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Sample records for artificial light-harvesting self-assemble

  1. Combining light-harvesting and charge separation in a self-assembled artificial photosynthetic system based on perylenediimide chromophores.

    PubMed

    Rybtchinski, Boris; Sinks, Louise E; Wasielewski, Michael R

    2004-10-01

    Self-assembly of robust perylenediimide chromophores is used to produce an artificial light-harvesting antenna structure that in turn induces self-assembly of a functional special pair that undergoes ultrafast, quantitative charge separation. The structure consists of four 1,7-(3',5'-di-tert-butylphenoxy)perylene-3,4:9,10-perylene-3,4:9,10-bis(carboximide) (PDI) molecules attached to a single 1,7-bis(pyrrolidin-1-yl)perylene-3,4:9,10-perylene-3,4:9,10-bis(carboximide) (5PDI) core, which self-assembles to form (5PDI-PDI4)2 in toluene. The system is characterized using both structural methods (NMR, SAXS, mass spectroscopy, and GPC) and photophysical methods (UV-vis, time-resolved fluorescence, and femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy). Energy transfer from (PDI)2 to (5PDI)2 occurs with tau = 21 ps, followed by excited-state symmetry breaking of 1*(5PDI)2 to produce 5PDI*+-5PDI*- quantitatively with tau = 7 ps. The ion pair recombines with tau = 420 ps. Electron transfer occurs only in the dimeric system and does not occur in the disassembled monomer, thus mimicking both antenna and special pair function in photosynthesis. PMID:15453751

  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 modifications in a row. A logical alternative approach is to leave out the phosphodiester bridges between the chromophores and let chromophore-nucleoside conjugates self-assemble specifically along single stranded DNA as template. The self-organization of chromophores along the DNA template based on canonical base pairing would be advantageous because sequence selective base pairing could provide a structural basis for programmed complexity within the chromophore assembly. The self-assembly is governed by two interactions. The chromophore-nucleoside conjugates as guest molecules are recognized via hydrogen bonds to the corresponding counter bases in the single stranded DNA template. Moreover, the ?-? interactions between the stacked chromophores stabilize these self-assembled constructs with increasing length. Longer DNA templates are more attractive for self-assembled antenna. The helicity in the stack of porphyrins as guest molecules assembled on the DNA template can be switched by environmental changes, such as pH variations. DNA-templated stacks of ethynyl pyrene and nile red exhibit left-handed chirality, which stands in contrast to similar covalent multichromophore-DNA conjugates with enforced right-handed helicity. With ethynyl nile red, it is possible to occupy every available binding site on the templates. Mixed assemblies of ethynyl pyrene and nile red show energy transfer and thereby provide a proof-of-principle that simple light-harvesting antennae can be obtained in a noncovalent and self-assembled fashion. With respect to the next important step, chemical storage of the absorbed light energy, future research has to focus on the coupling of sophisticated DNA-based light-harvesting antenna to reaction centers. PMID:26411920

  4. Peptide-Modulated Self-Assembly of Chromophores toward Biomimetic Light-Harvesting Nanoarchitectonics.

    PubMed

    Zou, Qianli; Liu, Kai; Abbas, Manzar; Yan, Xuehai

    2016-02-01

    Elegant self-assembling complexes by the combination of proteins/peptides with functional chromophores are decisively responsible for highly efficient light-harvesting and energy transfer in natural photosynthetic systems. Mimicking natural light-harvesting complexes through synthetic peptides is attractive due to their advantanges of programmable primary structure, tunable self-assembly architecture and easy availability in comparison to naturally occuring proteins. Here, an overview of recent progresses in the area of biomimetic light-harvesting nanoarchitectonics based on peptide-modulated self-assembly of chromophores is provided. Adjusting the organization of chromophores, either by creating peptide-chromophore conjugates or by the non-covalent assembly of peptides and chromophores are highlighted. The light-harvesting properties, especially the energy transfer of the biomimetic complexes are critically discussed. The applications of such complexes in the mineralization of inorganic nanoparticles, generation of molecular hydrogen and oxygen, and photosynthesis of bioactive molecules are also included. PMID:26273821

  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. DNA-directed artificial light-harvesting antenna.

