrometry and time-resolved fluorescence spectrometry. The initial step in the photo-catalytic production of hydrogen was a reductive quenching of the triplet excited state of the PS by sodium ascorbate, leading to a reduced form of PS, which could then be quickly quenched by the polymer. The rate-determining step was the electron transfer from PS to the catalyst via the polymer bridge. PMID:25811660

  19. Self-assembly of Ni-NTA-modified β-annulus peptides into artificial viral capsids and encapsulation of His-tagged proteins.

    PubMed

    Matsuura, Kazunori; Nakamura, Tomohiro; Watanabe, Kenta; Noguchi, Takanori; Minamihata, Kosuke; Kamiya, Noriho; Kimizuka, Nobuo

    2016-08-16

    β-Annulus peptides bearing Cys at the N-terminal from tomato bushy stunt virus were synthesised using a standard Fmoc-protected solid-phase method, and the peptide was modified with Ni-NTA at the N-terminal. The Ni-NTA-modified β-annulus peptide self-assembled into virus-like nanocapsules of approximately 40 nm in diameter. The critical aggregation concentration of these nanocapsules in 10 mM Tris-HCl buffer (pH 7.3) at 25 °C was 0.053 μM, which is 470 times lower than that of unmodified β-annulus peptides. Moreover, size exclusion chromatography of the peptide assembly indicated encapsulation of His-tagged green fluorescent protein in the Ni-NTA-modified artificial viral capsid. PMID:27386944

  20. Self-assembled lipid bilayer materials

    DOEpatents

    Sasaki, Darryl Y.; Waggoner, Tina A.; Last, Julie A.

    2005-11-08

    The present invention is a self-assembling material comprised of stacks of lipid bilayers formed in a columnar structure, where the assembly process is mediated and regulated by chemical recognition events. The material, through the chemical recognition interactions, has a self-regulating system that corrects the radial size of the assembly creating a uniform diameter throughout most of the structure. The materials form and are stable in aqueous solution. These materials are useful as structural elements for the architecture of materials and components in nanotechnology, efficient light harvesting systems for optical sensing, chemical processing centers, and drug delivery vehicles.

  1. The chlorosome: a prototype for efficient light harvesting in photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Oostergetel, Gert T; van Amerongen, Herbert; Boekema, Egbert J

    2010-06-01

    Three phyla of bacteria include phototrophs that contain unique antenna systems, chlorosomes, as the principal light-harvesting apparatus. Chlorosomes are the largest known supramolecular antenna systems and contain hundreds of thousands of BChl c/d/e molecules enclosed by a single membrane leaflet and a baseplate. The BChl pigments are organized via self-assembly and do not require proteins to provide a scaffold for efficient light harvesting. Their excitation energy flows via a small protein, CsmA embedded in the baseplate to the photosynthetic reaction centres. Chlorosomes allow for photosynthesis at very low light intensities by ultra-rapid transfer of excitations to reaction centres and enable organisms with chlorosomes to live at extraordinarily low light intensities under which no other phototrophic organisms can grow. This article reviews several aspects of chlorosomes: the supramolecular and molecular organizations and the light-harvesting and spectroscopic properties. In addition, it provides some novel information about the organization of the baseplate. PMID:20130996

  2. The chlorosome: a prototype for efficient light harvesting in photosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Oostergetel, Gert T.; van Amerongen, Herbert

    2010-01-01

    Three phyla of bacteria include phototrophs that contain unique antenna systems, chlorosomes, as the principal light-harvesting apparatus. Chlorosomes are the largest known supramolecular antenna systems and contain hundreds of thousands of BChl c/d/e molecules enclosed by a single membrane leaflet and a baseplate. The BChl pigments are organized via self-assembly and do not require proteins to provide a scaffold for efficient light harvesting. Their excitation energy flows via a small protein, CsmA embedded in the baseplate to the photosynthetic reaction centres. Chlorosomes allow for photosynthesis at very low light intensities by ultra-rapid transfer of excitations to reaction centres and enable organisms with chlorosomes to live at extraordinarily low light intensities under which no other phototrophic organisms can grow. This article reviews several aspects of chlorosomes: the supramolecular and molecular organizations and the light-harvesting and spectroscopic properties. In addition, it provides some novel information about the organization of the baseplate. PMID:20130996

  3. A switchable self-assembling and disassembling chiral system based on a porphyrin-substituted phenylalanine-phenylalanine motif.

    PubMed

    Charalambidis, Georgios; Georgilis, Evangelos; Panda, Manas K; Anson, Christopher E; Powell, Annie K; Doyle, Stephen; Moss, David; Jochum, Tobias; Horton, Peter N; Coles, Simon J; Linares, Mathieu; Beljonne, David; Naubron, Jean-Valère; Conradt, Jonas; Kalt, Heinz; Mitraki, Anna; Coutsolelos, Athanassios G; Balaban, Teodor Silviu

    2016-01-01

    Artificial light-harvesting systems have until now not been able to self-assemble into structures with a large photon capture cross-section that upon a stimulus reversibly can switch into an inactive state. Here we describe a simple and robust FLFL-dipeptide construct to which a meso-tetraphenylporphyrin has been appended and which self-assembles to fibrils, platelets or nanospheres depending on the solvent composition. The fibrils, functioning as quenched antennas, give intense excitonic couplets in the electronic circular dichroism spectra which are mirror imaged if the unnatural FDFD-analogue is used. By slightly increasing the solvent polarity, these light-harvesting fibres disassemble to spherical structures with silent electronic circular dichroism spectra but which fluoresce. Upon further dilution with the nonpolar solvent, the intense Cotton effects are recovered, thus proving a reversible switching. A single crystal X-ray structure shows a head-to-head arrangement of porphyrins that explains both their excitonic coupling and quenched fluorescence. PMID:27582363

  4. Semiconducting nanowires from hairpin-shaped self-assembling sexithiophenes.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Wei-Wen; Tevis, Ian D; Tayi, Alok S; Cui, Honggang; Stupp, Samuel I

    2010-11-18

    Conjugated organic molecules can be designed to self-assemble from solution into nanostructures for functions such as charge transport, light emission, or light harvesting. We report here the design and synthesis of a novel hairpin-shaped self-assembling molecule containing electronically active sexithiophene moieties. In several nonpolar organic solvents, such as toluene or chlorocyclohexane, this compound was found to form organogels composed of nanofibers with uniform diameters of 3.0 (±0.3) nm. NMR analysis and spectroscopic measurements revealed that the self-assembly is driven by π-π interactions of the sexithiophene moieties and hydrogen bonding among the amide groups at the head of the hairpin. Field effect transistors built with this molecule revealed p-type semiconducting behavior and higher hole mobilities when films were cast from solvents that promote self-assembly. We propose that hydrogen bonding and π-π stacking act synergistically to create ordered stacking of sexithiophene moieties, thus providing an efficient pathway for charge carriers within the nanowires. The nanostructures formed exhibit unusually broad absorbance in their UV-vis spectrum, which we attribute to the coexistence of both H and J aggregates from face-to-face π-π stacking of sexithiophene moieties and hierarchical bundling of the nanowires. The large absorption range associated with self-assembly of the hairpin molecules makes them potentially useful in light harvesting for energy applications. PMID:20698523

  5. Biohybrid photosynthetic antenna complexes for enhanced light-harvesting.

    PubMed

    Springer, Joseph W; Parkes-Loach, Pamela S; Reddy, Kanumuri Ramesh; Krayer, Michael; Jiao, Jieying; Lee, Gregory M; Niedzwiedzki, Dariusz M; Harris, Michelle A; Kirmaier, Christine; Bocian, David F; Lindsey, Jonathan S; Holten, Dewey; Loach, Paul A

    2012-03-14

    Biohybrid antenna systems have been constructed that contain synthetic chromophores attached to 31mer analogues of the bacterial photosynthetic core light-harvesting (LH1) β-polypeptide. The peptides are engineered with a Cys site for bioconjugation with maleimide-terminated chromophores, which include synthetic bacteriochlorins (BC1, BC2) with strong near-infrared absorption and commercial dyes Oregon green (OGR) and rhodamine red (RR) with strong absorption in the blue-green to yellow-orange regions. The peptides place the Cys 14 (or 6) residues before a native His site that binds bacteriochlorophyll a (BChl-a) and, like the native LH proteins, have high helical content as probed by single-reflection IR spectroscopy. The His residue associates with BChl-a as in the native LH1 β-polypeptide to form dimeric ββ-subunit complexes [31mer(-14Cys)X/BChl](2), where X is one of the synthetic chromophores. The native-like BChl-a dimer has Q(y) absorption at 820 nm and serves as the acceptor for energy from light absorbed by the appended synthetic chromophore. The energy-transfer characteristics of biohybrid complexes have been characterized by steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence and absorption measurements. The quantum yields of energy transfer from a synthetic chromophore located 14 residues from the BChl-coordinating His site are as follows: OGR (0.30) < RR (0.60) < BC2 (0.90). Oligomeric assemblies of the subunit complexes [31mer(-14Cys)X/BChl](n) are accompanied by a bathochromic shift of the Q(y) absorption of the BChl-a oligomer as far as the 850-nm position found in cyclic native photosynthetic LH2 complexes. Room-temperature stabilized oligomeric biohybrids have energy-transfer quantum yields comparable to those of the dimeric subunit complexes as follows: OGR (0.20) < RR (0.80) < BC1 (0.90). Thus, the new biohybrid antennas retain the energy-transfer and self-assembly characteristics of the native antenna complexes, offer enhanced coverage of the solar

  6. Biogenesis of light harvesting proteins.

    PubMed

    Dall'Osto, Luca; Bressan, Mauro; Bassi, Roberto

    2015-09-01

    The LHC family includes nuclear-encoded, integral thylakoid membrane proteins, most of which coordinate chlorophyll and xanthophyll chromophores. By assembling with the core complexes of both photosystems, LHCs form a flexible peripheral moiety for enhancing light-harvesting cross-section, regulating its efficiency and providing protection against photo-oxidative stress. Upon its first appearance, LHC proteins underwent evolutionary diversification into a large protein family with a complex genetic redundancy. Such differentiation appears as a crucial event in the adaptation of photosynthetic organisms to changing environmental conditions and land colonization. The structure of photosystems, including nuclear- and chloroplast-encoded subunits, presented the cell with a number of challenges for the control of the light harvesting function. Indeed, LHC-encoding messages are translated in the cytosol, and pre-proteins imported into the chloroplast, processed to their mature size and targeted to the thylakoids where are assembled with chromophores. Thus, a tight coordination between nuclear and plastid gene expression, in response to environmental stimuli, is required to adjust LHC composition during photoacclimation. In recent years, remarkable progress has been achieved in elucidating structure, function and regulatory pathways involving LHCs; however, a number of molecular details still await elucidation. In this review, we will provide an overview on the current knowledge on LHC biogenesis, ranging from organization of pigment-protein complexes to the modulation of gene expression, import and targeting to the photosynthetic membranes, and regulation of LHC assembly and turnover. Genes controlling these events are potential candidate for biotechnological applications aimed at optimizing light use efficiency of photosynthetic organisms. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Chloroplast biogenesis. PMID:25687893

  7. OligArch: A software tool to allow artificially expanded genetic information systems (AEGIS) to guide the autonomous self-assembly of long DNA constructs from multiple DNA single strands

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, Kevin M

    2014-01-01

    Summary Synthetic biologists wishing to self-assemble large DNA (L-DNA) constructs from small DNA fragments made by automated synthesis need fragments that hybridize predictably. Such predictability is difficult to obtain with nucleotides built from just the four standard nucleotides. Natural DNA's peculiar combination of strong and weak G:C and A:T pairs, the context-dependence of the strengths of those pairs, unimolecular strand folding that competes with desired interstrand hybridization, and non-Watson–Crick interactions available to standard DNA, all contribute to this unpredictability. In principle, adding extra nucleotides to the genetic alphabet can improve the predictability and reliability of autonomous DNA self-assembly, simply by increasing the information density of oligonucleotide sequences. These extra nucleotides are now available as parts of artificially expanded genetic information systems (AEGIS), and tools are now available to generate entirely standard DNA from AEGIS DNA during PCR amplification. Here, we describe the OligArch (for "oligonucleotide architecting") software, an application that permits synthetic biologists to engineer optimally self-assembling DNA constructs from both six- and eight-letter AEGIS alphabets. This software has been used to design oligonucleotides that self-assemble to form complete genes from 20 or more single-stranded synthetic oligonucleotides. OligArch is therefore a key element of a scalable and integrated infrastructure for the rapid and designed engineering of biology. PMID:25161743

  8. Principles of light harvesting from single photosynthetic complexes.

    PubMed

    Schlau-Cohen, G S

    2015-06-01

    Photosynthetic systems harness sunlight to power most life on Earth. In the initial steps of photosynthetic light harvesting, absorbed energy is converted to chemical energy with near-unity quantum efficiency. This is achieved by an efficient, directional and regulated flow of energy through a network of proteins. Here, we discuss the following three key principles of this flow and of photosynthetic light harvesting: thermal fluctuations of the protein structure; intrinsic conformational switches with defined functional consequences; and environmentally triggered conformational switches. Through these principles, photosynthetic systems balance two types of operational costs: metabolic costs, or the cost of maintaining and running the molecular machinery, and opportunity costs, or the cost of losing any operational time. Understanding how the molecular machinery and dynamics are designed to balance these costs may provide a blueprint for improved artificial light-harvesting devices. With a multi-disciplinary approach combining knowledge of biology, this blueprint could lead to low-cost and more effective solar energy conversion. Photosynthetic systems achieve widespread light harvesting across the Earth's surface; in the face of our growing energy needs, this is functionality we need to replicate, and perhaps emulate. PMID:26052423

  9. Principles of light harvesting from single photosynthetic complexes

    PubMed Central

    Schlau-Cohen, G. S.

    2015-01-01

    Photosynthetic systems harness sunlight to power most life on Earth. In the initial steps of photosynthetic light harvesting, absorbed energy is converted to chemical energy with near-unity quantum efficiency. This is achieved by an efficient, directional and regulated flow of energy through a network of proteins. Here, we discuss the following three key principles of this flow and of photosynthetic light harvesting: thermal fluctuations of the protein structure; intrinsic conformational switches with defined functional consequences; and environmentally triggered conformational switches. Through these principles, photosynthetic systems balance two types of operational costs: metabolic costs, or the cost of maintaining and running the molecular machinery, and opportunity costs, or the cost of losing any operational time. Understanding how the molecular machinery and dynamics are designed to balance these costs may provide a blueprint for improved artificial light-harvesting devices. With a multi-disciplinary approach combining knowledge of biology, this blueprint could lead to low-cost and more effective solar energy conversion. Photosynthetic systems achieve widespread light harvesting across the Earth's surface; in the face of our growing energy needs, this is functionality we need to replicate, and perhaps emulate. PMID:26052423

  10. Controlling Light Harvesting with Light.

    PubMed

    Gwizdala, Michal; Berera, Rudi; Kirilovsky, Diana; van Grondelle, Rienk; Krüger, Tjaart P J

    2016-09-14

    When exposed to intense sunlight, all organisms performing oxygenic photosynthesis implement various photoprotective strategies to prevent potentially lethal photodamage. The rapidly responding photoprotective mechanisms, occurring in the light-harvesting pigment-protein antennae, take effect within tens of seconds, while the dramatic and potentially harmful light intensity fluctuations manifest also on shorter time scales. Here we show that, upon illumination, individual phycobilisomes from Synechocystis PCC 6803, which, in vivo under low-light conditions, harvest solar energy, and have the built-in capacity to switch rapidly and reversibly into light-activated energy-dissipating states. Simultaneously measured fluorescence intensity, lifetime, and spectra, compared with a multicompartmental kinetic model, revealed that essentially any subunit of a phycobilisome can be quenched, and that the core complexes were targeted most frequently. Our results provide the first evidence for fluorescence blinking from a biologically active system at physiological light intensities and suggest that the light-controlled switches to intrinsically available energy-dissipating states are responsible for a novel type of photoprotection in cyanobacteria. We anticipate other photosynthetic organisms to employ similar strategies to respond instantly to rapid solar light intensity fluctuations. A detailed understanding of the photophysics of photosynthetic antenna complexes is of great interest for bioinspired solar energy technologies. PMID:27546794

  11. Optimal Energy Transfer in Light-Harvesting Systems.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lipeng; Shenai, Prathamesh; Zheng, Fulu; Somoza, Alejandro; Zhao, Yang

    2015-01-01

    Photosynthesis is one of the most essential biological processes in which specialized pigment-protein complexes absorb solar photons, and with a remarkably high efficiency, guide the photo-induced excitation energy toward the reaction center to subsequently trigger its conversion to chemical energy. In this work, we review the principles of optimal energy transfer in various natural and artificial light harvesting systems. We begin by presenting the guiding principles for optimizing the energy transfer efficiency in systems connected to dissipative environments, with particular attention paid to the potential role of quantum coherence in light harvesting systems. We will comment briefly on photo-protective mechanisms in natural systems that ensure optimal functionality under varying ambient conditions. For completeness, we will also present an overview of the charge separation and electron transfer pathways in reaction centers. Finally, recent theoretical and experimental progress on excitation energy transfer, charge separation, and charge transport in artificial light harvesting systems is delineated, with organic solar cells taken as prime examples. PMID:26307957

  12. Self-assembling RNA square

    SciTech Connect

    Dibrov, Sergey M.; McLean, Jaime; Parsons, Jerod; Hermann, Thomas

    2011-12-22

    The three-dimensional structures of noncoding RNA molecules reveal recurring architectural motifs that have been exploited for the design of artificial RNA nanomaterials. Programmed assembly of RNA nanoobjects from autonomously folding tetraloop-receptor complexes as well as junction motifs has been achieved previously through sequence-directed hybridization of complex sets of long oligonucleotides. Due to size and complexity, structural characterization of artificial RNA nanoobjects has been limited to low-resolution microscopy studies. Here we present the design, construction, and crystal structure determination at 2.2 {angstrom} of the smallest yet square-shaped nanoobject made entirely of double-stranded RNA. The RNA square is comprised of 100 residues and self-assembles from four copies each of two oligonucleotides of 10 and 15 bases length. Despite the high symmetry on the level of secondary structure, the three-dimensional architecture of the square is asymmetric, with all four corners adopting distinct folding patterns. We demonstrate the programmed self-assembly of RNA squares from complex mixtures of corner units and establish a concept to exploit the RNA square as a combinatorial nanoscale platform.

  13. Self assembling proteins

    DOEpatents

    Yeates, Todd O.; Padilla, Jennifer; Colovos, Chris

    2004-06-29

    Novel fusion proteins capable of self-assembling into regular structures, as well as nucleic acids encoding the same, are provided. The subject fusion proteins comprise at least two oligomerization domains rigidly linked together, e.g. through an alpha helical linking group. Also provided are regular structures comprising a plurality of self-assembled fusion proteins of the subject invention, and methods for producing the same. The subject fusion proteins find use in the preparation of a variety of nanostructures, where such structures include: cages, shells, double-layer rings, two-dimensional layers, three-dimensional crystals, filaments, and tubes.

  14. Self-assembly of fluorescent carbon dots in a N,N-dimethylmethanamide solution via Schiff base reaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Shengliang; Ding, Yanli; Chang, Qing; Trinchi, Adrian; Lin, Kui; Yang, Jinlong; Liu, Jun

    2015-02-01

    The transition from nanoparticles suspended in aqueous solutions into solid fluorescent structures is developed for application in solid functional devices. The presented approach enables the organization of carbon dots into rod-like shapes that can still be re-dispersed into aqueous solution. Schiff bases forming at the surface of carbon dots not only protect their surface states, but also provide sites for tethering to other carbon dots. As a consequence, the large assemblies of CDs can come together to form regular, well ordered structures whilst still maintaining their photoluminescence properties. This opens up enormous possibilities for device manufacture, as these self-assemblies could be grown or grafted onto templates forming regular structures, and find innumerable applications ranging from optoelectronic devices, light harvesting to artificial photosynthesis.The transition from nanoparticles suspended in aqueous solutions into solid fluorescent structures is developed for application in solid functional devices. The presented approach enables the organization of carbon dots into rod-like shapes that can still be re-dispersed into aqueous solution. Schiff bases forming at the surface of carbon dots not only protect their surface states, but also provide sites for tethering to other carbon dots. As a consequence, the large assemblies of CDs can come together to form regular, well ordered structures whilst still maintaining their photoluminescence properties. This opens up enormous possibilities for device manufacture, as these self-assemblies could be grown or grafted onto templates forming regular structures, and find innumerable applications ranging from optoelectronic devices, light harvesting to artificial photosynthesis. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Experimental details and more characterization of carbon dot assemblies. See DOI: 10.1039/c4nr07119k

  15. Photovoltaic self-assembly.

    SciTech Connect

    Lavin, Judith; Kemp, Richard Alan; Stewart, Constantine A.

    2010-10-01

    This late-start LDRD was focused on the application of chemical principles of self-assembly on the ordering and placement of photovoltaic cells in a module. The drive for this chemical-based self-assembly stems from the escalating prices in the 'pick-and-place' technology currently used in the MEMS industries as the size of chips decreases. The chemical self-assembly principles are well-known on a molecular scale in other material science systems but to date had not been applied to the assembly of cells in a photovoltaic array or module. We explored several types of chemical-based self-assembly techniques, including gold-thiol interactions, liquid polymer binding, and hydrophobic-hydrophilic interactions designed to array both Si and GaAs PV chips onto a substrate. Additional research was focused on the modification of PV cells in an effort to gain control over the facial directionality of the cells in a solvent-based environment. Despite being a small footprint research project worked on for only a short time, the technical results and scientific accomplishments were significant and could prove to be enabling technology in the disruptive advancement of the microelectronic photovoltaics industry.

  16. Modeling Protein Self Assembly

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, William P.; Jones, Carleton Buck; Hull, Elizabeth

    2004-01-01

    Understanding the structure and function of proteins is an important part of the standards-based science curriculum. Proteins serve vital roles within the cell and malfunctions in protein self assembly are implicated in degenerative diseases. Experience indicates that this topic is a difficult one for many students. We have found that the concept…

  17. Self-assembled gelators for organic electronics.

    PubMed

    Babu, Sukumaran Santhosh; Prasanthkumar, Seelam; Ajayaghosh, Ayyappanpillai

    2012-02-20

    Nature excels at engineering materials by using the principles of chemical synthesis and molecular self-assembly with the help of noncovalent forces. Learning from these phenomena, scientists have been able to create a variety of self-assembled artificial materials of different size, shapes, and properties for wide ranging applications. An area of great interest in this regard is solvent-assisted gel formation with functional organic molecules, thus leading to one-dimensional fibers. Such fibers have improved electronic properties and are potential soft materials for organic electronic devices, particularly in bulk heterojunction solar cells. Described herein is how molecular self-assembly, which was originally proposed as a simple laboratory curiosity, has helped the evolution of a variety of soft functional materials useful for advanced electronic devices such as organic field-effect transistors and organic solar cells. Highlights on some of the recent developments are discussed. PMID:22278754

  18. PS2013 Satellite Workshop on Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Niederman, Robert A.; Blankenship, Robert E.; Frank, Harry A.

    2015-02-07

    These funds were used for partial support of the PS2013 Satellite Workshop on Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting Systems, that was held on 8-11 August, 2013, at Washington University, St. Louis, MO. This conference, held in conjunction with the 16th International Congress on Photosynthesis/St. Louis, continued a long tradition of light-harvesting satellite conferences that have been held prior to the previous six international photosynthesis congresses. In this Workshop, the basis was explored for the current interest in replacing fossil fuels with energy sources derived form direct solar radiation, coupled with light-driven electron transport in natural photosynthetic systems and how they offer a valuable blueprint for conversion of sunlight to useful energy forms. This was accomplished through sessions on the initial light-harvesting events in the biological conversion of solar energy to chemically stored energy forms, and how these natural photosynthetic processes serve as a guide to the development of robust bio-hybrid and artificial systems for solar energy conversion into both electricity or chemical fuels. Organized similar to a Gordon Research Conference, a lively, informal and collegial setting was established, highlighting the exchange of exciting new data and unpublished results from ongoing studies. A significant amount of time was set aside for open discussion and interactive poster sessions, with a special session devoted to oral presentations by talented students and postdoctoral fellows judged to have the best posters. This area of research has seen exceptionally rapid progress in recent years, with the availability of a number of antenna protein structures at atomic resolution, elucidation of the molecular surface architecture of native photosynthetic membranes by atomic force microscopy and the maturing of ultrafast spectroscopic and molecular biological techniques for the investigation and manipulation of photosynthetic systems. The conferees

  19. Programming Light-Harvesting Efficiency Using DNA Origami.

    PubMed

    Hemmig, Elisa A; Creatore, Celestino; Wünsch, Bettina; Hecker, Lisa; Mair, Philip; Parker, M Andy; Emmott, Stephen; Tinnefeld, Philip; Keyser, Ulrich F; Chin, Alex W

    2016-04-13

    The remarkable performance and quantum efficiency of biological light-harvesting complexes has prompted a multidisciplinary interest in engineering biologically inspired antenna systems as a possible route to novel solar cell technologies. Key to the effectiveness of biological "nanomachines" in light capture and energy transport is their highly ordered nanoscale architecture of photoactive molecules. Recently, DNA origami has emerged as a powerful tool for organizing multiple chromophores with base-pair accuracy and full geometric freedom. Here, we present a programmable antenna array on a DNA origami platform that enables the implementation of rationally designed antenna structures. We systematically analyze the light-harvesting efficiency with respect to number of donors and interdye distances of a ring-like antenna using ensemble and single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and detailed Förster modeling. This comprehensive study demonstrates exquisite and reliable structural control over multichromophoric geometries and points to DNA origami as highly versatile platform for testing design concepts in artificial light-harvesting networks. PMID:26906456

  20. Programming Light-Harvesting Efficiency Using DNA Origami

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The remarkable performance and quantum efficiency of biological light-harvesting complexes has prompted a multidisciplinary interest in engineering biologically inspired antenna systems as a possible route to novel solar cell technologies. Key to the effectiveness of biological “nanomachines” in light capture and energy transport is their highly ordered nanoscale architecture of photoactive molecules. Recently, DNA origami has emerged as a powerful tool for organizing multiple chromophores with base-pair accuracy and full geometric freedom. Here, we present a programmable antenna array on a DNA origami platform that enables the implementation of rationally designed antenna structures. We systematically analyze the light-harvesting efficiency with respect to number of donors and interdye distances of a ring-like antenna using ensemble and single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and detailed Förster modeling. This comprehensive study demonstrates exquisite and reliable structural control over multichromophoric geometries and points to DNA origami as highly versatile platform for testing design concepts in artificial light-harvesting networks. PMID:26906456

  1. A srikaya-like light-harvesting antenna based on graphene quantum dots and porphyrin unimolecular micelles.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yannan; Li, Shanlong; Li, Ke; Zheng, Yongli; Zhang, Meng; Cai, Caiyun; Yu, Chunyang; Zhou, Yongfeng; Yan, Deyue

    2016-07-19

    A novel hybrid light-harvesting antenna with a srikaya-like structure of multi-graphene quantum dots (GQDs) as donors and one porphyrin unimolecular micelle as the acceptor was constructed through electrostatic self-assembly. The constructed antenna showed a high energy transfer efficiency of up to 93.6% and an antenna effect of 7.3 in an aqueous solution. PMID:27374891

  2. A novel artificial nerve graft for repairing long-distance sciatic nerve defects: a self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold-containing poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) conduit

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xianghai; Pan, Mengjie; Wen, Jinkun; Tang, Yinjuan; Hamilton, Audra D.; Li, Yuanyuan; Qian, Changhui; Liu, Zhongying; Wu, Wutian; Guo, Jiasong

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we developed a novel artificial nerve graft termed self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold (SAPNS)-containing poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) conduit (SPC) and used it to bridge a 10-mm-long sciatic nerve defect in the rat. Retrograde tracing, behavioral testing and histomorphometric analyses showed that compared with the empty PLGA conduit implantation group, the SPC implantation group had a larger number of growing and extending axons, a markedly increased diameter of regenerated axons and a greater thickness of the myelin sheath in the conduit. Furthermore, there was an increase in the size of the neuromuscular junction and myofiber diameter in the target muscle. These findings suggest that the novel artificial SPC nerve graft can promote axonal regeneration and remyelination in the transected peripheral nerve and can be used for repairing peripheral nerve injury. PMID:25657734

  3. A novel artificial nerve graft for repairing long-distance sciatic nerve defects: a self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold-containing poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) conduit.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xianghai; Pan, Mengjie; Wen, Jinkun; Tang, Yinjuan; Hamilton, Audra D; Li, Yuanyuan; Qian, Changhui; Liu, Zhongying; Wu, Wutian; Guo, Jiasong

    2014-12-15

    In this study, we developed a novel artificial nerve graft termed self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold (SAPNS)-containing poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) conduit (SPC) and used it to bridge a 10-mm-long sciatic nerve defect in the rat. Retrograde tracing, behavioral testing and histomorphometric analyses showed that compared with the empty PLGA conduit implantation group, the SPC implantation group had a larger number of growing and extending axons, a markedly increased diameter of regenerated axons and a greater thickness of the myelin sheath in the conduit. Furthermore, there was an increase in the size of the neuromuscular junction and myofiber diameter in the target muscle. These findings suggest that the novel artificial SPC nerve graft can promote axonal regeneration and remyelination in the transected peripheral nerve and can be used for repairing peripheral nerve injury. PMID:25657734

  4. Functionalized Nanoparticles and Surfaces for Controlled Chemical Catalysis and Effective Light Harvesting

    SciTech Connect

    Marye Anne Fox, James K. Whitesell

    2012-11-02

    We have prepared a range of such arrays as key components for biotechnology and photonic applications. These involve self-assembled arrays of increasing complexity with three-dimensionally disposed multilayer interactions. These arrays also include dendrimers as the distinguishing structural building blocks. These photoactive integrated systems have a regular, highly-branched, three-dimensional architecture. Structural modifications of these units include variation of the core, bridging layers, and terminal groups. These modifications result in a large array of dendritic molecules with potential applications for light harvesting.

  5. Nanopropulsion by biocatalytic self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Leckie, Joy; Hope, Alexander; Hughes, Meghan; Debnath, Sisir; Fleming, Scott; Wark, Alastair W; Ulijn, Rein V; Haw, Mark D

    2014-09-23

    A number of organisms and organelles are capable of self-propulsion at the micro- and nanoscales. Production of simple man-made mimics of biological transportation systems may prove relevant to achieving movement in artificial cells and nano/micronscale robotics that may be of biological and nanotechnological importance. We demonstrate the propulsion of particles based on catalytically controlled molecular self-assembly and fiber formation at the particle surface. Specifically, phosphatase enzymes (acting as the engine) are conjugated to a quantum dot (the vehicle), and are subsequently exposed to micellar aggregates (fuel) that upon biocatalytic dephosphorylation undergo fibrillar self-assembly, which in turn causes propulsion. The motion of individual enzyme/quantum dot conjugates is followed directly using fluorescence microscopy. While overall movement remains random, the enzyme-conjugates exhibit significantly faster transport in the presence of the fiber forming system, compared to controls without fuel, a non-self-assembling substrate, or a substrate which assembles into spherical, rather than fibrous structures upon enzymatic dephosphorylation. When increasing the concentration of the fiber-forming fuel, the speed of the conjugates increases compared to non-self-assembling substrate, although directionality remains random. PMID:25162764

  6. [INVITED] Self-assembled optical metamaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baron, Alexandre; Aradian, Ashod; Ponsinet, Virginie; Barois, Philippe

    2016-08-01

    Self-assembled metamaterials constitute a promising platform to achieving bulk and homogenous optical materials that exhibit unusual effective medium properties. For many years now, the research community has contemplated lithographically fabricated metasurfaces, with extraordinary optical features. However, achieving large volumes at low cost is still a challenge by top-down fabrication. Bottom-up fabrication, that relies both on nanochemistry and self-assembly, is capable of building such materials while greatly reducing the energy footprint in the formulation of the metamaterial. Self-assembled metamaterials have shown that they are capable of reaching unprecedented values of bulkiness and homogeneity figures of merit. This feat is achieved by synthesizing plasmonic nanoresonators (meta-atoms in the sense of artificial polarizable units) and assembling them into a fully three-dimensional matrix through a variety of methods. Furthermore it has been shown that a wide range of material parameters can be tailored by controlling the geometry and composition of the meta-atoms as well as the volume fraction of the nano-objects in the metamaterial. Here we conduct a non-comprehensive review of some of the recent trends in self-assembled optical metamaterials and illustrate these trends with our recent work.

  7. Artificial and self-assembled vortex-pinning centers in superconducting Ba(Fe1-xCox)2As2 thin films as a route to obtaining very high critical-current densities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarantini, C.; Lee, S.; Kametani, F.; Jiang, J.; Weiss, J. D.; Jaroszynski, J.; Folkman, C. M.; Hellstrom, E. E.; Eom, C. B.; Larbalestier, D. C.

    2012-12-01

    We report on the superior vortex pinning of single- and multilayer Ba(Fe1-xCox)2As2 thin films with self-assembled c-axis and artificially introduced ab-plane pins. Ba(Fe1-xCox)2As2 can accept a very high density of pins (15-20 vol %) without Tc suppression. The matching field is greater than 12 T, producing a significant enhancement of the critical current density Jc, an almost isotropic Jc(θ, 20 T) > 105 A/cm2, and global pinning force density Fp of ˜50 GN/m3. This scenario strongly differs from the high-temperature superconducting cuprates where the addition of pins without Tc suppression is limited to 2-4 vol %, leading to small HIrr enhancements and improved Jc only below 3-5 T.

  8. Photosynthetic light harvesting: excitons and coherence

    PubMed Central

    Fassioli, Francesca; Dinshaw, Rayomond; Arpin, Paul C.; Scholes, Gregory D.

    2014-01-01

    Photosynthesis begins with light harvesting, where specialized pigment–protein complexes transform sunlight into electronic excitations delivered to reaction centres to initiate charge separation. There is evidence that quantum coherence between electronic excited states plays a role in energy transfer. In this review, we discuss how quantum coherence manifests in photosynthetic light harvesting and its implications. We begin by examining the concept of an exciton, an excited electronic state delocalized over several spatially separated molecules, which is the most widely available signature of quantum coherence in light harvesting. We then discuss recent results concerning the possibility that quantum coherence between electronically excited states of donors and acceptors may give rise to a quantum coherent evolution of excitations, modifying the traditional incoherent picture of energy transfer. Key to this (partially) coherent energy transfer appears to be the structure of the environment, in particular the participation of non-equilibrium vibrational modes. We discuss the open questions and controversies regarding quantum coherent energy transfer and how these can be addressed using new experimental techniques. PMID:24352671

  9. Self-Assembling Hydrogel Scaffolds for Photocatalytic Hydrogen Production

    PubMed Central

    Weingarten, Adam S.; Kazantsev, Roman V.; Palmer, Liam C.; McClendon, Mark; Koltonow, Andrew R.; Samuel, Amanda P. S.; Kiebala, Derek J.; Wasielewski, Michael R.; Stupp, Samuel I.

    2015-01-01

    catalysts for water oxidation and proton reduction3-7. In other recent work, catalysts have been coupled to light absorbing CdSe quantum dots8, Si microrods9, and organic dyes10,11 to create artificial photosynthetic systems. Also functional devices capable of performing water-splitting and fuel-generating reactions using earth-abundant resources have been demonstrated12. The development of bionspired soft materials that can be shaped into forms and integrate light-harvesting, charge transport, and catalytic functions to produce solar fuels is an obvious gap. This gap can be addressed through self-assembly strategies for materials in which a bottom-up approach fine tunes all functional aspects of a catalytic system13. Organic systems may have shorter lifetimes than their inorganic counterparts, but could have their own niche in sustainable energy given their soft matter nature and low energy requirements for production. We report here on a strategy to create supramolecular hydrogels that integrate both light-absorbing chromophores and catalysts into a material for light-driven hydrogen (H2) production. Our work here is focused only on the supramolecular chemistry necessary to create a formable catalytic material and therefore does not explore its possible integration into a photocathode that would not require a sacrificial electron donor. We designed a charged amphiphilic chromophore with the capacity to self-assemble into supramolecular polymers via hydrophobic collapse. At sufficiently high concentrations and under electrostatic screening conditions, charged supramolecular polymers can easily produce a three-dimensional network that takes the form of a gel. These networks could be highly hydrated and host the soluble components necessary to produce the solar fuel. At the same time, much like natural photosynthetic antennae, supramolecular structures of conjugated molecules formed through π orbital overlap should have the capacity to absorb light, split excitons, and

  10. Solid-state NMR applied to photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes.

    PubMed

    Pandit, Anjali; de Groot, Huub J M

    2012-03-01

    This short review describes how solid-state NMR has provided a mechanistic and electronic picture of pigment-protein and pigment-pigment interactions in photosynthetic antenna complexes. NMR results on purple bacterial antenna complexes show how the packing of the protein and the pigments inside the light-harvesting oligomers induces mutual conformational stress. The protein scaffold produces deformation and electrostatic polarization of the BChl macrocycles and leads to a partial electronic charge transfer between the BChls and their coordinating histidines, which can tune the light-harvesting function. In chlorosome antennae assemblies, the NMR template structure reveals how the chromophores can direct their self-assembly into higher macrostructures which, in turn, tune the light-harvesting properties of the individual molecules by controlling their disorder, structural deformation, and electronic polarization without the need for a protein scaffold. These results pave the way for addressing the next challenge, which is to resolve the functional conformational dynamics of the lhc antennae of oxygenic species that allows them to switch between light-emitting and light-energy dissipating states. PMID:21842288

  11. Accessing exciton transport in light-harvesting structures with plasmonic nanotip

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saikin, Semion K.; Feist, Johannes; Homer Reid, M. T.; Lukin, Mikhail D.; Aspuru-Guzik, Alan

    2012-02-01

    Natural light-harvesting complexes, such as that of plant cells or photosynthetic bacteria, are considered as possible prototypes for artificially designed solar cell materials. In these structures the energy of light absorbed by a peripheral antenna is transmitted very efficiently in a form of excitons to a reaction center. Usually, information about the exciton transport is obtained from time-resolved nonlinear optical experiments where the frequencies of a pump and a probe fields select particular electronic transitions in the light-harvesting complex. We explore a complimentary setup utilizing a plasmonic nanotip as a local sub-wavelength probe of excitation dynamics. As specific examples we consider an LHII complex involved in the light-harvesting process of purple bacteria and a Fenna-Matthews-Olson pigment-protein complex of green-sulphur bacteria.

  12. Light-Harvesting Systems Based on Organic Nanocrystals To Mimic Chlorosomes.

    PubMed

    Chen, Peng-Zhong; Weng, Yu-Xiang; Niu, Li-Ya; Chen, Yu-Zhe; Wu, Li-Zhu; Tung, Chen-Ho; Yang, Qing-Zheng

    2016-02-18

    We report the first highly efficient artificial light-harvesting systems based on nanocrystals of difluoroboron chromophores to mimic the chlorosomes, one of the most efficient light-harvesting systems found in green photosynthetic bacteria. Uniform nanocrystals with controlled donor/acceptor ratios were prepared by simple coassembly of the donors and acceptors in water. The light-harvesting system funneled the excitation energy collected by a thousand donor chromophores to a single acceptor. The well-defined spatial organization of individual chromophores in the nanocrystals enabled an energy transfer efficiency of 95 %, even at a donor/acceptor ratio as high as 1000:1, and a significant fluorescence of the acceptor was observed up to donor/acceptor ratios of 200 000:1. PMID:26799735

  13. Temperature and Ionic Strength Effects on the Chlorosome Light-Harvesting Antenna Complex

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Kuo-Hsiang; Zhu, Liying; Urban, Volker S; Collins, Aaron M.; Biswas, Pratim; Blankenship, R. E.

    2011-03-15

    Chlorosomes, the peripheral light-harvesting antenna complex from green photosynthetic bacteria, are the largest and one of the most efficient light-harvesting antenna complexes found in nature. In contrast to other light-harvesting antennas, chlorosomes are constructed from more than 150,000 self-assembled bacteriochlorophylls (BChls) and contain relatively few proteins that play secondary roles. These unique properties have led to chlorosomes as an attractive candidate for developing biohybrid solar cell devices. In this article, we investigate the temperature and ionic strength effects on the viability of chlorosomes from the photosynthetic green bacterium Chloroflexus aurantiacus using small-angle neutron scattering and dynamic light scattering. Our studies indicate that chlorosomes remain intact up to 75 °C and that salt induces the formation of large aggregates of chlorosomes. No internal structural changes are observed for the aggregates. The salt-induced aggregation, which is a reversible process, is more efficient with divalent metal ions than with monovalent metal ions. Moreover, with treatment at 98 °C for 2 min, the bulk of the chlorosome pigments are undamaged, while the baseplate is destroyed. Chlorosomes without the baseplate remain rodlike in shape and are 30-40% smaller than with the baseplate attached. Further, chlorosomes are stable from pH 5.5 to 11.0. Together, this is the first time such a range of characterization tools have been used for chlorosomes, and this has enabled elucidation of properties that are not only important to understanding their functionality but also may be useful in biohybrid devices for effective light harvesting.

  14. Light-harvesting in photosystem I.

    PubMed

    Croce, Roberta; van Amerongen, Herbert

    2013-10-01

    This review focuses on the light-harvesting properties of photosystem I (PSI) and its LHCI outer antenna. LHCI consists of different chlorophyll a/b binding proteins called Lhca's, surrounding the core of PSI. In total, the PSI-LHCI complex of higher plants contains 173 chlorophyll molecules, most of which are there to harvest sunlight energy and to transfer the created excitation energy to the reaction center (RC) where it is used for charge separation. The efficiency of the complex is based on the capacity to deliver this energy to the RC as fast as possible, to minimize energy losses. The performance of PSI in this respect is remarkable: on average it takes around 50 ps for the excitation to reach the RC in plants, without being quenched in the meantime. This means that the internal quantum efficiency is close to 100% which makes PSI the most efficient energy converter in nature. In this review, we describe the light-harvesting properties of the complex in relation to protein and pigment organization/composition, and we discuss the important parameters that assure its very high quantum efficiency. Excitation energy transfer and trapping in the core and/or Lhcas, as well as in the supercomplexes PSI-LHCI and PSI-LHCI-LHCII are described in detail with the aim of giving an overview of the functional behavior of these complexes. PMID:23645376

  15. Quantum mechanical light harvesting mechanisms in photosynthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholes, Gregory

    2012-02-01

    More than 10 million billion photons of light strike a leaf each second. Incredibly, almost every red-coloured photon is captured by chlorophyll pigments and initiates steps to plant growth. Last year we reported that marine algae use quantum mechanics in order to optimize photosynthesis [1], a process essential to its survival. These and other insights from the natural world promise to revolutionize our ability to harness the power of the sun. In a recent review [2] we described the principles learned from studies of various natural antenna complexes and suggested how to utilize that knowledge to shape future technologies. We forecast the need to develop ways to direct and regulate excitation energy flow using molecular organizations that facilitate feedback and control--not easy given that the energy is only stored for a billionth of a second. In this presentation I will describe new results that explain the observation and meaning of quantum-coherent energy transfer. [4pt] [1] Elisabetta Collini, Cathy Y. Wong, Krystyna E. Wilk, Paul M. G. Curmi, Paul Brumer, and Gregory D. Scholes, ``Coherently wired light-harvesting in photosynthetic marine algae at ambient temperature'' Nature 463, 644-648 (2010).[0pt] [2] Gregory D. Scholes, Graham R. Fleming, Alexandra Olaya-Castro and Rienk van Grondelle, ``Lessons from nature about solar light harvesting'' Nature Chem. 3, 763-774 (2011).

  16. Nanotechnology and Quasicrystals: From Self-Assembly to Photonic Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lifshitz, R.

    After providing a concise overview on quasicrystals and their discovery more than a quarter of a century ago, I consider the unexpected interplay between nano-technology and quasiperiodic crystals. Of particular relevance are efforts to fabricate artificial functional micro- or nanostructures, as well as efforts to control the self-assembly of nanostructures, where current knowledge about the possibility of having long-range order without periodicity can provide significant advantages. I discuss examples of systems ranging from artificial metamaterials for photonic applications, through self-assembled soft matter, to surface waves and optically-induced nonlinear photonic quasicrystals.

  17. Design strategies for self-assembly of discrete targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madge, Jim; Miller, Mark A.

    2015-07-01

    Both biological and artificial self-assembly processes can take place by a range of different schemes, from the successive addition of identical building blocks to hierarchical sequences of intermediates, all the way to the fully addressable limit in which each component is unique. In this paper, we introduce an idealized model of cubic particles with patterned faces that allows self-assembly strategies to be compared and tested. We consider a simple octameric target, starting with the minimal requirements for successful self-assembly and comparing the benefits and limitations of more sophisticated hierarchical and addressable schemes. Simulations are performed using a hybrid dynamical Monte Carlo protocol that allows self-assembling clusters to rearrange internally while still providing Stokes-Einstein-like diffusion of aggregates of different sizes. Our simulations explicitly capture the thermodynamic, dynamic, and steric challenges typically faced by self-assembly processes, including competition between multiple partially completed structures. Self-assembly pathways are extracted from the simulation trajectories by a fully extendable scheme for identifying structural fragments, which are then assembled into history diagrams for successfully completed target structures. For the simple target, a one-component assembly scheme is most efficient and robust overall, but hierarchical and addressable strategies can have an advantage under some conditions if high yield is a priority.

  18. Design strategies for self-assembly of discrete targets

    SciTech Connect

    Madge, Jim; Miller, Mark A.

    2015-07-28

    Both biological and artificial self-assembly processes can take place by a range of different schemes, from the successive addition of identical building blocks to hierarchical sequences of intermediates, all the way to the fully addressable limit in which each component is unique. In this paper, we introduce an idealized model of cubic particles with patterned faces that allows self-assembly strategies to be compared and tested. We consider a simple octameric target, starting with the minimal requirements for successful self-assembly and comparing the benefits and limitations of more sophisticated hierarchical and addressable schemes. Simulations are performed using a hybrid dynamical Monte Carlo protocol that allows self-assembling clusters to rearrange internally while still providing Stokes-Einstein-like diffusion of aggregates of different sizes. Our simulations explicitly capture the thermodynamic, dynamic, and steric challenges typically faced by self-assembly processes, including competition between multiple partially completed structures. Self-assembly pathways are extracted from the simulation trajectories by a fully extendable scheme for identifying structural fragments, which are then assembled into history diagrams for successfully completed target structures. For the simple target, a one-component assembly scheme is most efficient and robust overall, but hierarchical and addressable strategies can have an advantage under some conditions if high yield is a priority.

  19. Self-assembly via microfluidics

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lei

    2015-01-01

    The self-assembly of amphiphilic building blocks has attracted extensive interest in myriad fields in recent years, due to their great potential in the nanoscale design of functional hybrid materials. Microfluidic techniques provide an intriguing method to control kinetic aspects of the self-assembly of molecular amphiphiles by the facile adjustment of the hydrodynamics of the fluids. Up to now, there have been several reports about one-step direct self-assembly of different building blocks with versatile and multi-shape products without templates, which demonstrated the advantages of microfluidics. These assemblies with different morphologies have great applications in various areas such as cancer therapy, micromotor fabrication, and controlled drug delivery. PMID:26486277

  20. Onset of self-assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Chitanvis, S.M.

    1998-02-01

    We have formulated a theory of self-assembly based on the notion of local gauge invariance at the mesoscale. Local gauge invariance at the mesoscale generates the required long-range entropic forces responsible for self-assembly in binary systems. Our theory was applied to study the onset of mesostructure formation above a critical temperature in estane, a diblock copolymer. We used diagrammatic methods to transcend the Gaussian approximation and obtain a correlation length {xi}{approximately}(c{minus}c{sup {asterisk}}){sup {minus}{gamma}}, where c{sup {asterisk}} is the minimum concentration below which self-assembly is impossible, c is the current concentration, and {gamma} was found numerically to be fairly close to 2/3. The renormalized diffusion constant vanishes as the critical concentration is approached, indicating the occurrence of critical slowing down, while the correlation function remains finite at the transition point. {copyright} {ital 1998} {ital The American Physical Society}

  1. Light-Harvesting Nanoparticle Core-Shell Clusters with Controllable Optical Output.

    PubMed

    Sun, Dazhi; Tian, Ye; Zhang, Yugang; Xu, Zhihua; Sfeir, Matthew Y; Cotlet, Mircea; Gang, Oleg

    2015-06-23

    We used DNA self-assembly methods to fabricate a series of core-shell gold nanoparticle-DNA-colloidal quantum dot (AuNP-DNA-Qdot) nanoclusters with satellite-like architecture to modulate optical (photoluminescence) response. By varying the intercomponent distance through the DNA linker length designs, we demonstrate precise tuning of the plasmon-exciton interaction and the optical behavior of the nanoclusters from regimes characterized by photoluminescence quenching to photoluminescence enhancement. The combination of detailed X-ray scattering probing with photoluminescence intensity and lifetime studies revealed the relation between the cluster structure and its optical output. Compared to conventional light-harvesting systems like conjugated polymers and multichromophoric dendrimers, the proposed nanoclusters bring enhanced flexibility in controlling the optical behavior toward a desired application, and they can be regarded as controllable optical switches via the optically pumped color. PMID:25933097

  2. Long range excitonic transport in a biomimetic system inspired by the bacterial light-harvesting apparatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harel, Elad

    2012-05-01

    Photosynthesis, the process by which energy from sunlight drives cellular metabolism, relies on a unique organization of light-harvesting and reaction center complexes. Recently, the organization of light-harvesting LH2 complexes and dimeric reaction center-light-harvesting I-PufX core complexes in membranes of purple non-sulfur bacteria was revealed by atomic force microscopy [S. Bahatyrova et al., Nature (London) 430, 1058 (2004)]. Here, we discuss optimal exciton transfer in a biomimetic system closely modeled on the structure of LH2 and its organization within the membrane using a Markovian quantum model with dissipation and trapping added phenomenologically. In a deliberate manner, we neglect the high level detail of the bacterial light-harvesting complex and its interaction with the phonon bath in order to elucidate a set of design principles that may be incorporated in artificial pigment-scaffold constructs in a supramolecular assembly. We show that our scheme reproduces many of the most salient features found in their natural counterpart and may be largely explained by simple electrostatic considerations. Most importantly, we show that quantum effects act primarily to enforce robustness with respect to spatial and spectral disorder between and within complexes. The implications of such an arrangement are discussed in the context of biomimetic photosynthetic analogs capable of transferring energy efficiently across tens to hundreds of nanometers.

  3. Long range excitonic transport in a biomimetic system inspired by the bacterial light-harvesting apparatus

    SciTech Connect

    Harel, Elad

    2012-05-07

    Photosynthesis, the process by which energy from sunlight drives cellular metabolism, relies on a unique organization of light-harvesting and reaction center complexes. Recently, the organization of light-harvesting LH2 complexes and dimeric reaction center-light-harvesting I-PufX core complexes in membranes of purple non-sulfur bacteria was revealed by atomic force microscopy [S. Bahatyrova et al., Nature (London) 430, 1058 (2004)]. Here, we discuss optimal exciton transfer in a biomimetic system closely modeled on the structure of LH2 and its organization within the membrane using a Markovian quantum model with dissipation and trapping added phenomenologically. In a deliberate manner, we neglect the high level detail of the bacterial light-harvesting complex and its interaction with the phonon bath in order to elucidate a set of design principles that may be incorporated in artificial pigment-scaffold constructs in a supramolecular assembly. We show that our scheme reproduces many of the most salient features found in their natural counterpart and may be largely explained by simple electrostatic considerations. Most importantly, we show that quantum effects act primarily to enforce robustness with respect to spatial and spectral disorder between and within complexes. The implications of such an arrangement are discussed in the context of biomimetic photosynthetic analogs capable of transferring energy efficiently across tens to hundreds of nanometers.

  4. Self-assembling amphiphilic peptides†

    PubMed Central

    Dehsorkhi, Ashkan; Castelletto, Valeria; Hamley, Ian W

    2014-01-01

    The self-assembly of several classes of amphiphilic peptides is reviewed, and selected applications are discussed. We discuss recent work on the self-assembly of lipopeptides, surfactant-like peptides and amyloid peptides derived from the amyloid-β peptide. The influence of environmental variables such as pH and temperature on aggregate nanostructure is discussed. Enzyme-induced remodelling due to peptide cleavage and nanostructure control through photocleavage or photo-cross-linking are also considered. Lastly, selected applications of amphiphilic peptides in biomedicine and materials science are outlined. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Peptide Science published by European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:24729276

  5. Binary ionic porphyrin nanosheets: electronic and light-harvesting properties regulated by crystal structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Yongming; M. Beavers, Christine; Busani, Tito; Martin, Kathleen E.; Jacobsen, John L.; Mercado, Brandon Q.; Swartzentruber, Brian S.; van Swol, Frank; Medforth, Craig J.; Shelnutt, John A.