    PubMed

    Dutta, Palash K; Varghese, Reji; Nangreave, Jeanette; Lin, Su; Yan, Hao; Liu, Yan

    2011-08-10

    Designing and constructing multichromophoric, artificial light-harvesting antennas with controlled interchromophore distances, orientations, and defined donor-acceptor ratios to facilitate efficient unidirectional energy transfer is extremely challenging. Here, we demonstrate the assembly of a series of structurally well-defined artificial light-harvesting triads based on the principles of structural DNA nanotechnology. DNA nanotechnology offers addressable scaffolds for the organization of various functional molecules with nanometer scale spatial resolution. The triads are organized by a self-assembled seven-helix DNA bundle (7HB) into cyclic arrays of three distinct chromophores, reminiscent of natural photosynthetic systems. The scaffold accommodates a primary donor array (Py), secondary donor array (Cy3) and an acceptor (AF) with defined interchromophore distances. Steady-state fluorescence analyses of the triads revealed an efficient, stepwise funneling of the excitation energy from the primary donor array to the acceptor core through the intermediate donor. The efficiency of excitation energy transfer and the light-harvesting ability (antenna effect) of the triads was greatly affected by the relative ratio of the primary to the intermediate donors, as well as on the interchromophore distance. Time-resolved fluorescence analyses by time-correlated single-photon counting (TCSPC) and streak camera techniques further confirmed the cascading energy transfer processes on the picosecond time scale. Our results clearly show that DNA nanoscaffolds are promising templates for the design of artificial photonic antennas with structural characteristics that are ideal for the efficient harvesting and transport of energy. PMID:21714548

  7. 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

  8. Multichromophoric organic molecules encapsulated in polymer nanoparticles for artificial light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, Santanu; Jana, Bikash; Patra, Amitava

    2015-03-16

    We designed a self-assembled multichromophoric organic molecular arrangement inside polymer nanoparticles for light-harvesting antenna materials. The self-assembled molecular arrangement of quaterthiophene molecules was found to be an efficient light-absorbing antenna material, followed by energy transfer to Nile red (NR) dye molecules, which was confined in polymer nanoparticles. The efficiency of the antenna effect was found to be 3.2 and the effective molar extinction coefficient of acceptor dye molecules was found to be enhanced, which indicates an efficient light-harvesting system. Based on this energy-transfer process, tunable photo emission and white light emission has been generated with 14 % quantum yield. Such self-assembled oligothiophene-NR systems encapsulated in polymer nanoparticles may open up new possibilities for fabrication of artificial light harvesting system. PMID:25600650

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-21

    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 ?m 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. PMID:24909123

  10. 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

  11. 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 self-assembled light-harvesting systems that afford broad solar collection and efficient energy transfer. PMID:26230425

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Photocurrent generation in a light-harvesting system with multifunctional artificial nanochannels.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qianqian; Liu, Zhaoyue; Zhai, Jin

    2015-08-01

    We develop an artificial light-harvesting system for photocurrent generation. Platinized TiO2 nanochannels are used as ultraviolet-light-harvesting antennae, which generate a transmembrane electrochemical gradient by asymmetric work function driven photochemical reactions. As a result, a potential difference is formed across the nanochannels, producing a photocurrent flowing through the external circuit. PMID:26139227

  15. Hybrid artificial photosynthetic systems comprising semiconductors as light harvesters and biomimetic complexes as molecular cocatalysts.

    PubMed

    Wen, Fuyu; Li, Can

    2013-11-19

    Solar fuel production through artificial photosynthesis may be a key to generating abundant and clean energy, thus addressing the high energy needs of the world's expanding population. As the crucial components of photosynthesis, the artificial photosynthetic system should be composed of a light harvester (e.g., semiconductor or molecular dye), a reduction cocatalyst (e.g., hydrogenase mimic, noble metal), and an oxidation cocatalyst (e.g., photosystem II mimic for oxygen evolution from water oxidation). Solar fuel production catalyzed by an artificial photosynthetic system starts from the absorption of sunlight by the light harvester, where charge separation takes place, followed by a charge transfer to the reduction and oxidation cocatalysts, where redox reaction processes occur. One of the most challenging problems is to develop an artificial photosynthetic solar fuel production system that is both highly efficient and stable. The assembly of cocatalysts on the semiconductor (light harvester) not only can facilitate the charge separation, but also can lower the activation energy or overpotential for the reactions. An efficient light harvester loaded with suitable reduction and oxidation cocatalysts is the key for high efficiency of artificial photosynthetic systems. In this Account, we describe our strategy of hybrid photocatalysts using semiconductors as light harvesters with biomimetic complexes as molecular cocatalysts to construct efficient and stable artificial photosynthetic systems. We chose semiconductor nanoparticles as light harvesters because of their broad spectral absorption and relatively robust properties compared with a natural photosynthesis system. Using biomimetic complexes as cocatalysts can significantly facilitate charge separation via fast charge transfer from the semiconductor to the molecular cocatalysts and also catalyze the chemical reactions of solar fuel production. The hybrid photocatalysts supply us with a platform to study the photocatalytic mechanisms of H2/O2 evolution and CO2 reduction at the molecular level and to bridge natural and artificial photosynthesis. We demonstrate the feasibility of the hybrid photocatalyst, biomimetic molecular cocatalysts, and semiconductor light harvester for artificial photosynthesis and therefore provide a promising approach for rational design and construction of highly efficient and stable artificial photosynthetic systems. PMID:23730891

  16. Electron transfer reaction of light harvesting zinc naphthalocyanine-subphthalocyanine self-assembled dyad: spectroscopic, electrochemical, computational, and photochemical studies.