    2012-02-01

    Crystalline solids self-assembled from anionic and cationic porphyrins provide a new class of multifunctional optoelectronic micro- and nanomaterials. A 1 : 1 combination of zinc(ii) tetra(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphyrin (ZnTPPS) and tin(iv) tetra(N-methyl-4-pyridiniumyl)porphyrin (SnTNMePyP) gives porphyrin nanosheets with high aspect ratios and varying thickness. The room temperature preparation of the nanosheets has provided the first X-ray crystal structure of a cooperative binary ionic (CBI) solid. The unit cell contains one and one-half molecules of aquo-ZnTPPS4- (an electron donor) and three half molecules of dihydroxy-SnTNMePyP4+ (an electron acceptor). Charge balance in the solid is reached without any non-porphyrinic ions, as previously determined for other CBI nanomaterials by non-crystallographic means. The crystal structure reveals a complicated molecular arrangement with slipped π-π stacking only occurring in isolated dimers of one of the symmetrically unique zinc porphyrins. Consistent with the crystal structure, UV-visible J-aggregate bands indicative of exciton delocalization and extended π-π stacking are not observed. XRD measurements show that the structure of the Zn/Sn nanosheets is distinct from that of Zn/Sn four-leaf clover-like CBI solids reported previously. In contrast with the Zn/Sn clovers that do exhibit J-aggregate bands and are photoconductive, the nanosheets are not photoconductive. Even so, the nanosheets act as light-harvesting structures in an artificial photosynthesis system capable of reducing water to hydrogen but not as efficiently as the Zn/Sn clovers.Crystalline solids self-assembled from anionic and cationic porphyrins provide a new class of multifunctional optoelectronic micro- and nanomaterials. A 1 : 1 combination of zinc(ii) tetra(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphyrin (ZnTPPS) and tin(iv) tetra(N-methyl-4-pyridiniumyl)porphyrin (SnTNMePyP) gives porphyrin nanosheets with high aspect ratios and varying thickness. The room

  6. Structure-based model for light-harvesting properties of nucleic acid nanostructures

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Keyao; Boulais, Etienne; Yang, Lun; Bathe, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Programmed self-assembly of DNA enables the rational design of megadalton-scale macromolecular assemblies with sub-nanometer scale precision. These assemblies can be programmed to serve as structural scaffolds for secondary chromophore molecules with light-harvesting properties. Like in natural systems, the local and global spatial organization of these synthetic scaffolded chromophore systems plays a crucial role in their emergent excitonic and optical properties. Previously, we introduced a computational model to predict the large-scale 3D solution structure and flexibility of nucleic acid nanostructures programmed using the principle of scaffolded DNA origami. Here, we use Förster resonance energy transfer theory to simulate the temporal dynamics of dye excitation and energy transfer accounting both for overall DNA nanostructure architecture as well as atomic-level DNA and dye chemical structure and composition. Results are used to calculate emergent optical properties including effective absorption cross-section, absorption and emission spectra and total power transferred to a biomimetic reaction center in an existing seven-helix double stranded DNA-based antenna. This structure-based computational framework enables the efficient in silico evaluation of nucleic acid nanostructures for diverse light-harvesting and photonic applications. PMID:24311563

  7. Structure-based model for light-harvesting properties of nucleic acid nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Pan, Keyao; Boulais, Etienne; Yang, Lun; Bathe, Mark

    2014-02-01

    Programmed self-assembly of DNA enables the rational design of megadalton-scale macromolecular assemblies with sub-nanometer scale precision. These assemblies can be programmed to serve as structural scaffolds for secondary chromophore molecules with light-harvesting properties. Like in natural systems, the local and global spatial organization of these synthetic scaffolded chromophore systems plays a crucial role in their emergent excitonic and optical properties. Previously, we introduced a computational model to predict the large-scale 3D solution structure and flexibility of nucleic acid nanostructures programmed using the principle of scaffolded DNA origami. Here, we use Förster resonance energy transfer theory to simulate the temporal dynamics of dye excitation and energy transfer accounting both for overall DNA nanostructure architecture as well as atomic-level DNA and dye chemical structure and composition. Results are used to calculate emergent optical properties including effective absorption cross-section, absorption and emission spectra and total power transferred to a biomimetic reaction center in an existing seven-helix double stranded DNA-based antenna. This structure-based computational framework enables the efficient in silico evaluation of nucleic acid nanostructures for diverse light-harvesting and photonic applications. PMID:24311563

  8. Development of Scaffolds for Light Harvesting and Photocatalysis from the Coat Protein of Tobacco Mosaic Virus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dedeo, Michel Toussaint

    The utility of a previously developed TMV-based light harvesting system has been dramatically expanded through the introduction of reactive handles for the site-specific modification of the interior and exterior surfaces. Further experiments to reengineer the coat protein have produced structures with unique, unexpected, and useful assembly properties that complement the newly available surface modifications. Energy transfer from chromophores in the RNA channel of self-assembled TMV structures to the exterior was made possible by conjugation of acceptor dyes and porphyrins to the N-terminus. By repositioning the N-terminus to the pore through circular permutation, this process was repeated to create structures that mimic the light harvesting 1 complex of photosynthetic bacteria. To study and improve upon natural photosynthesis, closely packed chromophore arrays and gold nanoparticles were tethered to the pore of stabilized TMV disks through introduction of a uniquely reactive lysine. Finally, a dimeric TMV coat protein was produced to control the distribution and arrangement of synthetic groups with synergistic activity.

  9. Interference lithographic nanopatterning of plant and bacterial light-harvesting complexes on gold substrates

    PubMed Central

    Patole, Samson; Vasilev, Cvetelin; El-Zubir, Osama; Wang, Lin; Johnson, Matthew P.; Cadby, Ashley J.; Leggett, Graham J.; Hunter, C. Neil

    2015-01-01

    We describe a facile approach for nanopatterning of photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes over macroscopic areas, and use optical spectroscopy to demonstrate retention of native properties by both site-specifically and non-specifically attached photosynthetic membrane proteins. A Lloyd's mirror dual-beam interferometer was used to expose self-assembled monolayers of amine-terminated alkylthiolates on gold to laser irradiation. Following exposure, photo-oxidized adsorbates were replaced by oligo(ethylene glycol) terminated thiols, and the remaining intact amine-functionalized regions were used for attachment of the major light-harvesting chlorophyll–protein complex from plants, LHCII. These amine patterns could be derivatized with nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA), so that polyhistidine-tagged bacteriochlorophyll–protein complexes from phototrophic bacteria could be attached with a defined surface orientation. By varying parameters such as the angle between the interfering beams and the laser irradiation dose, it was possible to vary the period and widths of NTA and amine-functionalized lines on the surfaces; periods varied from 1200 to 240 nm and linewidths as small as 60 nm (λ/4) were achieved. This level of control over the surface chemistry was reflected in the surface topology of the protein nanostructures imaged by atomic force microscopy; fluorescence imaging and spectral measurements demonstrated that the surface-attached proteins had retained their native functionality. PMID:26464784

  10. Polymer light harvesting composites for optoelectronic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Sam-Shajing; Wang, Dan

    2015-09-01

    Polymer based optoelectronic composites and thin film devices exhibit great potential in space applications due to their lightweight, flexible shape, high photon absorption coefficients, and robust radiation tolerance in space environment. Polymer/dye composites appear promising for optoelectronics applications due to potential enhancements in both light harvesting and charge separation. In this study, the optoelectronic properties of a series of molecular dyes paired with a conjugated polymer Poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) (P3HT) were investigated. Specifically, the solution PL quenching coefficients (Ksv) of dye/polymer follows a descending order from dyes of Chloro(protoporphyrinato)iron(III) (Hemin), Protoporphyrin, to meso-Tetra(4-carboxyphenyl)porphine (TCPP). In optoelectronic devices made of the P3HT/dye/PCBM composites, the short circuit current densities Jsc as well as the overall power conversion efficiencies (PCE) also follow a descending order from Hemin, Protoporphyrin, to TCPP, despite Hemin exhibits the intermediate polymer/dye LUMO (lowest unoccupied molecular orbital) offset and lowest absorption coefficient as compared to the other two dyes, i.e., the cell optoelectronic efficiency did not follow the LUMO offsets which are the key driving forces for the photo induced charge separations. This study reveals that too large LUMO offset or electron transfer driving force may result in smaller PL quenching and optoelectronic conversion efficiency, this could be another experimental evidence for the Marcus electron transfer model, particularly for the Marcus `inverted region'. It appears an optimum electron transfer driving force or strong PL quenching appears more critical than absorption coefficient for optoelectronic conversion devices.

  11. Self-assembly-driven nematization.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Khanh Thuy; Sciortino, Francesco; De Michele, Cristiano

    2014-04-29

    The anisotropy of attractive interactions between particles can favor, through a self-assembly process, the formation of linear semi-flexible chains. In the appropriate temperatures and concentration ranges, the growing aspect ratio of the aggregates can induce formation of a nematic phase, as recently experimentally observed in several biologically relevant systems. We present here a numerical study of the isotropic-nematic phase boundary for a model of bifunctional polymerizing hard cylinders, to provide an accurate benchmark for recent theoretical approaches and to assess their ability to capture the coupling between self-assembly and orientational ordering. The comparison indicates the importance of properly modeling excluded volume and orientational entropy and provides a quantitative confirmation of some theoretical predictions. PMID:24701976

  12. Multifunctional self-assembled monolayers

    SciTech Connect

    Zawodzinski, T.; Bar, G.; Rubin, S.; Uribe, F.; Ferrais, J.

    1996-06-01

    This is the final report of at three year, Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The specific goals of this research project were threefold: to develop multifunctional self-assembled monolayers, to understand the role of monolayer structure on the functioning of such systems, and to apply this knowledge to the development of electrochemical enzyme sensors. An array of molecules that can be used to attach electrochemically active biomolecules to gold surfaces has been synthesized. Several members of a class of electroactive compounds have been characterized and the factors controlling surface modification are beginning to be characterized. Enzymes have been attached to self-assembled molecules arranged on the gold surface, a critical step toward the ultimate goal of this project. Several alternative enzyme attachment strategies to achieve robust enzyme- modified surfaces have been explored. Several means of juxtaposing enzymes and mediators, electroactive compounds through which the enzyme can exchange electrons with the electrode surface, have also been investigated. Finally, the development of sensitive biosensors based on films loaded with nanoscale-supported gold particles that have surface modified with the self-assembled enzyme and mediator have been explored.

  13. Spectroscopic Investigations of the Photophysics of Cryptophyte Light-Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinshaw, Rayomond

    The biological significance of photosynthesis is indisputable as it is necessary for nearly all life on earth. Photosynthesis provides chemical energy for plants, algae, and bacteria, while heterotrophic organisms rely on these species as their ultimate food source. The initial step in photosynthesis requires the absorption of sunlight to create electronic excitations. Light-harvesting proteins play the functional role of capturing solar radiation and transferring the resulting excitation to the reaction centers where it is used to carry out the chemical reactions of photosynthesis. Despite the wide variety of light-harvesting protein structures and arrangements, most light-harvesting proteins are able to utilize the captured solar energy for charge separation with near perfect quantum efficiency.1 This thesis will focus on understanding the energy transfer dynamics and photophysics of a specific subset of light-harvesting antennae known as phycobiliproteins. These proteins are extracted from cryptophyte algae and are investigated using steady-state and ultrafast spectroscopic techniques.

  14. Synergistic Two-Photon Absorption Enhancement in Photosynthetic Light Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Kuo-Mei; Chen, Yu-Wei; Gao, Ting-Fong

    2012-06-01

    The grand scale fixation of solar energies into chemical substances by photosynthetic reactions of light-harvesting organisms provides Earth's other life forms a thriving environment. Scientific explorations in the past decades have unraveled the fundamental photophysical and photochemical processes in photosynthesis. Higher plants, green algae, and light-harvesting bacteria utilize organized pigment-protein complexes to harvest solar power efficiently and the resultant electronic excitations are funneled into a reaction center, where the first charge separation process takes place. Here we show experimental evidences that green algae (Chlorella vulgaris) in vivo display a synergistic two-photon absorption enhancement in their photosynthetic light harvesting. Their absorption coefficients at various wavelengths display dramatic dependence on the photon flux. This newly found phenomenon is attributed to a coherence-electronic-energy-transfer-mediated (CEETRAM) photon absorption process of light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes of green algae. Under the ambient light level, algae and higher plants can utilize this quantum mechanical mechanism to create two entangled electronic excitations adjacently in their light-harvesting networks. Concerted multiple electron transfer reactions in the reaction centers and oxygen evolving complexes can be implemented efficiently by the coherent motion of two entangled excitons from antennae to the charge separation reaction sites. To fabricate nanostructured, synthetic light-harvesting apparatus, the paramount role of the CEETRAM photon absorption mechanism should be seriously considered in the strategic guidelines.

  15. Stereochemistry in subcomponent self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Castilla, Ana M; Ramsay, William J; Nitschke, Jonathan R

    2014-07-15

    CONSPECTUS: As Pasteur noted more than 150 years ago, asymmetry exists in matter at all organization levels. Biopolymers such as proteins or DNA adopt one-handed conformations, as a result of the chirality of their constituent building blocks. Even at the level of elementary particles, asymmetry exists due to parity violation in the weak nuclear force. While the origin of homochirality in living systems remains obscure, as does the possibility of its connection with broken symmetries at larger or smaller length scales, its centrality to biomolecular structure is clear: the single-handed forms of bio(macro)molecules interlock in ways that depend upon their handednesses. Dynamic artificial systems, such as helical polymers and other supramolecular structures, have provided a means to study the mechanisms of transmission and amplification of stereochemical information, which are key processes to understand in the context of the origins and functions of biological homochirality. Control over stereochemical information transfer in self-assembled systems will also be crucial for the development of new applications in chiral recognition and separation, asymmetric catalysis, and molecular devices. In this Account, we explore different aspects of stereochemistry encountered during the use of subcomponent self-assembly, whereby complex structures are prepared through the simultaneous formation of dynamic coordinative (N → metal) and covalent (N═C) bonds. This technique provides a useful method to study stereochemical information transfer processes within metal-organic assemblies, which may contain different combinations of fixed (carbon) and labile (metal) stereocenters. We start by discussing how simple subcomponents with fixed stereogenic centers can be incorporated in the organic ligands of mononuclear coordination complexes and communicate stereochemical information to the metal center, resulting in diastereomeric enrichment. Enantiopure subcomponents were then

  16. Supramolecular coordination polymer formed from artificial light-harvesting dendrimer.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hosoowi; Jeong, Young-Hwan; Kim, Joo-Ho; Kim, Inhye; Lee, Eunji; Jang, Woo-Dong

    2015-09-30

    We report the formation of supramolecular coordination polymers formed from multiporphyrin dendrimers (PZnPM; M = FB or Cu), composed of the focal freebase porphyrin (PFB) or cupper porphyrin (PCu) with eight zinc porphyrin (PZn) wings, and multipyridyl porphyrins (PyPM; M = FB or Cu), PFB or PCu with eight pyridyl groups, through multiple axial coordination interactions of pyridyl groups to PZns. UV-vis absorption spectra were recorded upon titration of PyPFB to PZnPFB. Differential spectra, obtained by subtracting the absorption of PZnPFB without guest addition as well as the absorption of PyPFB, exhibited clear isosbestic points with saturation binding at 1 equiv addition of PyPFB to PZnPFB. Job's plot analysis also indicated 1:1 stoichiometry for the saturation binding. The apparent association constant between PZnPFB and PyPFB (2.91 × 10(6) M(-1)), estimated by isothermal titration calorimetry, was high enough for fibrous assemblies to form at micromolar concentrations. The formation of a fibrous assembly from PZnPFB and PyPFB was visualized by atomic force microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). When a 1:1 mixture solution of PZnPFB and PyPFB (20 μM) in toluene was cast onto mica, fibrous assemblies with regular height (ca. 2 nm) were observed. TEM images obtained from 1:1 mixture solution of PZnPFB and PyPFB (0.1 wt %) in toluene clearly showed the formation of nanofibers with a regular diameter of ca. 6 nm. Fluorescence emission measurement of PZnPM indicated efficient intramolecular energy transfer from PZn to the focal PFB or PCu. By the formation of supramolecular coordination polymers, the intramolecular energy transfer changed to intermolecular energy transfer from PZnPM to PyPM. When the nonfluorescent PyPCu was titrated to fluorescent PZnPFB, fluorescence emission from the focal PFB was gradually decreased. By the titration of fluorescent PyPFB to nonfluorescent PZnPCu, fluorescence emission from PFB in PyPFB was gradually increased due to the efficient energy transfer from PZn wings in PZnPCu to PyPFB. PMID:26349620

  17. A self-assembled ionophore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tirumala, Sampath K.

    1997-11-01

    Ionophores are compounds that bind and transport ions. Ion binding and transport are fundamental to many biological and chemical processes. In this thesis we detail the structural characterization and cation binding properties of a self-assembled ionophore built from an isoguanosine (isoG) derivative, 5sp'-t-butyldimethylsilyl-2sp',3sp'-isopropylidene isoG 30. We begin with a summary of the themes that facilitate ionophore design and the definitions of "self-assembly" and "self-assembled ionophore" in Chapter 1. In Chapter 2, we describe the structural characterization of the isoG 30 self-assembly. IsoG possesses complementary hydrogen bond donor and acceptor sites suitable to form a Csb4-symmetric tetramer, (isoG)sb4 51, that is stable even in high dielectric organic solvents such as CDsb3CN and dsb6-acetone. The isoG tetramer 51 has been characterized by vapor phase osmometry, UV spectroscopy, and by 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy. The isoG tetramer 51 organizes by hydrogen bonding between the Watson-Crick face of one isoG base and the complementary bottom edge of another purine. The tetramer 51 is stabilized by an inner and outer ring of hydrogen bonds. The inner ring forms between the imino NH1 proton of one monomer and the C2 carbonyl oxygen of an adjacent monomer, while the outer ring is made up of four NH6-N3 hydrogen bonds. The isoG tetramer 51 is thermodynamically stable, with an equilibrium constant (Ksba) of ca. 10sp9-10sp{10} Msp{-3} at room temperature, and a DeltaGsp° of tetramer formation of -12.5 kcal molsp{-1} in dsb6-acetone at 25sp°C. The van't Hoff plots indicated that the thermodynamic parameters for tetramer formation were DeltaHsp° = -18.2 ± 0.87 kcal molsp{-1} and DeltaSsp°sb{298} = -19.1 ± 5.45 eu. In Chapter 3, we describe the cation binding properties of isoG tetramer 51. The isoG tetramer 51 has a central cavity, containing four oxygen atoms, that is suitable for cation coordination. Depending on the cation, the resulting iso

  18. Self-assembling magnetic "snakes"

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-01

    Nickel particles float peacefully in a liquid medium until a giant snake seems to swim by and snatch several particles up, adding to its own mass. The self-assembled "snakes" act like biological systems, but they are not alive and are driven by a magnetic field. The research may someday offer some insight into the organization of life itself. Read more at Wired: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/03/snakes/ Research and video by Alex Snezhko and Igor Aronson, Argonne National Laboratory.

  19. Chemical Reactions Directed Peptide Self-Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Rasale, Dnyaneshwar B.; Das, Apurba K.

    2015-01-01

    Fabrication of self-assembled nanostructures is one of the important aspects in nanoscience and nanotechnology. The study of self-assembled soft materials remains an area of interest due to their potential applications in biomedicine. The versatile properties of soft materials can be tuned using a bottom up approach of small molecules. Peptide based self-assembly has significant impact in biology because of its unique features such as biocompatibility, straight peptide chain and the presence of different side chain functionality. These unique features explore peptides in various self-assembly process. In this review, we briefly introduce chemical reaction-mediated peptide self-assembly. Herein, we have emphasised enzymes, native chemical ligation and photochemical reactions in the exploration of peptide self-assembly. PMID:25984603

  20. Self-assembled controllable microswimmers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosjean, Galien; Lagubeau, Guillaume; Darras, Alexis; Lumay, Geoffroy; Hubert, Maxime; Vandewalle, Nicolas

    2015-11-01

    Because they cause a deformation of the interface, floating particles interact. In particular, identical particles attract each other. To counter this attraction, particles possessing a large magnetic moment m-> are used. When m-> is perpendicular to the surface, dipole-dipole interaction is repulsive. This competition of forces can lead to the spontaneous formation of organized structures. By using submillimetric steel spheres for which m-> ~ B-> , interdistances in the system can be precisely tuned. Here, we deform these self-assemblies by adding a horizontal contribution m-> to the magnetic moment. Time reversal symmetry is broken in the system, leading to locomotion at low Reynolds number. Moreover, swimming direction depends on the orientation of field, meaning that swimming trajectories can be finely controlled. A model allows to understand the breaking of symmetry, while a study of the vibration modes gives further informations on the dynamics of this sytem. Because this system forms by self-assembly, it allows miniaturization with applications such as cargo transport or solvent flows. It is highly versatile, being composed of simple passive particles and controlled by magnetic fields.

  1. Convergent synthesis of multiporphyrin light-harvesting rods

    DOEpatents

    Lindsey, Jonathan S.; Loewe, Robert S.

    2003-08-05

    The present invention provides a convergent method for the synthesis of light harvesting rods. The rods are oligomers of the formula A.sup.1 (A.sup.b+1).sub.b, wherein b is at least 1, A.sup.1 through A.sup.b+1 are covalently coupled rod segments, and each rod segment A.sup.1 through A.sup.1+b comprises a compound of the formula X.sup.1 (X.sup.m+1).sub.m wherein m is at least 1 and X.sup.1 through X.sup.m+1 are covalently coupled porphyrinic macrocycles. Light harvesting arrays and solar cells containing such light harvesting rods are also described, along with intermediates useful in such methods and rods produced by such methods.

  2. Self-assembled nanomaterials for photoacoustic imaging.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei; Yang, Pei-Pei; Zhao, Xiao-Xiao; Wang, Hao

    2016-02-01

    In recent years, extensive endeavors have been paid to construct functional self-assembled nanomaterials for various applications such as catalysis, separation, energy and biomedicines. To date, different strategies have been developed for preparing nanomaterials with diversified structures and functionalities via fine tuning of self-assembled building blocks. In terms of biomedical applications, bioimaging technologies are urgently calling for high-efficient probes/contrast agents for high-performance bioimaging. Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is an emerging whole-body imaging modality offering high spatial resolution, deep penetration and high contrast in vivo. The self-assembled nanomaterials show high stability in vivo, specific tolerance to sterilization and prolonged half-life stability and desirable targeting properties, which is a kind of promising PA contrast agents for biomedical imaging. Herein, we focus on summarizing recent advances in smart self-assembled nanomaterials with NIR absorption as PA contrast agents for biomedical imaging. According to the preparation strategy of the contrast agents, the self-assembled nanomaterials are categorized into two groups, i.e., the ex situ and in situ self-assembled nanomaterials. The driving forces, assembly modes and regulation of PA properties of self-assembled nanomaterials and their applications for long-term imaging, enzyme activity detection and aggregation-induced retention (AIR) effect for diagnosis and therapy are emphasized. Finally, we conclude with an outlook towards future developments of self-assembled nanomaterials for PA imaging. PMID:26757620

  3. Self-assembled nanomaterials for photoacoustic imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Lei; Yang, Pei-Pei; Zhao, Xiao-Xiao; Wang, Hao

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, extensive endeavors have been paid to construct functional self-assembled nanomaterials for various applications such as catalysis, separation, energy and biomedicines. To date, different strategies have been developed for preparing nanomaterials with diversified structures and functionalities via fine tuning of self-assembled building blocks. In terms of biomedical applications, bioimaging technologies are urgently calling for high-efficient probes/contrast agents for high-performance bioimaging. Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is an emerging whole-body imaging modality offering high spatial resolution, deep penetration and high contrast in vivo. The self-assembled nanomaterials show high stability in vivo, specific tolerance to sterilization and prolonged half-life stability and desirable targeting properties, which is a kind of promising PA contrast agents for biomedical imaging. Herein, we focus on summarizing recent advances in smart self-assembled nanomaterials with NIR absorption as PA contrast agents for biomedical imaging. According to the preparation strategy of the contrast agents, the self-assembled nanomaterials are categorized into two groups, i.e., the ex situ and in situ self-assembled nanomaterials. The driving forces, assembly modes and regulation of PA properties of self-assembled nanomaterials and their applications for long-term imaging, enzyme activity detection and aggregation-induced retention (AIR) effect for diagnosis and therapy are emphasized. Finally, we conclude with an outlook towards future developments of self-assembled nanomaterials for PA imaging.

  4. Self-Assembly: How Nature Builds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, M. Gail; Falvo, Michael R.; Broadwell, Bethany; Dotger, Sharon

    2006-01-01

    Self-assembly or spontaneous assembly is a process in which materials build themselves without assistance. This process plays a central role in the construction of biological structures and materials such as cells, viruses, and bone, and also in abiotic processes like phase transitions and crystal formation. The principles of self-assembly help…

  5. Dynamic self-assembly of microscale rotors and swimmers.

    PubMed

    Davies Wykes, Megan S; Palacci, Jérémie; Adachi, Takuji; Ristroph, Leif; Zhong, Xiao; Ward, Michael D; Zhang, Jun; Shelley, Michael J

    2016-05-18

    Biological systems often involve the self-assembly of basic components into complex and functioning structures. Artificial systems that mimic such processes can provide a well-controlled setting to explore the principles involved and also synthesize useful micromachines. Our experiments show that immotile, but active, components self-assemble into two types of structure that exhibit the fundamental forms of motility: translation and rotation. Specifically, micron-scale metallic rods are designed to induce extensile surface flows in the presence of a chemical fuel; these rods interact with each other and pair up to form either a swimmer or a rotor. Such pairs can transition reversibly between these two configurations, leading to kinetics reminiscent of bacterial run-and-tumble motion. PMID:27121100

  6. Dynamic self-assembly of microscale rotors and swimmers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies Wykes, Megan S.; Palacci, Jérémie; Adachi, Takuji; Ristroph, Leif; Zhong, Xiao; Ward, Michael D.; Zhang, Jun; Shelley, Michael J.

    Biological systems often involve the self-assembly of basic components into complex and function- ing structures. Artificial systems that mimic such processes can provide a well-controlled setting to explore the principles involved and also synthesize useful micromachines. Our experiments show that immotile, but active, components self-assemble into two types of structure that exhibit the fundamental forms of motility: translation and rotation. Specifically, micron-scale metallic rods are designed to induce extensile surface flows in the presence of a chemical fuel; these rods interact with each other and pair up to form either a swimmer or a rotor. Such pairs can transition reversibly be- tween these two configurations, leading to kinetics reminiscent of bacterial run-and-tumble motion.

  7. Light harvesting: Strike while the iron is cold

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galoppini, Elena

    2015-11-01

    For many years, chemists have tried and failed to find efficient light-harvesting molecules based on Earth-abundant, environmentally friendly iron. Now, an iron complex has been developed with photoluminescent properties that are tuned to efficiently convert light to electrons.

  8. Design directed self-assembly of donor-acceptor polymers.

    PubMed

    Marszalek, Tomasz; Li, Mengmeng; Pisula, Wojciech

    2016-09-21

    Donor-acceptor polymers with an alternating array of donor and acceptor moieties have gained particular attention during recent years as active components of organic electronics. By implementation of suitable subunits within the conjugated backbone, these polymers can be made either electron-deficient or -rich. Additionally, their band gap and light absorption can be precisely tuned for improved light-harvesting in solar cells. On the other hand, the polymer design can also be modified to encode the desired supramolecular self-assembly in the solid-state that is essential for an unhindered transport of charge carriers. This review focuses on three major factors playing a role in the assembly of donor-acceptor polymers on surfaces which are (1) nature, geometry and substitution position of solubilizing alkyl side chains, (2) shape of the conjugated polymer defined by the backbone curvature, and (3) molecular weight which determines the conjugation length of the polymer. These factors adjust the fine balance between attractive and repulsive forces and ensure a close polymer packing important for an efficient charge hopping between neighboring chains. On the microscopic scale, an appropriate domain formation with a low density of structural defects in the solution deposited thin film is crucial for the charge transport. The charge carrier transport through such thin films is characterized by field-effect transistors as basic electronic elements. PMID:27440174

  9. Lamellar Organization of Pigments in Chlorosomes, the Light Harvesting Complexes of Green Photosynthetic Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Pšenčík, J.; Ikonen, T. P.; Laurinmäki, P.; Merckel, M. C.; Butcher, S. J.; Serimaa, R. E.; Tuma, R.

    2004-01-01

    Chlorosomes of green photosynthetic bacteria constitute the most efficient light harvesting complexes found in nature. In addition, the chlorosome is the only known photosynthetic system where the majority of pigments (BChl) is not organized in pigment-protein complexes but instead is assembled into aggregates. Because of the unusual organization, the chlorosome structure has not been resolved and only models, in which BChl pigments were organized into large rods, were proposed on the basis of freeze-fracture electron microscopy and spectroscopic constraints. We have obtained the first high-resolution images of chlorosomes from the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobium tepidum by cryoelectron microscopy. Cryoelectron microscopy images revealed dense striations ∼20 Å apart. X-ray scattering from chlorosomes exhibited a feature with the same ∼20 Å spacing. No evidence for the rod models was obtained. The observed spacing and tilt-series cryoelectron microscopy projections are compatible with a lamellar model, in which BChl molecules aggregate into semicrystalline lateral arrays. The diffraction data further indicate that arrays are built from BChl dimers. The arrays form undulating lamellae, which, in turn, are held together by interdigitated esterifying alcohol tails, carotenoids, and lipids. The lamellar model is consistent with earlier spectroscopic data and provides insight into chlorosome self-assembly. PMID:15298919

  10. Lamellar organization of pigments in chlorosomes, the light harvesting complexes of green photosynthetic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Psencík, J; Ikonen, T P; Laurinmäki, P; Merckel, M C; Butcher, S J; Serimaa, R E; Tuma, R

    2004-08-01

    Chlorosomes of green photosynthetic bacteria constitute the most efficient light harvesting complexes found in nature. In addition, the chlorosome is the only known photosynthetic system where the majority of pigments (BChl) is not organized in pigment-protein complexes but instead is assembled into aggregates. Because of the unusual organization, the chlorosome structure has not been resolved and only models, in which BChl pigments were organized into large rods, were proposed on the basis of freeze-fracture electron microscopy and spectroscopic constraints. We have obtained the first high-resolution images of chlorosomes from the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobium tepidum by cryoelectron microscopy. Cryoelectron microscopy images revealed dense striations approximately 20 A apart. X-ray scattering from chlorosomes exhibited a feature with the same approximately 20 A spacing. No evidence for the rod models was obtained. The observed spacing and tilt-series cryoelectron microscopy projections are compatible with a lamellar model, in which BChl molecules aggregate into semicrystalline lateral arrays. The diffraction data further indicate that arrays are built from BChl dimers. The arrays form undulating lamellae, which, in turn, are held together by interdigitated esterifying alcohol tails, carotenoids, and lipids. The lamellar model is consistent with earlier spectroscopic data and provides insight into chlorosome self-assembly. PMID:15298919

  11. Protein self-assembly via supramolecular strategies.

    PubMed

    Bai, Yushi; Luo, Quan; Liu, Junqiu

    2016-05-21

    Proteins, as the elemental basis of living organisms, mostly execute their biological tasks in the form of supramolecular self-assemblies with subtle architectures, dynamic interactions and versatile functionalities. Inspired by the structural harmony and functional beauty of natural protein self-assemblies to fabricate sophisticated yet highly ordered protein superstructures represents an adventure in the pursuit of nature's supreme wisdom. In this review, we focus on building protein self-assembly systems based on supramolecular strategies and classify recent progress by the types of utilized supramolecular driving forces. Especially, the design strategy, structure control and the thermodynamic/kinetic regulation of the self-assemblies, which will in turn provide insights into the natural biological self-assembly mechanism, are highlighted. In addition, recently, this research field is starting to extend its interest beyond constructing complex morphologies towards the potential applications of the self-assembly systems; several attempts to design functional protein complexes are also discussed. As such, we hope that this review will provide a panoramic sketch of the field and draw a roadmap towards the ultimate construction of advanced protein self-assemblies that even can serve as analogues of their natural counterparts. PMID:27080059

  12. Theoretical Study of the Initial Stages of Self-Assembly of a Carboxysome’s Facet

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Mahalik, J. P.; Brown, Kirsten A.; Cheng, Xiaolin; Fuentes-Cabrera, Miguel

    2016-02-24

    Bacterial microcompartments, BMCs, are organelles that exist within wide variety of bacteria and act as nanofactories. Among the different types of known BMCs, the carboxysome has been studied the most. The carboxysome plays an important role in the light-independent part of the photosynthesis process, where its icosahedral-like proteinaceous shell acts as a membrane that controls the transport of metabolites. Although a structural model exists for the carboxysome shell, it remains largely unknown how the shell proteins self-assemble. Understanding the self-assembly process can provide insights into how the shell affects the carboxysome s function and how it can be modified tomore » create new functionalities, such as artificial nanoreactors and artificial protein membranes. Here, we explain a theoretical framework that employs Monte Carlo simulations with a coarse-grain potential that reproduces well the atomistic potential of mean force; employing this framework, we are able to capture the initial stages of the 2D self-assembly of CcmK2 hexamers, a major protein-shell component of the carboxysome's facet. The simulations reveal that CcmK2 hexamers self-assemble into clusters that resemble what was seen experimentally in 2D layers. Further analysis of the simulation results suggests that the 2D self-assembly of carboxysome s facets is driven by a nucleation growth process, which in turn could play an important role in the hierarchical self- assembly of BMC shells in general.« less

  13. Theoretical Study of the Initial Stages of Self-Assembly of a Carboxysome's Facet.

    PubMed

    Mahalik, J P; Brown, Kirsten A; Cheng, Xiaolin; Fuentes-Cabrera, Miguel

    2016-06-28

    Bacterial microcompartments, BMCs, are organelles that exist within wide variety of bacteria and act as nanofactories. Among the different types of known BMCs, the carboxysome has been studied the most. The carboxysome plays an important role in the light-independent part of the photosynthesis process, where its icosahedral-like proteinaceous shell acts as a membrane that controls the transport of metabolites. Although a structural model exists for the carboxysome shell, it remains largely unknown how the shell proteins self-assemble. Understanding the self-assembly process can provide insights into how the shell affects the carboxysome's function and how it can be modified to create new functionalities, such as artificial nanoreactors and artificial protein membranes. Here, we describe a theoretical framework that employs Monte Carlo simulations with a coarse-grain potential that reproduces well the atomistic potential of mean force; employing this framework, we are able to capture the initial stages of the 2D self-assembly of CcmK2 hexamers, a major protein-shell component of the carboxysome's facet. The simulations reveal that CcmK2 hexamers self-assemble into clusters that resemble what was seen experimentally in 2D layers. Further analysis of the simulation results suggests that the 2D self-assembly of carboxysome's facets is driven by a nucleation-growth process, which in turn could play an important role in the hierarchical self-assembly of BMC shells in general. PMID:26906087

  14. Nanostructured films from hierarchical self-assembly of amyloidogenic proteins

    PubMed Central

    Knowles, Tuomas P. J.; Oppenheim, Tomas W.; Buell, Alexander K.; Chirgadze, Dimitri Y.; Welland, Mark E.

    2015-01-01

    In nature, sophisticated functional materials are created through hierarchical self-assembly of simple nanoscale motifs1–4. In the laboratory, much progress has been made in the controlled assembly of molecules into one-5–7, two-6,8,9 and three-dimensional10 artificial nanostructures, but bridging from the nanoscale to the macroscale to create useful macroscopic materials remains a challenge. Here we show a scalable self-assembly approach to making free-standing films from amyloid protein fibrils. The films were well ordered and highly rigid, with a Young’s modulus of up to 5–7 GPa, which is comparable to the highest values for proteinaceous materials found in nature. We show that the self-organizing protein scaffolds can align otherwise unstructured components (such as fluorophores) within the macroscopic films. Multiscale self-assembly that relies on highly specific biomolecular interactions is an attractive path for realizing new multifunctional materials built from the bottom up. PMID:20190750

  15. Adaptive soft molecular self-assemblies.

    PubMed

    Wang, Andong; Shi, Wenyue; Huang, Jianbin; Yan, Yun

    2016-01-14

    Adaptive molecular self-assemblies provide possibility of constructing smart and functional materials in a non-covalent bottom-up manner. Exploiting the intrinsic properties of responsiveness of non-covalent interactions, a great number of fancy self-assemblies have been achieved. In this review, we try to highlight the recent advances in this field. The following contents are focused: (1) environmental adaptiveness, including smart self-assemblies adaptive to pH, temperature, pressure, and moisture; (2) special chemical adaptiveness, including nanostructures adaptive to important chemicals, such as enzymes, CO2, metal ions, redox agents, explosives, biomolecules; (3) field adaptiveness, including self-assembled materials that are capable of adapting to external fields such as magnetic field, electric field, light irradiation, and shear forces. PMID:26509717

  16. Replication of Leaf Surface Structures for Light Harvesting

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zhongjia; Yang, Sai; Zhang, Hui; Zhang, Meng; Cao, Wei

    2015-01-01

    As one of the most important hosts of natural light harvesting, foliage normally has complicated surface structures to capture solar radiances. Bio-mimicking leaf surface structures can provide novel designs of covers in photovoltaic systems. In this article, we reported on replicating leaf surface structures on poly-(methyl methacrylate) polymers to prompt harvesting efficiencies. Prepared via a double transfer process, the polymers were found to have high optical transparencies and transmission hazes, with both values exceeding 80% in some species. Benefiting from optical properties and wrinkled surfaces, the biomimetic polymers brought up to 17% gains to photovoltaic efficiencies. Through Monte-Carlo simulations of light transport, ultrahigh haze values and low reflections were attributed to lightwave guidance schemes lead by the nano- and micro-morphologies which are inherited from master leaves. Thus, leaf surface bio-mimicking can be considered as a strategic direction to design covers of light harvesting systems. PMID:26381702

  17. Replication of Leaf Surface Structures for Light Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zhongjia; Yang, Sai; Zhang, Hui; Zhang, Meng; Cao, Wei

    2015-01-01

    As one of the most important hosts of natural light harvesting, foliage normally has complicated surface structures to capture solar radiances. Bio-mimicking leaf surface structures can provide novel designs of covers in photovoltaic systems. In this article, we reported on replicating leaf surface structures on poly-(methyl methacrylate) polymers to prompt harvesting efficiencies. Prepared via a double transfer process, the polymers were found to have high optical transparencies and transmission hazes, with both values exceeding 80% in some species. Benefiting from optical properties and wrinkled surfaces, the biomimetic polymers brought up to 17% gains to photovoltaic efficiencies. Through Monte-Carlo simulations of light transport, ultrahigh haze values and low reflections were attributed to lightwave guidance schemes lead by the nano- and micro-morphologies which are inherited from master leaves. Thus, leaf surface bio-mimicking can be considered as a strategic direction to design covers of light harvesting systems. PMID:26381702

  18. Directed Self-Assembly of Nanodispersions

    SciTech Connect

    Furst, Eric M

    2013-11-15

    Directed self-assembly promises to be the technologically and economically optimal approach to industrial-scale nanotechnology, and will enable the realization of inexpensive, reproducible and active nanostructured materials with tailored photonic, transport and mechanical properties. These new nanomaterials will play a critical role in meeting the 21st century grand challenges of the US, including energy diversity and sustainability, national security and economic competitiveness. The goal of this work was to develop and fundamentally validate methods of directed selfassembly of nanomaterials and nanodispersion processing. The specific aims were: 1. Nanocolloid self-assembly and interactions in AC electric fields. In an effort to reduce the particle sizes used in AC electric field self-assembly to lengthscales, we propose detailed characterizations of field-driven structures and studies of the fundamental underlying particle interactions. We will utilize microscopy and light scattering to assess order-disorder transitions and self-assembled structures under a variety of field and physicochemical conditions. Optical trapping will be used to measure particle interactions. These experiments will be synergetic with calculations of the particle polarizability, enabling us to both validate interactions and predict the order-disorder transition for nanocolloids. 2. Assembly of anisotropic nanocolloids. Particle shape has profound effects on structure and flow behavior of dispersions, and greatly complicates their processing and self-assembly. The methods developed to study the self-assembled structures and underlying particle interactions for dispersions of isotropic nanocolloids will be extended to systems composed of anisotropic particles. This report reviews several key advances that have been made during this project, including, (1) advances in the measurement of particle polarization mechanisms underlying field-directed self-assembly, and (2) progress in the

  19. From Solvolysis to Self-Assembly*

    PubMed Central

    Stang, Peter J.

    2009-01-01

    My sojourn from classical physical-organic chemistry and solvolysis to self-assembly and supramolecular chemistry, over the last forty years, is described. My contributions to unsaturated reactive intermediates, namely vinyl cations and unsaturated carbenes, along with my decade long involvement with polyvalent iodine chemistry, especially alkynyliodonium salts, as well as my more recent research with metal-ligand, coordination driven and directed self-assembly of finite supramolecular ensembles are discussed. PMID:19111062

  20. Light-harvesting materials: Soft support for energy conversion

    SciTech Connect

    Stolley, Ryan M.; Helm, Monte L.

    2014-11-10

    To convert solar energy into viable fuel sources, coupling light-harvesting materials to catalysts is a critical challenge. Now, coupling between an organic supramolecular hydrogel and a non precious metal catalyst has been demonstrated to be effective for photocatalytic H2 production. Ryan M. Stolley and Monte L. Helm are at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA, USA 99352. PNNL is operated by Battelle for the US Department of Energy. e-mail: Monte.Helm@pnnl.gov

  1. Designing artificial photosynthetic devices using hybrid organic-inorganic modules based on polyoxometalates.

    PubMed

    Symes, Mark D; Cogdell, Richard J; Cronin, Leroy

    2013-08-13

    Artificial photosynthesis aims at capturing solar energy and using it to produce storable fuels. However, while there is reason to be optimistic that such approaches can deliver higher energy conversion efficiencies than natural photosynthetic systems, many serious challenges remain to be addressed. Perhaps chief among these is the issue of device stability. Almost all approaches to artificial photosynthesis employ easily oxidized organic molecules as light harvesters or in catalytic centres, frequently in solution with highly oxidizing species. The 'elephant in the room' in this regard is that oxidation of these organic moieties is likely to occur at least as rapidly as oxidation of water, meaning that current device performance is severely curtailed. Herein, we discuss one possible solution to this problem: using self-assembling organic-polyoxometalate hybrid structures to produce compartments inside which the individual component reactions of photosynthesis can occur without such a high incidence of deleterious side reactions. PMID:23816903

  2. Silk Reconstitution Disrupts Fibroin Self-Assembly.

    PubMed

    Koebley, Sean R; Thorpe, Daniel; Pang, Pei; Chrisochoides, Panos; Greving, Imke; Vollrath, Fritz; Schniepp, Hannes C

    2015-09-14

    Using atomic force microscopy, we present the first molecular-scale comparison of two of the most important silk dopes, native (NSF) and reconstituted (RSF) silkworm fibroin. We found that both systems depended on shear to show self-assembly. Significant differences in the nature of self-assembly between NSF and RSF were shown. In the highest studied concentration of 1000 mg/L, NSF exhibited assembly into 20-30 nm-wide nanofibrils closely resembling the surface structures found in natural silk fibers. RSF, in contrast, showed no self-assembly whatsoever at the same concentration, which suggests that the reconstitution process significantly disrupts silk's inherent self-assembly capability. At lower concentrations, both RSF and NSF formed fibrils under shear, apparently denatured by the substrate. Using image analysis, we quantified the properties of these self-assembled fibrils as a function of concentration and found low-concentration fibrils of NSF to form larger continuous structures than those of RSF, further supporting NSF's superior self-assembly capabilities. PMID:26284914

  3. Light harvesting of silicon nanostructure for solar cells application.

    PubMed

    Li, Yingfeng; Yue, Luo; Luo, Younan; Liu, Wenjian; Li, Meicheng

    2016-07-11

    Silicon nanostructures have light-harvesting effects for enhancing the performance of solar cells. Based on theoretical investigations on the optical properties of silicon nanowire (Si NW), the influencing laws of the size of Si NW on its light-harvesting effect are proposed. For the first time, we reveal that the resonant wavelength of Si NW predicted by the leaky mode theory does not correspond to the actual resonant wavelength calculated by the discrete dipole approximation method, but exactly coincides with the leftmost wavelength of the resonance peak. Then, the size dependency of the resonant intensity and width of Si NW is different from that of spherical nanoparticles, which can be deduced from the Mie theory. The size dependencies of resonant intensity and width are also applicative for silver/silicon composite nanowires. In addition, it is found that the harvested light by the Si and Ag/Si NW both show significant radial locality feature. The insight in this work is fundamental for the design and fabrication of efficient light -harvesting nanostructures for photovoltaic devices. PMID:27410895

  4. Electronic instabilities in self-assembled atom wires

    SciTech Connect

    Snijders, Paul C; Weitering, Harm H

    2010-01-01

    Low dimensional systems have fascinated physicists for a long time due to their unusual properties such as charge fractionalization, semionic statistics, and Luttinger liquid behavior among others. In nature, however, low dimensional systems often suffer from thermal fluctuations that can make these systems structurally unstable. Human beings, however, can trick nature by producing artificial structures which are not naturally produced. This Colloquium reviews the problem of self-assembled atomic wires on solid surfaces from an experimental and theoretical point of view. These materials represent a class of one-dimensional systems with very unusual properties that can open doors to the study of exotic physics that cannot be studied otherwise.

  5. Characterization and deposition of various light-harvesting antenna complexes by electrospray atomization.

    PubMed

    Shah, Vivek B; Orf, Gregory S; Reisch, Sean; Harrington, Lucas B; Prado, Mindy; Blankenship, Robert E; Biswas, Pratim

    2012-11-01

    Photosynthetic organisms have light-harvesting complexes that absorb and transfer energy efficiently to reaction centers. Light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) have received increased attention in order to understand the natural photosynthetic process and also to utilize their unique properties in fabricating efficient artificial and bio-hybrid devices to capture solar energy. In this work, LHCs with different architectures, sizes, and absorption spectra, such as chlorosomes, Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) protein, LH2 complex, and phycobilisome have been characterized by an electrospray-scanning mobility particle-sizer system (ES-SMPS). The size measured by ES-SMPS for FMO, chlorosomes, LH2, and phycobilisome were 6.4, 23.3, 9.5, and 33.4 nm, respectively. These size measurements were compared with values measured by dynamic light scattering and those reported in the literature. These complexes were deposited onto a transparent substrate by electrospray deposition. Absorption and fluorescence spectra of the deposited LHCs were measured. It was observed that the LHCs have light absorption and fluorescence spectra similar to that in solution, demonstrating the viability of the process. PMID:22983169

  6. Early events in the biosynthesis and assembly of the cyanobacterial light-harvesting system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Lamont

    1996-02-01

    The cyanobacteria are photosynthetic procaryotes that employ a mechanism of photosynthesis which is essentially identical to the systems found in plant chloroplasts and the eukaryotic green algae. Cyanobacteria can drive photosynthesis with light energy from a broad region of the visible spectrum (500 - 650 nm wavelength) that is not available to plants and green algae, which are limited to the narrow band of light energy that is absorbed by chlorophyll (660-680 nm). The light-harvesting capacity of the cyanobacteria is a function of a complex protein structure that resides on the surface of the photosynthetic membrane in contact with the PSII chlorophyll reaction centers. This light-harvesting complex is called a phycobilisome and functions as a protein scaffold for a rigid array of chromophores that absorbs light energy and transfers it to chlorophyll. The chromophores are linear tetrapyrroles (the bilins) that are covalently attached to the biliproteins, which comprise 80 - 85% of the total phycobilisome mass. There are three major classes of spectrally distinct biliproteins [phycoerythrin (PE), (lambda) max equals 565 nm; phycocyanin (PC), (lambda) max equals 617 nm; and allophycocyanin (AP), (lambda) max equals 650 nm] and their spatial organization within the phycobilisome creates an array of donor and acceptor chromophores that is optimized for resonance energy transfer to chlorophyll on a picosecond timescale and at close to 100% efficiency. The cyanobacteria can exert control over the biliprotein composition of the phycobilisomes in response to both light quality and light quantity, and they do so primarily by light-responsive transcription control mechanisms. The biosynthesis and assembly of a phycobilisome is an interesting example of self-assembly in a complex protein system. A phycobilisome from Synechocystis sp. strain 6701 can contain 400 proteins derived from a repertoire of 16 different polypeptides that includes the (alpha) and (beta) subunits for

  7. Recent Progress on Bioinspired Self-Propelled Micro/Nanomotors via Controlled Molecular Self-Assembly.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhiguang; Lin, Xiankun; Si, Tieyan; He, Qiang

    2016-06-01

    The combination of bottom-up controllable self-assembly technique with bioinspired design has opened new horizons in the development of self-propelled synthetic micro/nanomotors. Over the past five years, a significant advances toward the construction of bioinspired self-propelled micro/nanomotors has been witnessed based on the controlled self-assembly technique. Such a strategy permits the realization of autonomously synthetic motors with engineering features, such as sizes, shapes, composition, propulsion mechanism, and function. The construction, propulsion mechanism, and movement control of synthetic micro/nanomotors in connection with controlled self-assembly in recent research activities are summarized. These assembled nanomotors are expected to have a tremendous impact on current artificial nanomachines in future and hold potential promise for biomedical applications including drug targeted delivery, photothermal cancer therapy, biodetoxification, treatment of atherosclerosis, artificial insemination, crushing kidney stones, cleaning wounds, and removing blood clots and parasites. PMID:27073065

  8. Synthesis and photophysical studies of self-assembled multicomponent supramolecular coordination prisms bearing porphyrin faces.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yanhui; Sánchez-Molina, Irene; Cao, Changsheng; Cook, Timothy R; Stang, Peter J

    2014-07-01

    Multicomponent self-assembly, wherein two unique donor precursors are combined with a single metal acceptor instead of the more common two-component assembly, can be achieved by selecting Lewis-basic sites and metal nodes that select for heteroligated coordination spheres. Platinum(II) ions show a thermodynamic preference for mixed pyridyl/carboxylate coordination environments and are thus suitable for such designs. The use of three or more unique building blocks increases the structural complexity of supramolecules. Herein, we describe the synthesis and characterization of rectangular prismatic supramolecular coordination complexes (SCCs) with two faces occupied by porphyrin molecules, motivated by the search for new multichromophore complexes with promising light-harvesting properties. These prisms are obtained from the self-assembly of a 90° Pt(II) acceptor with a meso-substituted tetrapyridylporphyrin (TPyP) and dicarboxylate ligands. The generality of this self-assembly reaction is demonstrated using five dicarboxylate ligands, two based on a rigid central phenyl ring and three alkyl-spaced variants, to form a total of five free-base and five Zn-metallated porphyrin prisms. All 10 SCCs are characterized by (31)P and (1)H multinuclear NMR spectroscopy and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, confirming the structure of each self-assembly and the stoichiometry of formation. The photophysical properties of the resulting SCCs were investigated revealing that the absorption and emission properties of the free-base and metallated porphyrin prisms preserve the spectral features associated with free TPyP. PMID:24979805

  9. Synthesis and photophysical studies of self-assembled multicomponent supramolecular coordination prisms bearing porphyrin faces

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Yanhui; Sánchez-Molina, Irene; Cao, Changsheng; Cook, Timothy R.; Stang, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    Multicomponent self-assembly, wherein two unique donor precursors are combined with a single metal acceptor instead of the more common two-component assembly, can be achieved by selecting Lewis-basic sites and metal nodes that select for heteroligated coordination spheres. Platinum(II) ions show a thermodynamic preference for mixed pyridyl/carboxylate coordination environments and are thus suitable for such designs. The use of three or more unique building blocks increases the structural complexity of supramolecules. Herein, we describe the synthesis and characterization of rectangular prismatic supramolecular coordination complexes (SCCs) with two faces occupied by porphyrin molecules, motivated by the search for new multichromophore complexes with promising light-harvesting properties. These prisms are obtained from the self-assembly of a 90° Pt(II) acceptor with a meso-substituted tetrapyridylporphyrin (TPyP) and dicarboxylate ligands. The generality of this self-assembly reaction is demonstrated using five dicarboxylate ligands, two based on a rigid central phenyl ring and three alkyl-spaced variants, to form a total of five free-base and five Zn-metallated porphyrin prisms. All 10 SCCs are characterized by 31P and 1H multinuclear NMR spectroscopy and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, confirming the structure of each self-assembly and the stoichiometry of formation. The photophysical properties of the resulting SCCs were investigated revealing that the absorption and emission properties of the free-base and metallated porphyrin prisms preserve the spectral features associated with free TPyP. PMID:24979805

  10. Molecular self-assembly approaches for supramolecular electronic and organic electronic devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yip, Hin-Lap

    Molecular self-assembly represents an efficient bottom-up strategy to generate structurally well-defined aggregates of semiconducting pi-conjugated materials. The capability of tuning the chemical structures, intermolecular interactions and nanostructures through molecular engineering and novel materials processing renders it possible to tailor a large number of unprecedented properties such as charge transport, energy transfer and light harvesting. This approach does not only benefit traditional electronic devices based on bulk materials, but also generate a new research area so called "supramolecular electronics" in which electronic devices are built up with individual supramolecular nanostructures with size in the sub-hundred nanometers range. My work combined molecular self-assembly together with several novel materials processing techniques to control the nucleation and growth of organic semiconducting nanostructures from different type of pi-conjugated materials. By tailoring the interactions between the molecules using hydrogen bonds and pi-pi stacking, semiconducting nanoplatelets and nanowires with tunable sizes can be fabricated in solution. These supramolecular nanostructures were further patterned and aligned on solid substrates through printing and chemical templating methods. The capability to control the different hierarchies of organization on surface provides an important platform to study their structural-induced electronic properties. In addition to using molecular self-assembly to create different organic nanostructures, functional self-assembled monolayer (SAM) formed by spontaneous chemisorption on surfaces was used to tune the interfacial property in organic solar cells. Devices showed dramatically improved performance when appropriate SAMs were applied to optimize the contact property for efficiency charge collection.

  11. Directed self-assembly of performance materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nealey, Paul

    Directed self-assembly (DSA) is a promising strategy for high-volume cost-effective manufacturing at the nanoscale. Over the past decades, manufacturing techniques have been developed with such remarkable efficiency that it is now possible to engineer complex systems of heterogeneous materials at the scale of a few tens of nanometers. Further evolution of these techniques, however, is faced with difficult challenges not only in feasibility of implementation at scales of 10 nm and below, but also in prohibitively high capital equipment costs. Materials that self-assemble, on the other hand, spontaneously form structures at the mesoscale, but the micrometer areas or volumes over which the materials self-assemble with adequate perfection in structure is incommensurate with the macroscopic dimensions of working devices and systems of devices of industrial relevance. Directed Self-Assembly (DSA) refers to the integration of self-assembling materials with traditional manufacturing processes. Here we will discuss DSA of block copolymers to revolutionize sub 10 nm lithography and the manufacture of integrated circuits and storage media, DSA of ex-situ synthesized nanoparticles for applications in nanophotonics, and DSA of liquid crystals for advanced optics.

  12. Formation of the light-harvesting complex I (B870) of anoxygenic phototrophic purple bacteria.

    PubMed

    Drews, G

    1996-09-01

    adjust to changes in oxygen tension, light intensity, temperature, and substrates to grow under chemotrophic or phototrophic conditions. The photosynthetic apparatus (PSA), localized mainly on intracytoplasmic membranes (ICM), is usually synthesized only under low oxygen partial pressure. The cellular amount and composition of the PSA are modified upon changing light intensity in relation to cell growth (Drews and Golecki 1995). The morphogenesis of cellular structures like ICM is quite different from self-assembly. Self-assembly is a reversible process of aggregation of the constituents of a complex structure without protein synthesis and is driven by weak or strong forces in the interactions of the constituents. Morphogenesis results from the interplay of numerous gene products and the cellular organization and is always dependent upon pre-existent structures (Harold 1995). The morphogenesis of the photosynthetic membrane in purple bacteria has been studied in its different steps. The regulation at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels in purple bacteria, and the structure and morphogenesis of the ICM have been described recently (Armstrong 1995; Bauer 1995; Biel 1995; Drews and Golecki 1995; Klug 1995). In this mini-review, I will focus on the minimal requirements for the in vitro assembly of light-harvesting (LH) complex I (B870) from its constituents in detergent micelles and compare the results with observations on the complex process of targeting and import of LHI polypeptides into the membrane and assembly of B870. PMID:8703191

  13. Beta-Sheet-Forming, Self-Assembled Peptide Nanomaterials towards Optical, Energy, and Healthcare Applications.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sungjin; Kim, Jae Hong; Lee, Joon Seok; Park, Chan Beum

    2015-08-12

    Peptide self-assembly is an attractive route for the synthesis of intricate organic nanostructures that possess remarkable structural variety and biocompatibility. Recent studies on peptide-based, self-assembled materials have expanded beyond the construction of high-order architectures; they are now reporting new functional materials that have application in the emerging fields such as artificial photosynthesis and rechargeable batteries. Nevertheless, there have been few reviews particularly concentrating on such versatile, emerging applications. Herein, recent advances in the synthesis of self-assembled peptide nanomaterials (e.g., cross β-sheet-based amyloid nanostructures, peptide amphiphiles) are selectively reviewed and their new applications in diverse, interdisciplinary fields are described, ranging from optics and energy storage/conversion to healthcare. The applications of peptide-based self-assembled materials in unconventional fields are also highlighted, such as photoluminescent peptide nanostructures, artificial photosynthetic peptide nanomaterials, and lithium-ion battery components. The relation of such functional materials to the rapidly progressing biomedical applications of peptide self-assembly, which include biosensors/chips and regenerative medicine, are discussed. The combination of strategies shown in these applications would further promote the discovery of novel, functional, small materials. PMID:25929870

  14. Electronic coherence and the kinetics of energy transfer in light-harvesting systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huo, Pengfei; Coker, David; Miller, Thomas

    Recent 2D-spectroscopy experiments have observed transient electronic coherence in natural and artificial light harvesting systems, which raises questions about the role of electronic coherence in facilitating excitation energy transfer (EET) processes. In this talk, we introduce the recently developed partial linearized path-integral (PLPI) method, which can accurately simulate exciton transfer dynamics across multiple reaction regimes, as well as reliably describe the electronic coherence among excitonic states. Further, we develop a strategy that enables the analysis of the relative impact of static and dynamic electronic coherence. With PLPI simulations, we find that energy transfer dynamics are almost entirely dominated by static coherence effects; dynamic coherence is found to cause only minor effects. These conclusions are consistent with the historical view that emphasizes the importance of energy-level alignment for efficient incoherent energy transfer,while suggesting a less important role for more exotic electronic coherence effects that have been recently emphasized.

  15. Self-Assembly of Peptides to Nanostructures

    PubMed Central

    Mandal, Dindyal; Shirazi, Amir Nasrolahi; Parang, Keykavous

    2014-01-01

    The formation of well-ordered nanostructures through self-assembly of diverse organic and inorganic building blocks has drawn much attention owing to their potential applications in biology and chemistry. Among all organic building blocks, peptides are one of the most promising platforms due to their biocompatibility, chemical diversity, and resemblance with proteins. Inspired from the protein assembly in biological systems, various self-assembled peptide structures have been constructed using several amino acids and sequences. This review focuses on this emerging area, the recent advances in peptide self-assembly, and formation of different nanostructures, such as tubular, fibers, vesicles, spherical, and rod coil structures. While different peptide nanostructures are discovered, potential applications will be explored in drug delivery, tissue engineering, wound healing, and surfactants. PMID:24756480

  16. Self-assembly of nanocomposite materials

    DOEpatents

    Brinker, C. Jeffrey; Sellinger, Alan; Lu, Yunfeng

    2001-01-01

    A method of making a nanocomposite self-assembly is provided where at least one hydrophilic compound, at least one hydrophobic compound, and at least one amphiphilic surfactant are mixed in an aqueous solvent with the solvent subsequently evaporated to form a self-assembled liquid crystalline mesophase material. Upon polymerization of the hydrophilic and hydrophobic compounds, a robust nanocomposite self-assembled material is formed. Importantly, in the reaction mixture, the amphiphilic surfactant has an initial concentration below the critical micelle concentration to allow formation of the liquid-phase micellar mesophase material. A variety of nanocomposite structures can be formed, depending upon the solvent evaporazation process, including layered mesophases, tubular mesophases, and a hierarchical composite coating composed of an isotropic worm-like micellar overlayer bonded to an oriented, nanolaminated underlayer.

  17. Self-assembly of chlorophenols in water

    PubMed Central

    Rogalska, Ewa; Rogalski, Marek; Gulik-Krzywicki, Tadeusz; Gulik, Annette; Chipot, Christophe

    1999-01-01

    In saturated solutions of some di- and trichlorophenols, structures with complex morphologies, consisting of thin, transparent sheets often coiling into helices and ultimately twisting into filaments, were observed under the optical microscope. Freeze-fracture electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, phase diagrams, and molecular modeling were performed to elucidate the observed phenomena. Here, we present evidence that the chlorophenols studied, when interacting with water, self-assemble into bilayers. The fact that some chlorophenols form the same supramolecular structures as those described previously for structurally nonrelated surfactants sheds light on the mechanisms of self-assembly. PMID:10359753

  18. Remote control of self-assembled microswimmers

    PubMed Central

    Grosjean, G.; Lagubeau, G.; Darras, A.; Hubert, M.; Lumay, G.; Vandewalle, N.

    2015-01-01

    Physics governing the locomotion of microorganisms and other microsystems is dominated by viscous damping. An effective swimming strategy involves the non-reciprocal and periodic deformations of the considered body. Here, we show that a magnetocapillary-driven self-assembly, composed of three soft ferromagnetic beads, is able to swim along a liquid-air interface when powered by an external magnetic field. More importantly, we demonstrate that trajectories can be fully controlled, opening ways to explore low Reynolds number swimming. This magnetocapillary system spontaneously forms by self-assembly, allowing miniaturization and other possible applications such as cargo transport or solvent flows. PMID:26538006

  19. From self-assembled vesicles to protocells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Irene A; Walde, Peter

    2010-07-01

    Self-assembled vesicles are essential components of primitive cells. We review the importance of vesicles during the origins of life, fundamental thermodynamics and kinetics of self-assembly, and experimental models of simple vesicles, focusing on prebiotically plausible fatty acids and their derivatives. We review recent work on interactions of simple vesicles with RNA and other studies of the transition from vesicles to protocells. Finally we discuss current challenges in understanding the biophysics of protocells, as well as conceptual questions in information transmission and self-replication. PMID:20519344

  20. From Self-Assembled Vesicles to Protocells

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Irene A.; Walde, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Self-assembled vesicles are essential components of primitive cells. We review the importance of vesicles during the origins of life, fundamental thermodynamics and kinetics of self-assembly, and experimental models of simple vesicles, focusing on prebiotically plausible fatty acids and their derivatives. We review recent work on interactions of simple vesicles with RNA and other studies of the transition from vesicles to protocells. Finally we discuss current challenges in understanding the biophysics of protocells, as well as conceptual questions in information transmission and self-replication. PMID:20519344

  1. Remote control of self-assembled microswimmers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosjean, G.; Lagubeau, G.; Darras, A.; Hubert, M.; Lumay, G.; Vandewalle, N.

    2015-11-01

    Physics governing the locomotion of microorganisms and other microsystems is dominated by viscous damping. An effective swimming strategy involves the non-reciprocal and periodic deformations of the considered body. Here, we show that a magnetocapillary-driven self-assembly, composed of three soft ferromagnetic beads, is able to swim along a liquid-air interface when powered by an external magnetic field. More importantly, we demonstrate that trajectories can be fully controlled, opening ways to explore low Reynolds number swimming. This magnetocapillary system spontaneously forms by self-assembly, allowing miniaturization and other possible applications such as cargo transport or solvent flows.

  2. Computing by molecular self-assembly

    PubMed Central

    Jonoska, Nataša; Seeman, Nadrian C.

    2012-01-01

    The paper reviews two computing models by DNA self-assembly whose proof of principal have recently been experimentally confirmed. The first model incorporates DNA nano-devices and triple crossover DNA molecules to algorithmically arrange non-DNA species. This is achieved by simulating a finite-state automaton with output where golden nanoparticles are assembled to read-out the result. In the second model, a complex DNA molecule representing a graph emerges as a solution of a computational problem. This supports the idea that in molecular self-assembly computing, it may be necessary to develop the notion of shape processing besides the classical approach through symbol processing. PMID:23919130

  3. Nondeterministic self-assembly with asymmetric interactions.

    PubMed

    Tesoro, S; Göpfrich, K; Kartanas, T; Keyser, U F; Ahnert, S E

    2016-08-01

    We investigate general properties of nondeterministic self-assembly with asymmetric interactions, using a computational model and DNA tile assembly experiments. By contrasting symmetric and asymmetric interactions we show that the latter can lead to self-limiting cluster growth. Furthermore, by adjusting the relative abundance of self-assembly particles in a two-particle mixture, we are able to tune the final sizes of these clusters. We show that this is a fundamental property of asymmetric interactions, which has potential applications in bioengineering, and provides insights into the study of diseases caused by protein aggregation. PMID:27627332

  4. Nondeterministic self-assembly with asymmetric interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tesoro, S.; Göpfrich, K.; Kartanas, T.; Keyser, U. F.; Ahnert, S. E.

    2016-08-01

    We investigate general properties of nondeterministic self-assembly with asymmetric interactions, using a computational model and DNA tile assembly experiments. By contrasting symmetric and asymmetric interactions we show that the latter can lead to self-limiting cluster growth. Furthermore, by adjusting the relative abundance of self-assembly particles in a two-particle mixture, we are able to tune the final sizes of these clusters. We show that this is a fundamental property of asymmetric interactions, which has potential applications in bioengineering, and provides insights into the study of diseases caused by protein aggregation.

  5. Molecular and Interfacial Calculations of Iron(II) Light Harvesters.

    PubMed

    Fredin, Lisa A; Wärnmark, Kenneth; Sundström, Villy; Persson, Petter

    2016-04-01

    Iron-carbene complexes show considerable promise as earth-abundant light-harvesters, and adsorption onto nanostructured TiO2 is a crucial step for developing solar energy applications. Intrinsic electron injection capabilities of such promising Fe(II) N-heterocyclic complexes (Fe-NHC) to TiO2 are calculated here, and found to correlate well with recent experimental findings of highly efficient interfacial injection. First, we examine the special bonding characteristics of Fe-NHC light harvesters. The excited-state surfaces are examined using density functional theory (DFT) and time-dependent DFT (TD-DFT) to explore relaxed excited-state properties. Finally, by relaxing an Fe-NHC adsorbed on a TiO2 nanocluster, we show favorable injection properties in terms of interfacial energy level alignment and electronic coupling suitable for efficient electron injection of excited electrons from the Fe complex into the TiO2 conduction band on ∼100 fs time scales. PMID:27010851

  6. Green grasses as light harvesters in dye sensitized solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shanmugam, Vinoth; Manoharan, Subbaiah; Sharafali, A.; Anandan, Sambandam; Murugan, Ramaswamy

    2015-01-01

    Chlorophylls, the major pigments presented in plants are responsible for the process of photosynthesis. The working principle of dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) is analogous to natural photosynthesis in light-harvesting and charge separation. In a similar way, natural dyes extracted from three types of grasses viz. Hierochloe Odorata (HO), Torulinium Odoratum (TO) and Dactyloctenium Aegyptium (DA) were used as light harvesters in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) were used to characterize the dyes. The electron transport mechanism and internal resistance of the DSSCs were investigated by the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The performance of the cells fabricated with the grass extract shows comparable efficiencies with the reported natural dyes. Among the three types of grasses, the DSSC fabricated with the dye extracted from Hierochloe Odorata (HO) exhibited the maximum efficiency. LC-MS investigations indicated that the dominant pigment present in HO dye was pheophytin a (Pheo a).

  7. Ultrafast energy relaxation in single light-harvesting complexes

    PubMed Central

    Malý, Pavel; Gruber, J. Michael; Cogdell, Richard J.; Mančal, Tomáš; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-01-01

    Energy relaxation in light-harvesting complexes has been extensively studied by various ultrafast spectroscopic techniques, the fastest processes being in the sub–100-fs range. At the same time, much slower dynamics have been observed in individual complexes by single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy (SMS). In this work, we use a pump–probe-type SMS technique to observe the ultrafast energy relaxation in single light-harvesting complexes LH2 of purple bacteria. After excitation at 800 nm, the measured relaxation time distribution of multiple complexes has a peak at 95 fs and is asymmetric, with a tail at slower relaxation times. When tuning the excitation wavelength, the distribution changes in both its shape and position. The observed behavior agrees with what is to be expected from the LH2 excited states structure. As we show by a Redfield theory calculation of the relaxation times, the distribution shape corresponds to the expected effect of Gaussian disorder of the pigment transition energies. By repeatedly measuring few individual complexes for minutes, we find that complexes sample the relaxation time distribution on a timescale of seconds. Furthermore, by comparing the distribution from a single long-lived complex with the whole ensemble, we demonstrate that, regarding the relaxation times, the ensemble can be considered ergodic. Our findings thus agree with the commonly used notion of an ensemble of identical LH2 complexes experiencing slow random fluctuations. PMID:26903650

  8. Architecture and function of plant light-harvesting complexes II.

    PubMed

    Pan, Xiaowei; Liu, Zhenfeng; Li, Mei; Chang, Wenrui

    2013-08-01

    The antenna system associated with plant photosystem II (PSII) comprises a series of light-harvesting complexes II (LHCIIs) which are supramolecular assemblies of chlorophylls, carotenoids, lipids and integral membrane proteins. These complexes not only function in capturing and transmitting light energy, but also have pivotal roles in photoprotection under high-light conditions through a mechanism known as non-photochemical quenching process. Among them, the most abundant major species (majLHCII) is located at the periphery of PSII and forms homo/hetero-trimers. Besides, three minor species, named CP29, CP26 and CP24, are adjacent to the PSII core, exist in monomeric form and bridge the majLHCII trimers with the core complex. Structural studies on majLHCII and CP29 have revealed the overall architecture of plant LHC family, the binding sites of pigment molecules and the distribution pattern of chromophores in three-dimensional space. The high-resolution structural data of LHCIIs serve as fundamental bases for an improved understanding on the mechanisms of light harvesting, energy transfer and photoprotection processes in plants. PMID:23623335

  9. Ultrafast energy relaxation in single light-harvesting complexes.

    PubMed

    Malý, Pavel; Gruber, J Michael; Cogdell, Richard J; Mančal, Tomáš; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-03-15

    Energy relaxation in light-harvesting complexes has been extensively studied by various ultrafast spectroscopic techniques, the fastest processes being in the sub-100-fs range. At the same time, much slower dynamics have been observed in individual complexes by single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy (SMS). In this work, we use a pump-probe-type SMS technique to observe the ultrafast energy relaxation in single light-harvesting complexes LH2 of purple bacteria. After excitation at 800 nm, the measured relaxation time distribution of multiple complexes has a peak at 95 fs and is asymmetric, with a tail at slower relaxation times. When tuning the excitation wavelength, the distribution changes in both its shape and position. The observed behavior agrees with what is to be expected from the LH2 excited states structure. As we show by a Redfield theory calculation of the relaxation times, the distribution shape corresponds to the expected effect of Gaussian disorder of the pigment transition energies. By repeatedly measuring few individual complexes for minutes, we find that complexes sample the relaxation time distribution on a timescale of seconds. Furthermore, by comparing the distribution from a single long-lived complex with the whole ensemble, we demonstrate that, regarding the relaxation times, the ensemble can be considered ergodic. Our findings thus agree with the commonly used notion of an ensemble of identical LH2 complexes experiencing slow random fluctuations. PMID:26903650

  10. Self-assembly micro optical filter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ping (Cerina); Le, Kevin; Malalur-Nagaraja-Rao, Smitha; Hsu, Lun-Chen; Chiao, J.-C.

    2006-01-01

    Optical communication and sensor industry face critical challenges in manufacturing for system integration. Due to the assembly complexity and integration platform variety, micro optical components require costly alignment and assembly procedures, in which many required manual efforts. Consequently, self-assembly device architectures have become a great interest and could provide major advantages over the conventional optical devices. In this paper, we discussed a self-assembly integration platform for micro optical components. To demonstrate the adaptability and flexibility of the proposed optical device architectures, we chose a commercially available MEMS fabrication foundry service - MUMPs (Multi-User MEMS Process). In this work, polysilicon layers of MUMPS are used as the 3-D structural material for construction of micro component framework and actuators. However, because the polysilicon has high absorption in the visible and near infrared wavelength ranges, it is not suitable for optical interaction. To demonstrate the required optical performance, hybrid integration of materials was proposed and implemented. Organic compound materials were applied on the silicon-based framework to form the required optical interfaces. Organic compounds provide good optical transparency, flexibility to form filters or lens and inexpensive manufacturing procedures. In this paper, we have demonstrated a micro optical filter integrated with self-assembly structures. We will discuss the self-assembly mechanism, optical filter designs, fabrication issues and results.

  11. Self-assembled supramolecular nanotube yarn.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yaqing; Wang, Tianyu; Huan, Yong; Li, Zhibo; He, Guowei; Liu, Minghua

    2013-11-01

    Metric length supramolecular nanotube yarns are fabricated though a spinning process from the diluted aqueous solution of self-assembled nanotubes, with bolaamphiphiles working as molecular building blocks. These non-covalent bonding based nanotube yarns show outstanding mechanical strength compared with some conventional polymers and could be operated under the macro conditions. PMID:23943418

  12. Self-assembling materials for therapeutic delivery✩

    PubMed Central

    Branco, Monica C.; Schneider, Joel P.

    2009-01-01

    A growing number of medications must be administered through parenteral delivery, i.e., intravenous, intramuscular, or subcutaneous injection, to ensure effectiveness of the therapeutic. For some therapeutics, the use of delivery vehicles in conjunction with this delivery mechanism can improve drug efficacy and patient compliance. Macromolecular self-assembly has been exploited recently to engineer materials for the encapsulation and controlled delivery of therapeutics. Self-assembled materials offer the advantages of conventional crosslinked materials normally used for release, but also provide the ability to tailor specific bulk material properties, such as release profiles, at the molecular level via monomer design. As a result, the design of materials from the “bottom up” approach has generated a variety of supramolecular devices for biomedical applications. This review provides an overview of self-assembling molecules, their resultant structures, and their use in therapeutic delivery. It highlights the current progress in the design of polymer- and peptide-based self-assembled materials. PMID:19010748

  13. Self-assembled nanolaminate coatings (SV)

    SciTech Connect

    Fan, H.

    2012-03-01

    Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics (LM Aero) are collaborating to develop affordable, self-assembled, nanocomposite coatings and associated fabrication processes that will be tailored to Lockheed Martin product requirements. The purpose of this project is to develop a family of self-assembled coatings with properties tailored to specific performance requirements, such as antireflective (AR) optics, using Sandia-developed self-assembled techniques. The project met its objectives by development of a simple and economic self-assembly processes to fabricate multifunctional coatings. Specifically, materials, functionalization methods, and associated coating processes for single layer and multiple layers coatings have been developed to accomplish high reflective coatings, hydrophobic coatings, and anti-reflective coatings. Associated modeling and simulations have been developed to guide the coating designs for optimum optical performance. The accomplishments result in significant advantages of reduced costs, increased manufacturing freedom/producibility, improved logistics, and the incorporation of new technology solutions not possible with conventional technologies. These self-assembled coatings with tailored properties will significantly address LMC's needs and give LMC a significant competitive lead in new engineered materials. This work complements SNL's LDRD and BES programs aimed at developing multifunctional nanomaterials for microelectronics and optics as well as structure/property investigations of self-assembled nanomaterials. In addition, this project will provide SNL with new opportunities to develop and apply self-assembled nanocomposite optical coatings for use in the wavelength ranges of 3-5 and 8-12 micrometers, ranges of vital importance to military-based sensors and weapons. The SANC technologies will be applied to multiple programs within the LM Company including the F-35, F-22, ADP (Future Strike Bomber, UAV, UCAV

  14. Self-assembly of azide containing dipeptides.

    PubMed

    Yuran, Sivan; Razvag, Yair; Das, Priyadip; Reches, Meital

    2014-07-01

    Functional structures and materials are formed spontaneously in nature through the process of self-assembly. Mimicking this process in vitro will lead to the formation of new substances that would impact many areas including energy production and storage, biomaterials and implants, and drug delivery. The considerable structural diversity of peptides makes them appealing building blocks for self-assembly in vitro. This paper describes the self-assembly of three aromatic dipeptides containing an azide moiety: H-Phe(4-azido)-Phe(4-azido)-OH, H-Phe(4-azido)-Phe-OH, and H-Phe-Phe(4-azido)-OH. The peptide H-Phe(4-azido)-Phe(4-azido)-OH self-assembled into porous spherical structures, whereas the peptides H-Phe(4-azido)-Phe-OH and H-Phe-Phe(4-azido)-OH did not form any ordered structures under the examined experimental conditions. The azido group of the peptide can serve as a photo cross-linking agent upon irradiation with UV light. To examine the effect of this group and its activity on the self-assembled structures, we irradiated the assemblies in solution for different time periods. Using electron microscopy, we determined that the porous spherical assemblies formed by the peptide H-Phe(4-azido)-Phe(4-azido)-OH underwent a structural change upon irradiation. In addition, using FT-IR, we detected the chemical change of the peptide azido group. Moreover, using indentation experiments with atomic force microscopy, we showed that the Young's modulus of the spherical assemblies increased after 20 min of irradiation with UV light. Overall, irradiating the solution of the peptide assemblies containing the azido group resulted in a change both in the morphology and mechanical properties of the peptide-based structures. These ordered assemblies or their peptide monomer building blocks can potentially be incorporated into other peptide assemblies to generate stiffer and more stable materials. PMID:24889029

  15. Modeling coherent excitation energy transfer in photosynthetic light harvesting systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huo, Pengfei

    2011-12-01

    Recent non-linear spectroscopy experiments suggest the excitation energy transfer in some biological light harvesting systems initially occurs coherently. Treating such processes brings significant challenge for conventional theoretical tools that usually involve different approximations. In this dissertation, the recently developed Iterative Linearized Density Matrix (ILDM) propagation scheme, which is non-perturbative and non-Markovian is extended to study coherent excitation energy transfer in various light harvesting complexes. It is demonstrated that the ILDM approach can successfully describe the coherent beating of the site populations on model systems and gives quantitative agreement with both experimental results and the results of other theoretical methods have been developed recently to going beyond the usual approximations, thus providing a new reliable theoretical tool to study this phenomenon. This approach is used to investigate the excited energy transfer dynamics in various experimentally studied bacteria light harvesting complexes, such as Fenna-Matthews-Olsen (FMO) complex, Phycocyanin 645 (PC645). In these model calculations, quantitative agreement is found between computed de-coherence times and quantum beating pattens observed in the non-linear spectroscopy. As a result of these studies, it is concluded that the stochastic resonance behavior is important in determining the optimal throughput. To begin addressing possible mechanics for observed long de-coherence time, various models which include correlation between site energy fluctuations as well as correlation between site energy and inter-site coupling are developed. The influence of both types of correlation on the coherence and transfer rate is explored using with a two state system-bath hamiltonian parametrized to model the reaction center of Rhodobacter sphaeroides bacteria. To overcome the disadvantages of a fully reduced approach or a full propagation method, a brownian dynamics

  16. Transport and photodetection in self-assembled semiconductor quantum dots.

    PubMed

    Razeghi, M; Lim, H; Tsao, S; Szafraniec, J; Zhang, W; Mi, K; Movaghar, B

    2005-02-01

    A great step forward in science and technology was made when it was discovered that lattice mismatch can be used to grow highly ordered, artificial atom-like structures called self-assembled quantum dots. Several groups have in the meantime successfully demonstrated useful infrared photodetection devices which are based on this technology. The new physics is fascinating, and there is no doubt that many new applications will be found when we have developed a better understanding of the underlying physical processes, and in particular when we have learned how to integrate the exciting new developments made in nanoscopic addressing and molecular self-assembly methods with semiconducting dots. In this paper we examine the scientific and technical questions encountered in current state of the art infrared detector technology and suggest ways of overcoming these difficulties. Promoting simple physical pictures, we focus in particular on the problem of high temperature detector operation and discuss the origin of dark current, noise, and photoresponse. PMID:21727426

  17. Pigment Interactions in Light-harvesting Complex II in Different Molecular Environments*

    PubMed Central

    Akhtar, Parveen; Dorogi, Márta; Pawlak, Krzysztof; Kovács, László; Bóta, Attila; Kiss, Teréz; Garab, Győző; Lambrev, Petar H.

    2015-01-01

    Extraction of plant light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) from the native thylakoid membrane or from aggregates by the use of surfactants brings about significant changes in the excitonic circular dichroism (CD) spectrum and fluorescence quantum yield. To elucidate the cause of these changes, e.g. trimer-trimer contacts or surfactant-induced structural perturbations, we compared the CD spectra and fluorescence kinetics of LHCII aggregates, artificial and native LHCII-lipid membranes, and LHCII solubilized in different detergents or trapped in polymer gel. By this means we were able to identify CD spectral changes specific to LHCII-LHCII interactions, at (−)-437 and (+)-484 nm, and changes specific to the interaction with the detergent n-dodecyl-β-maltoside (β-DM) or membrane lipids, at (+)-447 and (−)-494 nm. The latter change is attributed to the conformational change of the LHCII-bound carotenoid neoxanthin, by analyzing the CD spectra of neoxanthin-deficient plant thylakoid membranes. The neoxanthin-specific band at (−)-494 nm was not pronounced in LHCII in detergent-free gels or solubilized in the α isomer of DM but was present when LHCII was reconstituted in membranes composed of phosphatidylcholine or plant thylakoid lipids, indicating that the conformation of neoxanthin is sensitive to the molecular environment. Neither the aggregation-specific CD bands, nor the surfactant-specific bands were positively associated with the onset of fluorescence quenching, which could be triggered without invoking such spectral changes. Significant quenching was not active in reconstituted LHCII proteoliposomes, whereas a high degree of energetic connectivity, depending on the lipid:protein ratio, in these membranes allows for efficient light harvesting. PMID:25525277

  18. DNA triangles and self-assembled hexagonal tilings.

    PubMed

    Chelyapov, Nickolas; Brun, Yuriy; Gopalkrishnan, Manoj; Reishus, Dustin; Shaw, Bilal; Adleman, Leonard

    2004-11-01

    We have designed and constructed DNA complexes in the form of triangles. We have created hexagonal planar tilings from these triangles via self-assembly. Unlike previously reported structures self-assembled from DNA, our structures appear to involve bending of double helices. Bending helices may be a useful design option in the creation of self-assembled DNA structures. It has been suggested that DNA self-assembly may lead to novel materials and efficient computational devices. PMID:15506744

  19. Self-assembling membranes and related methods thereof

    DOEpatents

    Capito, Ramille M; Azevedo, Helena S; Stupp, Samuel L

    2013-08-20

    The present invention relates to self-assembling membranes. In particular, the present invention provides self-assembling membranes configured for securing and/or delivering bioactive agents. In some embodiments, the self-assembling membranes are used in the treatment of diseases, and related methods (e.g., diagnostic methods, research methods, drug screening).

  20. Aerosolized droplet mediated self-assembly of photosynthetic pigment analogues and deposition onto substrates.

    PubMed

    Shah, Vivek B; Biswas, Pratim

    2014-02-25

    Self-assembled photosynthetic molecules have a high extinction coefficient and a broad absorption in the infrared region, and these properties can be used to improve the efficiency of solar cells. We have developed a single-step method for the self-assembly of synthetic chlorin molecules (analogues of native bacteriochlorophylls) in aerosolized droplets, containing a single solvent and two solvents, to synthesize biomimetic light-harvesting structures. In the single-solvent approach, assembly is promoted by a concentration-driven process due to evaporation of the solvent. The peak absorbance of Zn(II) 3-(1-hydroxyethyl)-10-phenyl-13(1)-oxophorbine (1) in methanol shifted from 646 nm to 725 nm (∼ 80 nm shift) after assembly, which is comparable to the shift observed in the naturally occurring assembly of bacteriochlorophyll c. Although assembly is thermodynamically favorable, the kinetics of self-assembly play an important role, and this was demonstrated by varying the initial concentration of the pigment monomer. To overcome kinetic limitations, a two-solvent approach using a volatile solvent (tetrahydrofuran) in which the dye is soluble and a less volatile solvent (ethanol) in which the dye is sparingly soluble was demonstrated to be effective. The effect of molecular structure is demonstrated by spraying the sterically hindered Zn(II) 3-(1-hydroxyethyl)-10-mesityl-13(1)-oxophorbine (2), which is an analogue of 1, under similar conditions. The results illustrate a valuable and facile aerosol-based method for the formation of films of supramolecular assemblies. PMID:24422474

  1. Dissipative self-assembly of vesicular nanoreactors.

    PubMed

    Maiti, Subhabrata; Fortunati, Ilaria; Ferrante, Camilla; Scrimin, Paolo; Prins, Leonard J

    2016-07-01

    Dissipative self-assembly is exploited by nature to control important biological functions, such as cell division, motility and signal transduction. The ability to construct synthetic supramolecular assemblies that require the continuous consumption of energy to remain in the functional state is an essential premise for the design of synthetic systems with lifelike properties. Here, we show a new strategy for the dissipative self-assembly of functional supramolecular structures with high structural complexity. It relies on the transient stabilization of vesicles through noncovalent interactions between the surfactants and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which acts as the chemical fuel. It is shown that the lifetime of the vesicles can be regulated by controlling the hydrolysis rate of ATP. The vesicles sustain a chemical reaction but only as long as chemical fuel is present to keep the system in the out-of-equilibrium state. The lifetime of the vesicles determines the amount of reaction product produced by the system. PMID:27325101

  2. Controlling and imaging biomimetic self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aliprandi, Alessandro; Mauro, Matteo; de Cola, Luisa

    2016-01-01

    The self-assembly of chemical entities represents a very attractive way to create a large variety of ordered functional structures and complex matter. Although much effort has been devoted to the preparation of supramolecular nanostructures based on different chemical building blocks, an understanding of the mechanisms at play and the ability to monitor assembly processes and, in turn, control them are often elusive, which precludes a deep and comprehensive control of the final structures. Here the complex supramolecular landscape of a platinum(II) compound is characterized fully and controlled successfully through a combination of supramolecular and photochemical approaches. The supramolecular assemblies comprise two kinetic assemblies and their thermodynamic counterpart. The monitoring of the different emission properties of the aggregates, used as a fingerprint for each species, allows the real-time visualization of the evolving self-assemblies. The control of multiple supramolecular pathways will help the design of complex systems in and out of their thermodynamic equilibrium.

  3. Self-assembled Oniontype Multiferroic Nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Shenqiang; Briber, Robert M.; Wuttig, Manfred

    2009-03-01

    Spontaneously self-assembled oniontype multiferroic nanostructures based on block copolymers as templating materials are reported. Diblock copolymer containing two different magnetoelectric precursors separately segregated to the two microdomains have been shown to form well-ordered templated lamellar structures. Onion-type multilamellar ordered multiferroic (PZT/CoFe2O4) nanostructures have been induced by room temperature solvent annealing in a magnetic field oriented perpendicular to the plane of the film. The evolution of the onion-like microstructure has been characterized by AFM, MFM, and TEM. The structure retains lamellar periodicity observed at zero field. The onion structure is superparamagnetic above and antiferromagnetic below the blocking temperature. This templating process opens a route for nanometer-scale patterning of magnetic toroids by means of self-assembly on length scales that are difficult to obtain by standard lithography techniques.

  4. Templated Self Assemble of Nano-Structures

    SciTech Connect

    Suo, Zhigang

    2013-04-29

    This project will identify and model mechanisms that template the self-assembly of nanostructures. We focus on a class of systems involving a two-phase monolayer of molecules adsorbed on a solid surface. At a suitably elevated temperature, the molecules diffuse on the surface to reduce the combined free energy of mixing, phase boundary, elastic field, and electrostatic field. With no template, the phases may form a pattern of stripes or disks. The feature size is on the order of 1-100 nm, selected to compromise the phase boundary energy and the long-range elastic or electrostatic interaction. Both experimental observations and our theoretical simulations have shown that the pattern resembles a periodic lattice, but has abundant imperfections. To form a perfect periodic pattern, or a designed aperiodic pattern, one must introduce a template to guide the assembly. For example, a coarse-scale pattern, lithographically defined on the substrate, will guide the assembly of the nanoscale pattern. As another example, if the molecules on the substrate surface carry strong electric dipoles, a charged object, placed in the space above the monolayer, will guide the assembly of the molecular dipoles. In particular, the charged object can be a mask with a designed nanoscale topographic pattern. A serial process (e.g., e-beam lithography) is necessary to make the mask, but the pattern transfer to the molecules on the substrate is a parallel process. The technique is potentially a high throughput, low cost process to pattern a monolayer. The monolayer pattern itself may serve as a template to fabricate a functional structure. This project will model fundamental aspects of these processes, including thermodynamics and kinetics of self-assembly, templated self-assembly, and self-assembly on unconventional substrates. It is envisioned that the theory will not only explain the available experimental observations, but also motivate new experiments.

  5. Single photon ionisation of self assembled monolayers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, B. V.; Savina, M. R.; Tripa, C. E.; Calaway, W. F.; Veryovkin, I. V.; Moore, J. F.; Pellin, M. J.

    2002-05-01

    Self assembled monolayers formed from benzenethiol, diphenylsulphide and diphenyldisulphide have been analysed using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), sputter neutral mass spectrometry (SNMS) and laser desorption photoionisation mass spectrometry (LDPI). The peak corresponding to the parent ion was much stronger in LDPI than with SIMS or SNMS analysis and fragmentation was lower. A useful yield of order 0.5% was obtained for LDPI from diphenyldisulphide.

  6. Self Assembly of Complex Building Blocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stucke, David; Crespi, Vincent

    2004-03-01

    A genetic search algorithm for optimizing the packing density of self-assembled multicomponent crystals of nanoparticles applied to complex colloidal building blocks will be presented. The algorithm searches the complex multi-dimensional space to find preferred crystal structures where standard methods fail. Mixtures of colloidal molecules and the structures found to be preferred to phase separation for different species of coloidal molecule mixtures will be shown.

  7. The dynamics of nacre self-assembly

    PubMed Central

    Cartwright, Julyan H.E; Checa, Antonio G

    2006-01-01

    We show how nacre and pearl construction in bivalve and gastropod molluscs can be understood in terms of successive processes of controlled self-assembly from the molecular- to the macro-scale. This dynamics involves the physics of the formation of both solid and liquid crystals and of membranes and fluids to produce a nanostructured hierarchically constructed biological composite of polysaccharides, proteins and mineral, whose mechanical properties far surpass those of its component parts. PMID:17251136

  8. Self-assembled tunable photonic hyper-crystals.

    PubMed

    Smolyaninova, Vera N; Yost, Bradley; Lahneman, David; Narimanov, Evgenii E; Smolyaninov, Igor I

    2014-01-01

    We demonstrate a novel artificial optical material, the "photonic hyper-crystal", which combines the most interesting features of hyperbolic metamaterials and photonic crystals. Similar to hyperbolic metamaterials, photonic hyper-crystals exhibit broadband divergence in their photonic density of states due to the lack of usual diffraction limit on the photon wave vector. On the other hand, similar to photonic crystals, hyperbolic dispersion law of extraordinary photons is modulated by forbidden gaps near the boundaries of photonic Brillouin zones. Three dimensional self-assembly of photonic hyper-crystals has been achieved by application of external magnetic field to a cobalt nanoparticle-based ferrofluid. Unique spectral properties of photonic hyper-crystals lead to extreme sensitivity of the material to monolayer coatings of cobalt nanoparticles, which should find numerous applications in biological and chemical sensing. PMID:25027947

  9. Self-assembly of Fmoc-diphenylalanine inside liquid marbles.

    PubMed

    Braun, Hans-Georg; Cardoso, André Zamith

    2012-09-01

    Liquid marbles made from Lycopodium clavatum spores are used to encapsulate aqueous solutions of 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl-diphenylalanine (Fmoc-FF). Acidification of the Fmoc-FF solution at the liquid/air interface of the liquid marble triggers the self-assembly of ribbon-like peptide fibrils into an ultrathin peptide membrane (50-500 nm). The membrane incorporates the lycopodium microparticles and as a result stabilizes the liquid marble against collapse, that could otherwise occur through particle disintegration at the floating interphase. Ultrathin nanostructured peptide membrane formation at the liquid/air interface is also observed within artificial microstructured floating objects. Thus, peptide membranes formed were inspected by SEM and TEM. Electron diffraction data reveal information about the molecular organization inside the oligopeptide membranes. PMID:22584262

  10. Self-assembled tunable photonic hyper-crystals

    PubMed Central

    Smolyaninova, Vera N.; Yost, Bradley; Lahneman, David; Narimanov, Evgenii E.; Smolyaninov, Igor I.

    2014-01-01

    We demonstrate a novel artificial optical material, the “photonic hyper-crystal”, which combines the most interesting features of hyperbolic metamaterials and photonic crystals. Similar to hyperbolic metamaterials, photonic hyper-crystals exhibit broadband divergence in their photonic density of states due to the lack of usual diffraction limit on the photon wave vector. On the other hand, similar to photonic crystals, hyperbolic dispersion law of extraordinary photons is modulated by forbidden gaps near the boundaries of photonic Brillouin zones. Three dimensional self-assembly of photonic hyper-crystals has been achieved by application of external magnetic field to a cobalt nanoparticle-based ferrofluid. Unique spectral properties of photonic hyper-crystals lead to extreme sensitivity of the material to monolayer coatings of cobalt nanoparticles, which should find numerous applications in biological and chemical sensing. PMID:25027947

  11. Self-assembled tunable photonic hyper-crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smolyaninov, Igor; Smolyaninova, Vera; Yost, Bradley; Lahneman, David; Gresock, Thomas; Narimanov, Evgenii

    2015-03-01

    We demonstrate a novel artificial optical material, the photonic hyper-crystal, which combines the most interesting features of hyperbolic metamaterials and photonic crystals. Similar to hyperbolic metamaterials, photonic hyper-crystals exhibit broadband divergence in their photonic density of states due to the lack of usual diffraction limit on the photon wave vector. On the other hand, similar to photonic crystals, hyperbolic dispersion law of extraordinary photons is modulated by forbidden gaps near the boundaries of photonic Brillouin zones. Three dimensional self-assembly of photonic hyper-crystals has been achieved by application of external magnetic field to a cobalt nanoparticle-based ferrofluid. Unique spectral properties of photonic hyper-crystals lead to extreme sensitivity of the material to monolayer coatings of cobalt nanoparticles, which should find numerous applications in biological and chemical sensing. This work was supported in part by NSF Grant DMR-1104676, NSF Center for Photonic and Multiscale Nanomaterials, ARO MURI and Gordon and Berry Moore Foundation.

  12. Meniscus height controlled convective self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choudhary, Satyan; Crosby, Alfred

    Convective self-assembly techniques based on the 'coffee-ring effect' allow for the fabrication of materials with structural hierarchy and multi-functionality across a wide range of length scales. The coffee-ring effect describes deposition of non-volatiles at the edge of droplet due to capillary flow and pattern formations due to pinning and de-pinning of meniscus with the solvent evaporation. We demonstrate a novel convective self-assembly method which uses a piezo-actuated bending motion for driving the de-pinning step. In this method, a dilute solution of nanoparticles or polymers is trapped by capillary forces between a blade and substrate. As the blade oscillates with a fixed frequency and amplitude and the substrate translates at a fixed velocity, the height of the capillary meniscus oscillates. The meniscus height controls the contact angle of three phase contact line and at a critical angle de-pinning occurs. The combination of convective flux and continuously changing contact angle drives the assembly of the solute and subsequent de-pinning step, providing a direct means for producing linear assemblies. We demonstrate a new method for convective self-assembly at an accelerated rate when compared to other techniques, with control over deposit dimensions. Army Research Office (W911NF-14-1-0185).

  13. Directed Self-assembly for Lithography Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Joy

    2010-03-01

    Economics dictated that semiconductor devices need to be scaled approximately to 70 percent linearly in order to follow the pace of Moore's law and maintain cost effectiveness. Optical lithography has been the driving force for scaling; however, it approaches its physical limit to print patterns beyond 22nm node. Directed self-assembly (DSA), which combines ``bottom-up'' self-assembled polymers and ``top-down'' lithographically defined substrates, has been considered as a potential candidate to extend optical lithography. Benefit from nanometer-scale self-assembly features and the registration precision of advanced lithography, DSA provides precise and programmable nanopatterns beyond the resolution limit of conventional lithography. We have demonstrated DSA concepts including frequency multiplication and pattern rectification using guiding prepattern with proper chemical and topographical information generated by e-beam lithography. In addition, we seek to integrate DSA with 193 nm optical lithography in a straightforward manner in order to move DSA from the research stage to a viable manufacturing technology. Recently, we implemented various integration strategies using photolithography to produce guiding patterns for DSA. This new ability enables DSA to be applied to large areas with state-of-the-art lithography facilities.

  14. Symmetry, Equivalence and Self-Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, Jack

    2006-03-01

    Molecular self-assembly at equilibrium is central to the formation of many biological structures and the emulation of this process through the creation of synthetic counterparts offers great promise for nanofabrication. The central problems in this field are an understanding of how the symmetry of the interacting particles encodes the geometrical structure of the organized structure and the nature of the thermodynamic transitions involved. Our approach is inspired by the self-assembly of actin, tubulin and icosahedral structures of plant and animal viruses. We observe chain, membrane,`nanotube' and hollow icosahedron structures using `equivalent' particles exhibiting an interplay between directional (dipolar and multi-polar) interactions and short-range (van der Waals) interactions. Specifically, a dipolar potential (continuous rotational symmetry) gives rise to chain formation, while potentials having discrete rotational symmetries (e.g., square quadrupole or triangular ring of dipoles) led to the self-organization of nanotube and icosahedral structures with some resemblance to tubulin and icosahedral viruses. The simulations are compared to theoretical models of molecular self-assembly, especially in the case of dipolar fluids where the corresponding analytic theory of equilibrium polymerization is well developed. These computations give insights into the design elements required for the development of synthetic systems exhibiting this type of organization.

  15. Self-Assembly of Nanoparticle Surfactants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lombardo, Michael T.

    Self-assembly utilizes non-covalent forces to organize smaller building blocks into larger, organized structures. Nanoparticles are one type of building block and have gained interest recently due to their unique optical and electrical properties which have proved useful in fields such as energy, catalysis, and advanced materials. There are several techniques currently used to self-assemble nanoparticles, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Here, we address the limited number of techniques in non-polar solvents by introducing a method utilizing amphiphilic gold nanoparticles. Grafted polymer chains provide steric stabilization while small hydrophilic molecules induce assembly through short range attractive forces. The properties of these self-assembled structures are found to be dependent on the polymer and small molecules surface concentrations and chemistries. These particles act as nanoparticle surfactants and can effectively stabilize oil-water interfaces, such as in an emulsion. In addition to the work in organic solvent, similar amphiphilic particles in aqueous media are shown to effectively stabilize oil-in-water emulsions that show promise as photoacoustic/ultrasound theranostic agents.

  16. Interparticle Forces Underlying Nanoparticle Self-Assemblies.

    PubMed

    Luo, Dan; Yan, Cong; Wang, Tie

    2015-12-01

    Studies on the self-assembly of nanoparticles have been a hot topic in nanotechnology for decades and still remain relevant for the present and future due to their tunable collective properties as well as their remarkable applications to a wide range of fields. The novel properties of nanoparticle assemblies arise from their internal interactions and assemblies with the desired architecture key to constructing novel nanodevices. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of the interparticle forces of nanoparticle self-assemblies is a pre-requisite to the design and control of the assembly processes, so as to fabricate the ideal nanomaterial and nanoproducts. Here, different categories of interparticle forces are classified and discussed according to their origins, behaviors and functions during the assembly processes, and the induced collective properties of the corresponding nanoparticle assemblies. Common interparticle forces, such as van der Waals forces, electrostatic interactions, electromagnetic dipole-dipole interactions, hydrogen bonds, solvophonic interactions, and depletion interactions are discussed in detail. In addition, new categories of assembly principles are summarized and introduced. These are termed template-mediated interactions and shape-complementary interactions. A deep understanding of the interactions inside self-assembled nanoparticles, and a broader perspective for the future synthesis and fabrication of these promising nanomaterials is provided. PMID:26436692

  17. Self-assembled plasmonic nanohole arrays.

    PubMed

    Lee, Si Hoon; Bantz, Kyle C; Lindquist, Nathan C; Oh, Sang-Hyun; Haynes, Christy L

    2009-12-01

    We present a simple and massively parallel nanofabrication technique to produce self-assembled periodic nanohole arrays over a millimeter-sized area of metallic film, with a tunable hole shape, diameter, and periodicity. Using this method, 30 x 30 microm(2) defect-free areas of 300 nm diameter or smaller holes were obtained in silver; this area threshold is critical because it is larger than the visible wavelength propagation length of surface plasmon waves ( approximately 27 microm) in the silver film. Measured optical transmission spectra show highly homogeneous characteristics across the millimeter-size patterned area, and they are in good agreement with FDTD simulations. The simulations also reveal intense electric fields concentrated near the air/silver interface, which was used for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). Enhancement factors (EFs) measured with different hole shape and excitation wavelengths on the self-assembled nanohole arrays were 10(4)-10(6). With an additional Ag electroless plating step, the EF was further increased up to 3 x 10(6). The periodic nanohole arrays produced using this tunable self-assembly method show great promise as inexpensive SERS substrates as well as surface plasmon resonance biosensing platforms. PMID:19831350

  18. Engineered Self-Assembly of Plasmonic Nanomaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Andrea

    2013-03-01

    A critical need in nanotechnology is the development of new tools and methods to organize, connect, and integrate solid-state nanocomponents. Self-assembly - where components spontaneously organize themselves - can be carried out on a massively parallel scale to construct large-scale architectures using solid-state nanocrystal building blocks. I will present our recent work on the synthesis and self-assembly of nanocrystals for plasmonics, where light is propagated, manipulated, and confined by solid-state components that are smaller than the wavelength of light itself. We show the organization of polymer-grafted metal nanocrystals into hierarchical nanojunction arrays that possess intense ``hot spots'' due to electromagnetic field localization. We also show that doped semiconductor nanocrystals can serve as a new class of plasmonic building blocks, where shape and carrier density can be actively tuned to engineer plasmon resonances. These examples demonstrate that nanocrystals possess unique electromagnetic properties that rival top-down structures, and the potential of self-assembly for fabricating designer plasmonic materials.

  19. Enhanced Conversion Efficiencies in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Achieved through Self-Assembled Platinum(II) Metallacages

    PubMed Central

    He, Zuoli; Hou, Zhiqiang; Xing, Yonglei; Liu, Xiaobin; Yin, Xingtian; Que, Meidan; Shao, Jinyou; Que, Wenxiu; Stang, Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    Two-component self-assembly supramolecular coordination complexes with particular photo-physical property, wherein unique donors are combined with a single metal acceptor, can be utilized for many applications including in photo-devices. In this communication, we described the synthesis and characterization of two-component self-assembly supramolecular coordination complexes (SCCs) bearing triazine and porphyrin faces with promising light-harvesting properties. These complexes were obtained from the self-assembly of a 90° Pt(II) acceptor with 2,4,6-tris(4-pyridyl)-1,3,5-triazine (TPyT) or 5,10,15,20-Tetra(4-pyridyl)-21H,23H-porphine (TPyP). The greatly improved conversion efficiencies of the dye-sensitized TiO2 solar cells were 6.79 and 6.08 respectively, while these SCCs were introduced into the TiO2 nanoparticle film photoanodes. In addition, the open circuit voltage (Voc) of dye-sensitized solar cells was also increased to 0.769 and 0.768 V, which could be ascribed to the inhibited interfacial charge recombination due to the addition of SCCs. PMID:27404912

  20. Enhanced Conversion Efficiencies in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Achieved through Self-Assembled Platinum(II) Metallacages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Zuoli; Hou, Zhiqiang; Xing, Yonglei; Liu, Xiaobin; Yin, Xingtian; Que, Meidan; Shao, Jinyou; Que, Wenxiu; Stang, Peter J.

    2016-07-01

    Two-component self-assembly supramolecular coordination complexes with particular photo-physical property, wherein unique donors are combined with a single metal acceptor, can be utilized for many applications including in photo-devices. In this communication, we described the synthesis and characterization of two-component self-assembly supramolecular coordination complexes (SCCs) bearing triazine and porphyrin faces with promising light-harvesting properties. These complexes were obtained from the self-assembly of a 90° Pt(II) acceptor with 2,4,6-tris(4-pyridyl)-1,3,5-triazine (TPyT) or 5,10,15,20-Tetra(4-pyridyl)-21H,23H-porphine (TPyP). The greatly improved conversion efficiencies of the dye-sensitized TiO2 solar cells were 6.79 and 6.08 respectively, while these SCCs were introduced into the TiO2 nanoparticle film photoanodes. In addition, the open circuit voltage (Voc) of dye-sensitized solar cells was also increased to 0.769 and 0.768 V, which could be ascribed to the inhibited interfacial charge recombination due to the addition of SCCs.

  1. Enhanced Conversion Efficiencies in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Achieved through Self-Assembled Platinum(II) Metallacages.

    PubMed

    He, Zuoli; Hou, Zhiqiang; Xing, Yonglei; Liu, Xiaobin; Yin, Xingtian; Que, Meidan; Shao, Jinyou; Que, Wenxiu; Stang, Peter J

    2016-01-01

    Two-component self-assembly supramolecular coordination complexes with particular photo-physical property, wherein unique donors are combined with a single metal acceptor, can be utilized for many applications including in photo-devices. In this communication, we described the synthesis and characterization of two-component self-assembly supramolecular coordination complexes (SCCs) bearing triazine and porphyrin faces with promising light-harvesting properties. These complexes were obtained from the self-assembly of a 90° Pt(II) acceptor with 2,4,6-tris(4-pyridyl)-1,3,5-triazine (TPyT) or 5,10,15,20-Tetra(4-pyridyl)-21H,23H-porphine (TPyP). The greatly improved conversion efficiencies of the dye-sensitized TiO2 solar cells were 6.79 and 6.08 respectively, while these SCCs were introduced into the TiO2 nanoparticle film photoanodes. In addition, the open circuit voltage (Voc) of dye-sensitized solar cells was also increased to 0.769 and 0.768 V, which could be ascribed to the inhibited interfacial charge recombination due to the addition of SCCs. PMID:27404912

  2. Self-assembled biomimetic nanoreactors I: Polymeric template

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McTaggart, Matt; Malardier-Jugroot, Cecile; Jugroot, Manish

    2015-09-01

    The variety of nanoarchitectures made feasible by the self-assembly of alternating copolymers opens new avenues for biomimicry. Indeed, self-assembled structures allow the development of nanoreactors which combine the efficiency of high surface area metal active centres to the effect of confinement due to the very small cavities generated by the self-assembly process. A novel self-assembly of high molecular weight alternating copolymers is characterized in the present study. The self-assembly is shown to organize into nanosheets, providing a 2 nm hydrophobic cavity with a 1D confinement.

  3. Amphiphilic, hydrophilic, or hydrophobic synthetic bacteriochlorins in biohybrid light-harvesting architectures: consideration of molecular designs.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Jianbing; Reddy, Kanumuri Ramesh; Pavan, M Phani; Lubian, Elisa; Harris, Michelle A; Jiao, Jieying; Niedzwiedzki, Dariusz M; Kirmaier, Christine; Parkes-Loach, Pamela S; Loach, Paul A; Bocian, David F; Holten, Dewey; Lindsey, Jonathan S

    2014-11-01

    Biohybrid light-harvesting architectures can be constructed that employ native-like bacterial photosynthetic antenna peptides as a scaffold to which synthetic chromophores are attached to augment overall spectral coverage. Synthetic bacteriochlorins are attractive to enhance capture of solar radiation in the photon-rich near-infrared spectral region. The effect of the polarity of the bacteriochlorin substituents on the antenna self-assembly process was explored by the preparation of a bacteriochlorin-peptide conjugate using a synthetic amphiphilic bacteriochlorin (B1) to complement prior studies using hydrophilic (B2, four carboxylic acids) or hydrophobic (B3) bacteriochlorins. The amphiphilic bioconjugatable bacteriochlorin B1 with a polar ammonium-terminated tail was synthesized by sequential Pd-mediated reactions of a 3,13-dibromo-5-methoxybacteriochlorin. Each bacteriochlorin bears a maleimido-terminated tether for attachment to a cysteine-containing analog of the Rhodobacter sphaeroides antenna β-peptide to give conjugates β-B1, β-B2, and β-B3. Given the hydrophobic nature of the β-peptide, the polarity of B1 and B2 facilitated purification of the respective conjugate compared to the hydrophobic B3. Bacteriochlorophyll a (BChl a) associates with each conjugate in aqueous micellar media to form a dyad containing two β-peptides, two covalently attached synthetic bacteriochlorins, and a datively bonded BChl-a pair, albeit to a limited extent for β-B2. The reversible assembly/disassembly of dyad (β-B2/BChl)2 was examined in aqueous detergent (octyl glucoside) solution by temperature variation (15-35 °C). The energy-transfer efficiency from the synthetic bacteriochlorin to the BChl-a dimer was found to be 0.85 for (β-B1/BChl)2, 0.40 for (β-B2/BChl)2, and 0.85 for (β-B3/BChl)2. Thus, in terms of handling, assembly and energy-transfer efficiency taken together, the amphiphilic design examined herein is more attractive than the prior hydrophilic or

  4. Electronic Energy transfer in light-harvesting antenna complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hossein-Nejad, Hoda

    The studies presented in this thesis explore electronic energy transfer (EET) in light-harvesting antenna complexes and investigate the role of quantum coherence in EET. The dynamics of energy transfer are investigated in three distinct length scales and a different formulation of the exciton transport problem is applied at each scale. These scales include: the scale of a molecular dimer, the scale of a single protein and the scale of a molecular aggregate. The antenna protein phycoerythrin 545 (PE545) isolated from the photosynthetic cryptophyte algae Rhodomonas CS4 is specifically studied in two chapters of this thesis. It is found that formation of small aggregates delocalizes the excitation across chromophores of adjacent proteins, and that this delocalization has a dramatic effect in enhancing the rate of energy transfer between pigments. Furthermore, we investigate EET from a donor to an acceptor via an intermediate site and observe that interference of coherent pathways gives a finite correction to the transfer rate that is sensitively dependent on the nature of the vibrational interactions in the system. The statistical fluctuations of a system exhibiting EET are investigated in the final chapter. The techniques of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics are applied to investigate the steady-state of a typical system exhibiting EET that is perturbed out of equilibrium due to its interaction with a fluctuating bath.

  5. DNA-Based Oligochromophores as Light-Harvesting Systems.

    PubMed

    Ensslen, Philipp; Brandl, Fabian; Sezi, Sabrina; Varghese, Reji; Kutta, Roger-Jan; Dick, Bernhard; Wagenknecht, Hans-Achim

    2015-06-22

    The chromophores ethynyl pyrene as blue, ethynyl perylene as green and ethynyl Nile red as red emitter were conjugated to the 5-position of 2'-deoxyuridine via an acetylene bridge. Using phosphoramidite chemistry on solid phase labelled DNA duplexes were prepared that bear single chromophore modifications, and binary and ternary combinations of these chromophore modifications. The steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence spectra of all three chromophores were studied in these modified DNA duplexes. An energy-transfer cascade occurs from ethynyl pyrene over ethynyl perylene to ethynyl Nile red and subsequently an electron-transfer cascade in the opposite direction (from ethynyl Nile red to ethynyl perylene or ethynyl pyrene, but not from ethynyl perylene to ethynyl pyrene). The electron-transfer processes finally provide charge separation. The efficiencies by these energy and electron-transfer processes can be tuned by the distances between the chromophores and the sequences. Most importantly, excitation at any wavelength between 350 and 700 nm finally leads to charge separated states which make these DNA samples promising candidates for light-harvesting systems. PMID:26069203

  6. Microscopic quantum coherence in a photosynthetic-light-harvesting antenna.

    PubMed

    Dawlaty, Jahan M; Ishizaki, Akihito; De, Arijit K; Fleming, Graham R

    2012-08-13

    We briefly review the coherent quantum beats observed in recent two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy experiments in a photosynthetic-light-harvesting antenna. We emphasize that the decay of the quantum beats in these experiments is limited by ensemble averaging. The in vivo dynamics of energy transport depends upon the local fluctuations of a single photosynthetic complex during the energy transfer time (a few picoseconds). Recent analyses suggest that it remains possible that the quantum-coherent motion may be robust under individual realizations of the environment-induced fluctuations contrary to intuition obtained from condensed phase spectroscopic measurements and reduced density matrices. This result indicates that the decay of the observed quantum coherence can be understood as ensemble dephasing. We propose a fluorescence-detected single-molecule experiment with phase-locked excitation pulses to investigate the coherent dynamics at the level of a single molecule without hindrance by ensemble averaging. We discuss the advantages and limitations of this method. We report our initial results on bulk fluorescence-detected coherent spectroscopy of the Fenna-Mathews-Olson complex. PMID:22753820

  7. Light-harvesting processes in the dynamic photosynthetic antenna.

    PubMed

    Duffy, C D P; Valkunas, L; Ruban, A V

    2013-11-21

    We present our perspective on the theoretical basis of light-harvesting within the photosynthetic membrane. Far from being a static structure, the photosynthetic membrane is a highly dynamic system, with protein mobility playing an important role in the damage/repair cycle of photosystem II (PSII), in balancing the input of energy between PSI and PSII, and in the photoprotection of PSII in response to a sudden excess of illumination. The concept of a photosynthetic antenna is illustrated and the state transition phenomenon is discussed as an example of purposeful antenna mobility. We discuss fluorescence recovery after photo-bleaching as a technique for visualising membrane mobility, before introducing light-induced grana membrane reorganisation as an integral part of the rapid photoprotective switch in plants. We then discuss current theoretical approaches to modelling the energy transfer dynamics of the PSII antenna: the atomistic models of intra-complex transfer and the coarse-grained approach to the inter-complex dynamics. Finally we discuss the future prospect of extending these methods, beyond the static picture of the membrane, to the dynamic PSII photosynthetic antenna. PMID:23868502

  8. Excitation migration in fluctuating light-harvesting antenna systems.

    PubMed

    Chmeliov, Jevgenij; Trinkunas, Gediminas; van Amerongen, Herbert; Valkunas, Leonas

    2016-01-01

    Complex multi-exponential fluorescence decay kinetics observed in various photosynthetic systems like photosystem II (PSII) have often been explained by the reversible quenching mechanism of the charge separation taking place in the reaction center (RC) of PSII. However, this description does not account for the intrinsic dynamic disorder of the light-harvesting proteins as well as their fluctuating dislocations within the antenna, which also facilitate the repair of RCs, state transitions, and the process of non-photochemical quenching. Since dynamic fluctuations result in varying connectivity between pigment-protein complexes, they can also lead to non-exponential excitation decay kinetics. Based on this presumption, we have recently proposed a simple conceptual model describing excitation diffusion in a continuous medium and accounting for possible variations of the excitation transfer pathways. In the current work, this model is further developed and then applied to describe fluorescence kinetics originating from very diverse antenna systems, ranging from PSII of various sizes to LHCII aggregates and even the entire thylakoid membrane. In all cases, complex multi-exponential fluorescence kinetics are perfectly reproduced on the entire relevant time scale without assuming any radical pair equilibration at the side of the excitation quencher, but using just a few parameters reflecting the mean excitation energy transfer rate as well as the overall average organization of the photosynthetic antenna. PMID:25605669

  9. Multiscale model of light harvesting by photosystem II in plants

    PubMed Central

    Amarnath, Kapil; Bennett, Doran I. G.; Schneider, Anna R.; Fleming, Graham R.

    2016-01-01

    The first step of photosynthesis in plants is the absorption of sunlight by pigments in the antenna complexes of photosystem II (PSII), followed by transfer of the nascent excitation energy to the reaction centers, where long-term storage as chemical energy is initiated. Quantum mechanical mechanisms must be invoked to explain the transport of excitation within individual antenna. However, it is unclear how these mechanisms influence transfer across assemblies of antenna and thus the photochemical yield at reaction centers in the functional thylakoid membrane. Here, we model light harvesting at the several-hundred-nanometer scale of the PSII membrane, while preserving the dominant quantum effects previously observed in individual complexes. We show that excitation moves diffusively through the antenna with a diffusion length of 50 nm until it reaches a reaction center, where charge separation serves as an energetic trap. The diffusion length is a single parameter that incorporates the enhancing effect of excited state delocalization on individual rates of energy transfer as well as the complex kinetics that arise due to energy transfer and loss by decay to the ground state. The diffusion length determines PSII’s high quantum efficiency in ideal conditions, as well as how it is altered by the membrane morphology and the closure of reaction centers. We anticipate that the model will be useful in resolving the nonphotochemical quenching mechanisms that PSII employs in conditions of high light stress. PMID:26787911

  10. Energizing the light harvesting antenna: Insight from CP29.

    PubMed

    Ioannidis, Nikolaos E; Papadatos, Sotiris; Daskalakis, Vangelis

    2016-10-01

    How do plants cope with excess light energy? Crop health and stress tolerance are governed by molecular photoprotective mechanisms. Protective exciton quenching in plants is activated by membrane energization, via unclear conformational changes in proteins called antennas. Here we show that pH and salt gradients stimulate the response of such an antenna under low and high energization by all-atom Molecular Dynamics Simulations. Novel insight establishes that helix-5 (H5) conformation in CP29 from spinach is regulated by chemiosmotic factors. This is selectively correlated with the chl-614 macrocycle deformation and interactions with nearby pigments, that could suggest a role in plant photoprotection. Adding to the significance of our findings, H5 domain is conserved among five antennas (LHCB1-5). These results suggest that light harvesting complexes of Photosystem II, one of the most abundant proteins on earth, can sense chemiosmotic gradients via their H5 domains in an upgraded role from a solar detector to also a chemiosmotic sensor. PMID:27438094

  11. Electron properties in directed self-assembly Ge/SiC/Si quantum dots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Dongyue

    Artificially ordered semiconductor quantum dot (QD) patterns may be used to implement functionalities such as spintronic bandgap systems, quantum simulation and quantum computing, by manipulating the interaction between confined carriers via direct exchange coupling. In this dissertation, magnetotransport measurements have been conducted to investigate the electronic orbital and spin states of directed self-assembly single- and few-Ge/SiC/Si QD devices, fabricated by a directed self-assembly QD growth technique developed by our group. Diamagnetic and Zeeman energy shifts of electrons confined around the QD have been observed from the magnetotransport experiments. A triple-barrier resonant tunneling model has been proposed to describe the electron and spin transport. The strength of the Coulomb interaction between electrons confined at neighboring QDs has been observed dependent on the dot separation, and represents an important parameter for fabricating QD-based molecules and artificial arrays, which may be implemented as building blocks for future quantum simulation and quantum computing architectures.

  12. Self-assembly of colloidal surfactants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kegel, Willem

    2012-02-01

    We developed colloidal dumbbells with a rough and a smooth part, based on a method reported in Ref. [1]. Specific attraction between the smooth parts occurs upon addition of non-adsorbing polymers of appropriate size. We present the first results in terms of the assemblies that emerge in these systems. [4pt] [1] D.J. Kraft, W.S. Vlug, C.M. van Kats, A. van Blaaderen, A. Imhof and W.K. Kegel, Self-assembly of colloids with liquid protrusions, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 131, 1182, (2009)

  13. Conceptual, self-assembling graphene nanocontainers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boothroyd, Simon; Anwar, Jamshed

    2015-07-01

    We show that graphene nano-sheets, when appropriately functionalised, can form self-assembling nanocontainers which may be opened or closed using a chemical trigger such as pH or polarity of solvent. Conceptual design rules are presented for different container structures, whose ability to form and encapsulate guest molecules is verified by molecular dynamics simulations. The structural simplicity of the graphene nanocontainers offers considerable scope for scaling the capacity, modulating the nature of the internal environment, and defining the trigger for encapsulation or release of the guest molecule(s). This design study will serve to provide additional impetus to developing synthetic approaches for selective functionalisation of graphene.

  14. Self-assembly of Random Copolymers

    PubMed Central

    Li, Longyu; Raghupathi, Kishore; Song, Cunfeng; Prasad, Priyaa; Thayumanavan, S.

    2014-01-01

    Self-assembly of random copolymers has attracted considerable attention recently. In this feature article, we highlight the use of random copolymers to prepare nanostructures with different morphologies and to prepare nanomaterials that are responsive to single or multiple stimuli. The synthesis of single-chain nanoparticles and their potential applications from random copolymers are also discussed in some detail. We aim to draw more attention to these easily accessible copolymers, which are likely to play an important role in translational polymer research. PMID:25036552

  15. Ionically self-assembled monolayers (ISAMs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janik, John

    2001-04-01

    Ionically self-assembled monolayers (ISAMs), fabricated by alternate adsorption of cationic and anionic components, yield exceptionally homogeneous thin films with sub-nanometer control of the thickness and relative special location of the component materials. Using organic electrochromic materials such as polyaniline, we report studies of electrochromic responses in ISAM films. Reversible changes in the absorption spectrum are observed with the application of voltages on the order of 1.0 V. Measurements are made using both liquid electrolytes and in all-solid state devices incorporating solid polyelectrolytes such as poly(2-acylamido 2-methyl propane sulfonic acid) (PAMPS).

  16. Self-assembly of magnetic biofunctional nanoparticles

    SciTech Connect

    Sun Xiangcheng; Thode, C.J.; Mabry, J.K.; Harrell, J.W.; Nikles, D.E.; Sun, K.; Wang, L.M.

    2005-05-15

    Spherical, ferromagnetic FePt nanoparticles with a particle size of 3 nm were prepared by the simultaneous polyol reduction of Fe(acac){sub 3} and Pt(acac){sub 2} in phenyl ether in the presence of oleic acid and oleylamine. The oleic acid ligands can be replaced with 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid, giving particles that can be dispersed in water. Both x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy indicated that FePt particles were not affected by ligands replacement. Dispersions of the FePt particles with 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid ligands and ammonium counter ions gave self-assembled films consisting of highly ordered hexagonal arrays of particles.

  17. Self-assembly of information in networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosvall, M.; Sneppen, K.

    2006-06-01

    We model self-assembly of information in networks to investigate necessary conditions for building a global perception of a system by local communication. Our approach is to let agents chat in a model system to self-organize distant communication pathways. We demonstrate that simple local rules allow agents to build a perception of the system, that is robust to dynamical changes and mistakes. We find that messages are most effectively forwarded in the presence of hubs, while transmission in hub-free networks is more robust against misinformation and failures.

  18. Self-assembling triblock proteins for biofunctional surface modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Stephen E.

    Despite the tremendous promise of cell/tissue engineering, significant challenges remain in engineering functional scaffolds to precisely regulate the complex processes of tissue growth and development. As the point of contact between the cells and the scaffold, the scaffold surface plays a major role in mediating cellular behaviors. In this dissertation, the development and utility of self-assembling, artificial protein hydrogels as biofunctional surface modifiers is described. The design of these recombinant proteins is based on a telechelic triblock motif, in which a disordered polyelectrolyte central domain containing embedded bioactive ligands is flanked by two leucine zipper domains. Under moderate conditions of temperature and pH, the leucine zipper end domains form amphiphilic alpha-helices that reversibly associate into homo-trimeric aggregates, driving hydrogel formation. Moreover, the amphiphilic nature of these helical domains enables surface adsorption to a variety of scaffold materials to form biofunctional protein coatings. The nature and stability of these coatings in various solution conditions, and their interaction with mammalian cells is the primary focus of this dissertation. In particular, triblock protein coatings functionalized with cell recognition sequences are shown to produce well-defined surfaces with precise control over ligand density. The impact of this is demonstrated in multiple cell types through ligand density-dependent cell-substrate interactions. To improve the stability of these physically self-assembled coatings, two covalent crosslinking strategies are described---one in which a zero-length chemical crosslinker (EDC) is utilized and a second in which disulfide bonds are engineered into the recombinant proteins. These targeted crosslinking approaches are shown to increase the stability of surface adsorbed protein layers with minimal effect on the presentation of many bioactive ligands. Finally, to demonstrate the versatility

  19. Surface-Cross-Linked Micelles as Multifunctionalized Organic Nanoparticles for Controlled Release, Light Harvesting, and Catalysis

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Surfactant micelles are dynamic entities with a rapid exchange of monomers. By “clicking” tripropargylammonium-containing surfactants with diazide cross-linkers, we obtained surface-cross-linked micelles (SCMs) that could be multifunctionalized for different applications. They triggered membrane fusion through tunable electrostatic interactions with lipid bilayers. Antenna chromophores could be installed on them to create artificial light-harvesting complexes with efficient energy migration among tens to hundreds of chromophores. When cleavable cross-linkers were used, the SCMs could break apart in response to redox or pH signals, ejecting entrapped contents quickly as a result of built-in electrostatic stress. They served as caged surfactants whose surface activity was turned on by environmental stimuli. They crossed cell membranes readily. Encapsulated fluorophores showed enhanced photophysical properties including improved quantum yields and greatly expanded Stokes shifts. Catalytic groups could be installed on the surface or in the interior, covalently attached or physically entrapped. As enzyme mimics, the SCMs enabled rational engineering of the microenvironment around the catalysts to afford activity and selectivity not possible with conventional catalysts. PMID:27181610

  20. Light Harvesting Proteins for Solar Fuel Generation in Bioengineered Photoelectrochemical Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ihssen, Julian; Braun, Artur; Faccio, Greta; Gajda-Schrantz, Krisztina; Thöny-Meyer, Linda

    2014-01-01

    The sun is the primary energy source of our planet and potentially can supply all societies with more than just their basic energy needs. Demand of electric energy can be satisfied with photovoltaics, however the global demand for fuels is even higher. The direct way to produce the solar fuel hydrogen is by water splitting in photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells, an artificial mimic of photosynthesis. There is currently strong resurging interest for solar fuels produced by PEC cells, but some fundamental technological problems need to be solved to make PEC water splitting an economic, competitive alternative. One of the problems is to provide a low cost, high performing water oxidizing and oxygen evolving photoanode in an environmentally benign setting. Hematite, α-Fe2O3, satisfies many requirements for a good PEC photoanode, but its efficiency is insufficient in its pristine form. A promising strategy for enhancing photocurrent density takes advantage of photosynthetic proteins. In this paper we give an overview of how electrode surfaces in general and hematite photoanodes in particular can be functionalized with light harvesting proteins. Specifically, we demonstrate how low-cost biomaterials such as cyanobacterial phycocyanin and enzymatically produced melanin increase the overall performance of virtually no-cost metal oxide photoanodes in a PEC system. The implementation of biomaterials changes the overall nature of the photoanode assembly in a way that aggressive alkaline electrolytes such as concentrated KOH are not required anymore. Rather, a more environmentally benign and pH neutral electrolyte can be used. PMID:24678669

  1. Surface-Cross-Linked Micelles as Multifunctionalized Organic Nanoparticles for Controlled Release, Light Harvesting, and Catalysis.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yan

    2016-06-14

    Surfactant micelles are dynamic entities with a rapid exchange of monomers. By "clicking" tripropargylammonium-containing surfactants with diazide cross-linkers, we obtained surface-cross-linked micelles (SCMs) that could be multifunctionalized for different applications. They triggered membrane fusion through tunable electrostatic interactions with lipid bilayers. Antenna chromophores could be installed on them to create artificial light-harvesting complexes with efficient energy migration among tens to hundreds of chromophores. When cleavable cross-linkers were used, the SCMs could break apart in response to redox or pH signals, ejecting entrapped contents quickly as a result of built-in electrostatic stress. They served as caged surfactants whose surface activity was turned on by environmental stimuli. They crossed cell membranes readily. Encapsulated fluorophores showed enhanced photophysical properties including improved quantum yields and greatly expanded Stokes shifts. Catalytic groups could be installed on the surface or in the interior, covalently attached or physically entrapped. As enzyme mimics, the SCMs enabled rational engineering of the microenvironment around the catalysts to afford activity and selectivity not possible with conventional catalysts. PMID:27181610

  2. Chiral self-assembly of helical particles.

    PubMed

    Kolli, Hima Bindu; Cinacchi, Giorgio; Ferrarini, Alberta; Giacometti, Achille

    2016-04-12

    The shape of the building blocks plays a crucial role in directing self-assembly towards desired architectures. Out of the many different shapes, the helix has a unique position. Helical structures are ubiquitous in nature and a helical shape is exhibited by the most important biopolymers like polynucleotides, polypeptides and polysaccharides as well as by cellular organelles like flagella. Helical particles can self-assemble into chiral superstructures, which may have a variety of applications, e.g. as photonic (meta)materials. However, a clear and definite understanding of these structures has not been entirely achieved yet. We have recently undertaken an extensive investigation on the phase behaviour of hard helical particles, using numerical simulations and classical density functional theory. Here we present a detailed study of the phase diagram of hard helices as a function of their morphology. This includes a variety of liquid-crystal phases, with different degrees of orientational and positional ordering. We show how, by tuning the helix parameters, it is possible to control the organization of the system. Starting from slender helices, whose phase behaviour is similar to that of rodlike particles, an increase in curliness leads to the onset of azimuthal correlations between the particles and the formation of phases specific to helices. These phases feature a new kind of screw order, of which there is experimental evidence in colloidal suspensions of helical flagella. PMID:26767786

  3. Transmetalation of self-assembled, supramolecular complexes.

    PubMed

    Carnes, Matthew E; Collins, Mary S; Johnson, Darren W

    2014-03-21

    Substituting one metal for another in inorganic and organometallic systems is a proven strategy for synthesizing complex molecules, and in some cases, provides the only route to a particular system. The multivalent nature of the coordination in metal-ligand assemblies lends itself more readily to some types of transmetalation. For instance, a binding site can open up for exchange without greatly effecting the many other interactions holding the structure together. In addition to exchanging the metal and altering the local binding environment, transmetalation in supramolecular systems can also lead to substantial changes in the nature of the secondary and tertiary structure of a larger assembly. In this tutorial review we will cover discrete supramolecular assemblies in which metals are exchanged. First we will address fully formed structures where direct substitution replaces one type of metal for another without changing the overall supramolecular assembly. We will then address systems where the disruptive exchange of one metal for another leads to a larger change in the supramolecular assembly. When possible we have tried to highlight systems that use supramolecular self-assembly in tandem with transmetalation to synthesize new structures not accessible through a more direct approach. At the end of this review, we highlight the use of transmetalation in self-assembled aqueous inorganic clusters and discuss the consequences for material science applications. PMID:24346298

  4. Self-assembled virus-membrane complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Lihua; Liang, Hongjun; Angelini, Thomas; Butler, John; Coridan, Robert; Tang, Jay; Wong, Gerard

    2010-11-16

    Anionic polyelectrolytes and cationic lipid membranes can self-assemble into lamellar structures ranging from alternating layers of membranes and polyelectrolytes to 'missing layer' superlattice structures. We show that these structural differences can be understood in terms of the surface-charge-density mismatch between the polyelectrolyte and membrane components by examining complexes between cationic membranes and highly charged M13 viruses, a system that allowed us to vary the polyelectrolyte diameter independently of the charge density. Such virus-membrane complexes have pore sizes that are about ten times larger in area than DNA-membrane complexes, and can be used to package and organize large functional molecules; correlated arrays of Ru(bpy){sub 3}{sup 2+} macroionic dyes have been directly observed within the virus-membrane complexes using an electron-density reconstruction. These observations elucidate fundamental design rules for rational control of self-assembled polyelectrolyte-membrane structures, which have applications ranging from non-viral gene therapy to biomolecular templates for nanofabrication.

  5. Quantifying quality in DNA self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagenbauer, Klaus F.; Wachauf, Christian H.; Dietz, Hendrik

    2014-04-01

    Molecular self-assembly with DNA is an attractive route for building nanoscale devices. The development of sophisticated and precise objects with this technique requires detailed experimental feedback on the structure and composition of assembled objects. Here we report a sensitive assay for the quality of assembly. The method relies on measuring the content of unpaired DNA bases in self-assembled DNA objects using a fluorescent de-Bruijn probe for three-base ‘codons’, which enables a comparison with the designed content of unpaired DNA. We use the assay to measure the quality of assembly of several multilayer DNA origami objects and illustrate the use of the assay for the rational refinement of assembly protocols. Our data suggests that large and complex objects like multilayer DNA origami can be made with high strand integration quality up to 99%. Beyond DNA nanotechnology, we speculate that the ability to discriminate unpaired from paired nucleic acids in the same macromolecule may also be useful for analysing cellular nucleic acids.

  6. Triggered self-assembly of magnetic nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Ye, L; Pearson, T; Cordeau, Y; Mefford, O T; Crawford, T M

    2016-01-01

    Colloidal magnetic nanoparticles are candidates for application in biology, medicine and nanomanufacturing. Understanding how these particles interact collectively in fluids, especially how they assemble and aggregate under external magnetic fields, is critical for high quality, safe, and reliable deployment of these particles. Here, by applying magnetic forces that vary strongly over the same length scale as the colloidal stabilizing force and then varying this colloidal repulsion, we can trigger self-assembly of these nanoparticles into parallel line patterns on the surface of a disk drive medium. Localized within nanometers of the medium surface, this effect is strongly dependent on the ionic properties of the colloidal fluid but at a level too small to cause bulk colloidal aggregation. We use real-time optical diffraction to monitor the dynamics of self-assembly, detecting local colloidal changes with greatly enhanced sensitivity compared with conventional light scattering. Simulations predict the triggering but not the dynamics, especially at short measurement times. Beyond using spatially-varying magnetic forces to balance interactions and drive assembly in magnetic nanoparticles, future measurements leveraging the sensitivity of this approach could identify novel colloidal effects that impact real-world applications of these nanoparticles. PMID:26975332

  7. Triggered self-assembly of magnetic nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, L.; Pearson, T.; Cordeau, Y.; Mefford, O. T.; Crawford, T. M.

    2016-03-01

    Colloidal magnetic nanoparticles are candidates for application in biology, medicine and nanomanufac-turing. Understanding how these particles interact collectively in fluids, especially how they assemble and aggregate under external magnetic fields, is critical for high quality, safe, and reliable deployment of these particles. Here, by applying magnetic forces that vary strongly over the same length scale as the colloidal stabilizing force and then varying this colloidal repulsion, we can trigger self-assembly of these nanoparticles into parallel line patterns on the surface of a disk drive medium. Localized within nanometers of the medium surface, this effect is strongly dependent on the ionic properties of the colloidal fluid but at a level too small to cause bulk colloidal aggregation. We use real-time optical diffraction to monitor the dynamics of self-assembly, detecting local colloidal changes with greatly enhanced sensitivity compared with conventional light scattering. Simulations predict the triggering but not the dynamics, especially at short measurement times. Beyond using spatially-varying magnetic forces to balance interactions and drive assembly in magnetic nanoparticles, future measurements leveraging the sensitivity of this approach could identify novel colloidal effects that impact real-world applications of these nanoparticles.

  8. Self-Assembly of Gemini Surfactants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yethiraj, Arun; Mondal, Jagannath; Mahanthappa, Mahesh

    2013-03-01

    The self-assembly behavior of Gemini (dimeric or twin-tail) dicarboxylate disodium surfactants is studied using molecular dynamics simulations. This gemini architecture, in which two single tailed surfactants are joined through a flexible hydrophobic linker, has been shown to exhibit concentration-dependent aqueous self-assembly into lyotropic phases including hexagonal, gyroid, and lamellar morphologies. Our simulations reproduce the experimentally observed phases at similar amphiphile concentrations in water, including the unusual ability of these surfactants to form gyroid phases over unprecedentedly large amphiphile concentration windows. We demonstrate quanitative agreement between the predicted and experimentally observed domain spacings of these nanostructured materials. Through careful conformation analyses of the surfactant molecules, we show that the gyroid phase is electrostatically stabilized related to the lamellar phase. By starting with a lamellar phase, we show that decreasing the charge on the surfactant headgroups by carboxylate protonation or use of a bulkier tetramethyl ammonium counterion in place of sodium drives the formation of a gyroid phase.

  9. Self-assembled Nanofibrils for Immunomodulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Fan

    This thesis has been mainly focused on applying self-assembled nanofibrils as unique depots for controlled release to modulate immune system, with two major chapters on modulation of innate immunity in chapter 2 and adaptive immunity in chapter 3, respectively. There are 5 chapters in the thesis. Chapter 1 gives a detailed review on the discovery, synthesis and application of self-assembled nanofibrils of therapeutic agents (termed as "self-delivery drugs"), including bioactive molecules; Chapter 2 demonstrates the supramolecular hydrogel of chemotactic peptides as a prolonged inflammation model through proper molecular engineering; Chapter 3 reports a suppressive antibody response achieved by encapsulation of antigens by supramolecular hydrogel of glycopeptide; Chapter 4 illustrates an example of supramolecular hydrogel formation of molecules with extremely low solubility, based on the fact that many small organic drugs have poor solubility. Chapter 5 used beta-galatosidase as a model to study glycosidase-instructed supramolecular hydrogel formation, with potential to target cancer cells due to their distinct metabolic profile.

  10. Triggered self-assembly of magnetic nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Ye, L.; Pearson, T.; Cordeau, Y.; Mefford, O. T.; Crawford, T. M.

    2016-01-01

    Colloidal magnetic nanoparticles are candidates for application in biology, medicine and nanomanufac-turing. Understanding how these particles interact collectively in fluids, especially how they assemble and aggregate under external magnetic fields, is critical for high quality, safe, and reliable deployment of these particles. Here, by applying magnetic forces that vary strongly over the same length scale as the colloidal stabilizing force and then varying this colloidal repulsion, we can trigger self-assembly of these nanoparticles into parallel line patterns on the surface of a disk drive medium. Localized within nanometers of the medium surface, this effect is strongly dependent on the ionic properties of the colloidal fluid but at a level too small to cause bulk colloidal aggregation. We use real-time optical diffraction to monitor the dynamics of self-assembly, detecting local colloidal changes with greatly enhanced sensitivity compared with conventional light scattering. Simulations predict the triggering but not the dynamics, especially at short measurement times. Beyond using spatially-varying magnetic forces to balance interactions and drive assembly in magnetic nanoparticles, future measurements leveraging the sensitivity of this approach could identify novel colloidal effects that impact real-world applications of these nanoparticles. PMID:26975332

  11. Directed Self-Assembly: Expectations and Achievements

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Nanotechnology has been a revolutionary thrust in recent years of development of science and technology for its broad appeal for employing a novel idea for relevant technological applications in particular and for mass-scale production and marketing as common man commodity in general. An interesting aspect of this emergent technology is that it involves scientific research community and relevant industries alike. Top–down and bottom–up approaches are two broad division of production of nanoscale materials in general. However, both the approaches have their own limits as far as large-scale production and cost involved are concerned. Therefore, novel new techniques are desired to be developed to optimize production and cost. Directed self-assembly seems to be a promising technique in this regard; which can work as a bridge between the top–down and bottom–up approaches. This article reviews how directed self-assembly as a technique has grown up and outlines its future prospects. PMID:20730077

  12. Self-Assemblies of novel molecules, VECAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shrestha, Bijay; Kim, Hye-Young; Lee, Soojin; Novak, Brian; Moldovan, Dorel

    2015-03-01

    VECAR is a newly synthesized molecule, which is an amphiphilic antioxidant molecule that consists of two molecular groups, vitamin-E and Carnosine, linked by a hydrocarbon chain. The hydrocarbon chain is hydrophobic and both vitamin-E and Carnosine ends are hydrophilic. In the synthesis process, the length of the hydrophobic chain of VECAR molecules can vary from the shortest (n =0) to the longest (n =18), where n indicates the number of carbon atoms in the chain. We conducted MD simulation studies of self-assembly of VECAR molecules in water using GROMACS on LONI HPC resources. Our study shows that there is a strong correlation between the shape and atomistic structure of the self-assembled nano-structures (SANs) and the chain-length (n) of VECAR molecules. We will report the results of data analyses including the atomistic structure of each SANs and the dynamic and energetic mechanisms of their formation as function of time. In summary, both VECAR molecules of chain-length n =18 and 9 form worm-like micelles, which may be used as a drug delivery system. This research is supported by the Louisiana Board of Regents-RCS Grant (LEQSF(2012-15)-RD-A-19).

  13. Strong antenna-enhanced fluorescence of a single light-harvesting complex shows photon antibunching

    PubMed Central

    Wientjes, Emilie; Renger, Jan; Curto, Alberto G.; Cogdell, Richard; van Hulst, Niek F.

    2014-01-01

    The nature of the highly efficient energy transfer in photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes is a subject of intense research. Unfortunately, the low fluorescence efficiency and limited photostability hampers the study of individual light-harvesting complexes at ambient conditions. Here we demonstrate an over 500-fold fluorescence enhancement of light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2) at the single-molecule level by coupling to a gold nanoantenna. The resonant antenna produces an excitation enhancement of circa 100 times and a fluorescence lifetime shortening to ~\

  14. Construction of a smart microgel glutathione peroxidase mimic based on supramolecular self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Yin, Yanzhen; Jiao, Shufei; Zhang, Ruirui; Hu, Xiaoxi; Shi, Zhongfeng; Huang, Zuqiang

    2015-07-14

    In an effort to construct smart artificial glutathione peroxidase (GPx) featuring high catalytic activity in an efficient preparation process, an artificial microgel GPx (PPAM-ADA-Te) has been prepared using a supramolecular host-guest self-assembly technique. Herein, 6,6'-telluro-bis(6-deoxy-β-cyclodextrin) (CD-Te-CD) was selected as a tellurium-containing host molecule, which also served as the crosslinker for the scaffold of the supramolecular microgel. And an adamantane-containing block copolymer (PPAM-ADA) was designed and synthesized as a guest building block copolymer. Subsequently, PPAM-ADA-Te was constructed through the self-assembly of CD-Te-CD and PPAM-ADA. The formation of this self-assembled construct was confirmed by dynamic light scattering, NMR, SEM and TEM. Notably, PPAM-ADA-Te not only exhibits a significant temperature responsive catalytic activity, but also features the characteristic saturation kinetics behaviour similar to that of a natural enzyme catalyst. We demonstrate in this paper that both the hydrophobic microenvironment and the crosslinker in this supramolecular microgel network played significant roles in enhancing and altering the temperature responsive catalytic behaviour. The successful construction of PPAM-ADA-Te not only provides a novel method for the preparation of microgel artificial GPx with high catalytic activity but also provides properties suitable for the future development of intelligent antioxidant drugs. PMID:26053236

  15. Light Harvesting and White-Light Generation in a Composite of Carbon Dots and Dye-Encapsulated BSA-Protein-Capped Gold Nanoclusters.

    PubMed

    Barman, Monoj Kumar; Paramanik, Bipattaran; Bain, Dipankar; Patra, Amitava

    2016-08-01

    Several strategies have been adopted to design an artificial light-harvesting system in which light energy is captured by peripheral chromophores and it is subsequently transferred to the core via energy transfer. A composite of carbon dots and dye-encapsulated BSA-protein-capped gold nanoclusters (AuNCs) has been developed for efficient light harvesting and white light generation. Carbon dots (C-dots) act as donor and AuNCs capped with BSA protein act as acceptor. Analysis reveals that energy transfer increases from 63 % to 83 % in presence of coumarin dye (C153), which enhances the cascade energy transfer from carbon dots to AuNCs. Bright white light emission with a quantum yield of 19 % under the 375 nm excitation wavelength is achieved by changing the ratio of components. Interesting findings reveal that the efficient energy transfer in carbon-dot-metal-cluster nanocomposites may open up new possibilities in designing artificial light harvesting systems for future applications. PMID:27383453

  16. Cascade exciton-pumping engines with manipulated speed and efficiency in light-harvesting porous π-network films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Cheng; Huang, Ning; Xu, Fei; Gao, Jia; Jiang, Donglin

    2015-03-01

    Light-harvesting antennae are the machinery for exciton pumping in natural photosynthesis, whereas cascade energy transfer through chlorophyll is key to long-distance, efficient energy transduction. Numerous artificial antennae have been developed. However, they are limited in their cascade energy-transfer abilities because of a lack of control over complex chromophore aggregation processes, which has impeded their advancement. Here we report a viable approach for addressing this issue by using a light-harvesting porous polymer film in which a three-dimensional π-network serves as the antenna and micropores segregate multiple dyes to prevent aggregation. Cascade energy-transfer engines are integrated into the films; the rate and efficiency of the energy-funneling engines are precisely manipulated by tailoring the dye components and contents. The nanofilms allow accurate and versatile luminescence engineering, resulting in the production of thirty emission hues, including blue, green, red and white. This advance may open new pathways for realising photosynthesis and photoenergy conversion.

  17. Self-assembled software and method of overriding software execution

    DOEpatents

    Bouchard, Ann M.; Osbourn, Gordon C.

    2013-01-08

    A computer-implemented software self-assembled system and method for providing an external override and monitoring capability to dynamically self-assembling software containing machines that self-assemble execution sequences and data structures. The method provides an external override machine that can be introduced into a system of self-assembling machines while the machines are executing such that the functionality of the executing software can be changed or paused without stopping the code execution and modifying the existing code. Additionally, a monitoring machine can be introduced without stopping code execution that can monitor specified code execution functions by designated machines and communicate the status to an output device.

  18. Ion current behaviors of mesoporous zeolite-polymer composite nanochannels prepared by water-assisted self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wenjuan; Meng, Zheyi; Zhai, Jin; Heng, Liping

    2014-04-01

    Inspired by the asymmetry of biological ion channels in structure and composition, we designed a novel type of artificial asymmetric nanochannels based on mesoporous zeolite (MCM-41) and polyimide (PI) by water-assisted self-assembly. Meanwhile, we studied ionic current behaviors and rectifying characteristics of the mesoporous zeolite-polymer composite nanochannels. PMID:24394328

  19. Fabrication of bioinspired nanostructured materials via colloidal self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Wei-Han

    ultimate strains than nacre and pure GO paper (also synthesized by filtration). Specifically, it exhibits ˜30 times higher fracture energy than filtrated graphene paper and nacre, ˜100 times tougher than filtrated GO paper. Besides reinforced nanocomposites, we further explored the self-assembly of spherical colloids and the templating nanofabrication of moth-eye-inspired broadband antireflection coatings. Binary crystalline structures can be easily accomplished by spin-coating double-layer nonclose-packed colloidal crystals as templates, followed by colloidal templating. The polymer matrix between self-assembled colloidal crystal has been used as a sacrificial template to define the resulting periodic binary nanostructures, including intercalated arrays of silica spheres and polymer posts, gold nanohole arrays with binary sizes, and dimple-nipple antireflection coatings. The binary-structured antireflection coatings exhibit better antireflective properties than unitary coatings. Natural optical structures and nanocomposites teach us a great deal on how to create high performance artificial materials. The bottom-up technologies developed in this thesis are scalable and compatible with standard industrial processes, promising for manufacturing high-performance materials for the benefits of human beings.

  20. Magnetic self-assembly of small parts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shetye, Sheetal B.

    Modern society's propensity for miniaturized end-user products is compelling electronic manufacturers to assemble and package different micro-scale, multi-technology components in more efficient and cost-effective manners. As the size of the components gets smaller, issues such as part sticking and alignment precision create challenges that slow the throughput of conventional robotic pick-n-place systems. As an alternative, various self-assembly approaches have been proposed to manipulate micro to millimeter scale components in a parallel fashion without human or robotic intervention. In this dissertation, magnetic self-assembly (MSA) is demonstrated as a highly efficient, completely parallel process for assembly of millimeter scale components. MSA is achieved by integrating permanent micromagnets onto component bonding surfaces using wafer-level microfabrication processes. Embedded bonded powder methods are used for fabrication of the magnets. The magnets are then magnetized using pulse magnetization methods, and the wafers are then singulated to form individual components. When the components are randomly mixed together, self-assembly occurs when the intermagnetic forces overcome the mixing forces. Analytical and finite element methods (FEM) are used to study the force interactions between the micromagnets. The multifunctional aspects of MSA are presented through demonstration of part-to-part and part-to-substrate assembly of 1 mm x 1mm x 0.5 mm silicon components. Part-to-part assembly is demonstrated by batch assembly of free-floating parts in a liquid environment with the assembly yield of different magnetic patterns varying from 88% to 90% in 20 s. Part-to-substrate assembly is demonstrated by assembling an ordered array onto a fixed substrate in a dry environment with the assembly yield varying from 86% to 99%. In both cases, diverse magnetic shapes/patterns are used to control the alignment and angular orientation of the components. A mathematical model is

  1. Enhancing light-harvesting power with coherent vibrational interactions: A quantum heat engine picture

    SciTech Connect

    Killoran, N.; Huelga, S. F.; Plenio, M. B.

    2015-10-21

    Recent evidence suggests that quantum effects may have functional importance in biological light-harvesting systems. Along with delocalized electronic excitations, it is now suspected that quantum coherent interactions with certain near-resonant vibrations may contribute to light-harvesting performance. However, the actual quantum advantage offered by such coherent vibrational interactions has not yet been established. We investigate a quantum design principle, whereby coherent exchange of single energy quanta between electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom can enhance a light-harvesting system’s power above what is possible by thermal mechanisms alone. We present a prototype quantum heat engine which cleanly illustrates this quantum design principle and quantifies its quantum advantage using thermodynamic measures of performance. We also demonstrate the principle’s relevance in parameter regimes connected to natural light-harvesting structures.

  2. Evolution and functional properties of photosystem II light harvesting complexes in eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Ballottari, Matteo; Girardon, Julien; Dall'osto, Luca; Bassi, Roberto

    2012-01-01

    Photoautotrophic organisms, the major agent of inorganic carbon fixation into biomass, convert light energy into chemical energy. The first step of photosynthesis consists of the absorption of solar energy by pigments binding protein complexes named photosystems. Within photosystems, a family of proteins called Light Harvesting Complexes (LHC), responsible for light harvesting and energy transfer to reaction centers, has evolved along with eukaryotic organisms. Besides light absorption, these proteins catalyze photoprotective reactions which allowed functioning of oxygenic photosynthetic machinery in the increasingly oxidant environment. In this work we review current knowledge of LHC proteins serving Photosystem II. Balance between light harvesting and photoprotection is critical in Photosystem II, due to the lower quantum efficiency as compared to Photosystem I. In particular, we focus on the role of each antenna complex in light harvesting, energy transfer, scavenging of reactive oxygen species, chlorophyll triplet quenching and thermal dissipation of excess energy. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Photosystem II. PMID:21704018

  3. IRON-INDUCED CHANGES IN LIGHT HARVESTING AND PHOTOCHEMICAL ENERGY CONVERSION IN EUKARYOTIC MARINE ALGAE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The role of iron in regulating light harvesting and photochemical energy conversion process was examined in the marine unicellular chlorophyte Dunaliella tertiolecta and the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. In both species, iron limitation led to a reduction in cellular c...

  4. Self-assembled ultra small ZnO nanocrystals for dye-sensitized solar cell application

    SciTech Connect

    Patra, Astam K.; Dutta, Arghya; Bhaumik, Asim

    2014-07-01

    We demonstrate a facile chemical approach to produce self-assembled ultra-small mesoporous zinc oxide nanocrystals using sodium salicylate (SS) as a template under hydrothermal conditions. These ZnO nanomaterials have been successfully fabricated as a photoanode for the dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) in the presence of N719 dye and iodine–triiodide electrolyte. The structural features, crystallinity, purity, mesophase and morphology of the nanostructure ZnO are investigated by several characterization tools. N{sub 2} sorption analysis revealed high surface areas (203 m{sup 2} g{sup −1}) and narrow pore size distributions (5.1–5.4 nm) for different samples. The mesoporous structure and strong photoluminescence facilitates the high dye loading at the mesoscopic void spaces and light harvesting in DSSC. By utilizing this ultra-small ZnO photoelectrode with film thickness of about 7 μm in the DSSC with an open-circuit voltage (V{sub OC}) of 0.74 V, short-circuit current density (J{sub SC}) of 3.83 mA cm{sup −2} and an overall power conversion efficiency of 1.12% has been achieved. - Graphical abstract: Ultra-small ZnO nanocrystals have been synthesized with sodium salicylate as a template and using it as a photoanode in a dye-sensitized solar cell 1.12% power conversion efficiency has been observed. - Highlights: • Synthesis of self-assembled ultra-small mesoporous ZnO nanocrystals by using sodium salicylate as a template. • Mesoporous ZnO materials have high BET surface areas and void space. • ZnO nanoparticles serve as a photoanode for the dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC). • Using ZnO nanocrystals as photoelectrode power conversion efficiency of 1.12% has been achieved.

  5. Self-assembling multimeric nucleic acid constructs

    DOEpatents

    Cantor, C.R.; Niemeyer, C.M.; Smith, C.L.; Sano, Takeshi; Hnatowich, D.J.; Rusckowski, M.

    1996-10-01

    The invention is directed to constructs and compositions containing multimeric forms of nucleic acid. Multimeric nucleic acids comprise single-stranded nucleic acids attached via biotin to streptavidin and bound with a functional group. These constructs can be utilized in vivo to treat or identify diseased tissue or cells. Repeated administrations of multimeric nucleic acid compositions produce a rapid and specific amplification of nucleic acid constructs and their attached functional groups. For treatment purposes, functional groups may be toxins, radioisotopes, genes or enzymes. Diagnostically, labeled multimeric constructs may be used to identify specific targets in vivo or in vitro. Multimeric nucleic acids may also be used in nanotechnology and to create self-assembling polymeric aggregates such as membranes of defined porosity, microcircuits and many other products. 5 figs.

  6. Capillary self-assembly of floating bodies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Sunghwan; Thompson, Paul; Bush, John

    2007-11-01

    We study the self-assembly of bodies supported on the water surface by surface tension. Attractive and repulsive capillary forces exist between menisci of, respectively, the same and opposite signs. In nature, floating objects (e.g. mosquito larvae) thus interact through capillary forces to form coherent packings on the water surface. We here present the results of an experimental investigation of such capillary pattern formation. Thin elliptical metal sheets were designed to have variable shape, flexibility and mass distribution. On the water surface, mono-, bi-, or tri-polar menisci could thus be achieved. The influence of the form of the menisci on the packings arising from the interaction of multiple floaters is explored. Biological applications are discussed.

  7. Self-assembled magnetic surface swimmers.

    SciTech Connect

    Snezhko, A.; Belkin, M.; Aranson, I. S.; Kwok, W.-K.; Materials Science Division; Illinois Inst. of Tech.

    2009-03-20

    We report studies of novel self-assembled magnetic surface swimmers (magnetic snakes) formed from a dispersion of magnetic microparticles at a liquid-air interface and energized by an alternating magnetic field. We show that under certain conditions the snakes spontaneously break the symmetry of surface flows and turn into self-propelled objects. Parameters of the driving magnetic field tune the propulsion velocity of these snakelike swimmers. We find that the symmetry of the surface flows can also be broken in a controlled fashion by attaching a large bead to a magnetic snake (bead-snake hybrid), transforming it into a self-locomoting entity. The observed phenomena have been successfully described by a phenomenological model based on the amplitude equation for surface waves coupled to a large-scale hydrodynamic mean flow equation.

  8. Self-assembling multimeric nucleic acid constructs

    DOEpatents

    Cantor, Charles R.; Niemeyer, Christof M.; Smith, Cassandra L.; Sano, Takeshi; Hnatowich, Donald J.; Rusckowski, Mary

    1996-01-01

    The invention is directed to constructs and compositions containing multimeric forms of nucleic acid. Multimeric nucleic acids comprise single-stranded nucleic acids attached via biotin to streptavidin and bound with a functional group. These constructs can be utilized in vivo to treat or identify diseased tissue or cells. Repeated administrations of multimeric nucleic acid compositions produce a rapid and specific amplification of nucleic acid constructs and their attached functional groups. For treatment purposes, functional groups may be toxins, radioisotopes, genes or enzymes. Diagnostically, labeled multimeric constructs may be used to identify specific targets in vivo or in vitro. Multimeric nucleic acids may also be used in nanotechnology and to create self-assembling polymeric aggregates such as membranes of defined porosity, microcircuits and many other products.

  9. Self-assembling multimeric nucleic acid constructs

    DOEpatents

    Cantor, Charles R.; Niemeyer, Christof M.; Smith, Cassandra L.; Sano, Takeshi; Hnatowich, Donald J.; Rusckowski, Mary

    1999-10-12

    The invention is directed to constructs and compositions containing multimeric forms of nucleic acid. Multimeric nucleic acids comprise single-stranded nucleic acids attached via biotin to streptavidin and bound with a functional group. These constructs can be utilized in vivo to treat or identify diseased tissue or cells. Repeated administrations of multimeric nucleic acid compositions produce a rapid and specific amplification of nucleic acid constructs and their attached functional groups. For treatment purposes, functional groups may be toxins, radioisotopes, genes or enzymes. Diagnostically, labeled multimeric constructs may be used to identify specific targets in vivo or in vitro. Multimeric nucleic acids may also be used in nanotechnology and to create self-assembling polymeric aggregates such as membranes of defined porosity, microcircuits and many other products.

  10. Pseudotannins self-assembled into antioxidant complexes.

    PubMed

    Cheng, H A; Drinnan, C T; Pleshko, N; Fisher, O Z

    2015-10-21

    Natural tannins are attractive as building blocks for biomaterials due to their antioxidant properties and ability to form interpolymer complexes (IPCs) with other macromolecules. One of the major challenges to tannin usage in biomedical applications is their instability at physiological conditions and a lack of control over the purity and reactivity. Herein, we report the synthesis and characterization of tannin-like polymers with controlled architecture, reactivity, and size. These pseudotannins were synthesized by substituting linear dextran chains with gallic, resorcylic, and protocatechuic pendant groups to mimic the structure of natural hydrolysable tannins. We demonstrate that these novel materials can self-assemble to form reductive and colloidally stable nanoscale and microscale particles. Specifically, the synthesis, turbidity, particle size, antioxidant power, and cell uptake of IPCs derived from pseudotannins and poly(ethylene glycol) was evaluated. PMID:26313262