    PubMed

    El-Khouly, Mohamed E

    2010-10-21

    Electron transfer reaction of a self-assembled donor-acceptor dyad formed by axial coordination of zinc naphthalocyanine, ZnNc, and subphthalocyanine appended with pyridine coordinating ligand, SubPc(py), was investigated in the present study. The SubPc(Py) : ZnNc self-assembled dyad absorbs the light in a wide section of the UV/Vis/NIR spectra. The formation constant of SubPc(py) : ZnNc in o-dichlorobenzene was found to be 1.2 × 10(5) M(-1) from the steady-state absorption and emission measurements, suggesting stable complex formation. The geometric and electronic calculations by using ab initio B3LYP/6-311G methods showed the majority of the highest occupied frontier molecular orbital (HOMO) on the zinc naphthalocyanine entity, while the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) was on the subphthalocyanine entity, suggesting that the charge-separated state of the supramolecular complex is (SubPc(py))˙(-) : ZnNc˙(+). The electrochemical results suggest the exothermic charge-separation process via the singlet states of both SubPc(py) and ZnNc entities. Upon coordination the pyridine appended subphthalocyanine to ZnNc; the main quenching pathway involved charge separation via the singlet excited states of ZnNc and SubPc(py). A clear evidence of the intramolecular electron transfer from the singlet state of ZnNc to SubPc(py) was monitored by femtosecond laser photolysis in o-dichlorobenzene by observing the characteristic absorption band of the ZnNc radical cation in the NIR region at 960 nm. The rate of charge-separation process was found to be 1.3 × 10(10) s(-1), indicating fast and efficient charge separation. The rate of charge recombination and the lifetime of the charge-separated state were found to be 1.0 × 10(9) s(-1) and 1 ns, respectively. The absorption in a wide section of the solar spectrum and high charge-separation/charge-recombination ratio suggests the usefulness of self-assembled SubPc(Py) : ZnNc for being a photosynthetic model. PMID:20820580

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Artificial light-harvesting antennae: electronic energy transfer by way of molecular funnels.

    PubMed

    Ziessel, Raymond; Harriman, Anthony

    2011-01-14

    Electronic energy transfer (EET) plays a critical role in many biological processes and is used by nature to direct energy to a site where chemical reactions need to be initiated. Such EET can occur over large distances and can involve many individual molecules of identical, similar or disparate chemical identity. Advances in spectroscopy and data processing have allowed the rates of EET to be measured on extremely fast timescales such that improved mechanistic insight becomes feasible. At the same time, highly sophisticated synthetic operations have been devised that facilitate the isolation and purification of elaborate multi-component molecular arrays. A key feature of these arrays concerns the logical positioning of individual units in a way that favours directed EET along the molecular axis or along some other preferred pathway. The availability of these novel molecular materials allows close examination of popular theoretical models and paves the way for the development of advanced molecular sensors, artificial light harvesters, fluorescent labels and sensitizers. Of particular interest is the spectacular growth in the application of boron dipyrromethene dyes as basic reagents in such artificial photon collectors and these compounds have dominated the market in recent years because of their synthetic versatility and valuable photophysical properties. In this article, recent developments in the field are highlighted in terms of synthesis and subsequent spectroscopic exploration. PMID:20957235

  1. 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

  2. Reversible hydrogels from self-assembling artificial proteins.

    PubMed

    Petka, W A; Harden, J L; McGrath, K P; Wirtz, D; Tirrell, D A

    1998-07-17

    Recombinant DNA methods were used to create artificial proteins that undergo reversible gelation in response to changes in pH or temperature. The proteins consist of terminal leucine zipper domains flanking a central, flexible, water-soluble polyelectrolyte segment. Formation of coiled-coil aggregates of the terminal domains in near-neutral aqueous solutions triggers formation of a three-dimensional polymer network, with the polyelectrolyte segment retaining solvent and preventing precipitation of the chain. Dissociation of the coiled-coil aggregates through elevation of pH or temperature causes dissolution of the gel and a return to the viscous behavior that is characteristic of polymer solutions. The mild conditions under which gel formation can be controlled (near-neutral pH and near-ambient temperature) suggest that these materials have potential in bioengineering applications requiring encapsulation or controlled release of molecular and cellular species. PMID:9665877

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 1Tb/in.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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Designing artificial 3D helicates: unprecedented self-assembly of homo-octanuclear tetrapods with europium.

    PubMed

    Zebret, Soumaila; Vgele, Eliane; Klumpler, Tomas; Hamacek, Josef

    2015-04-27

    Herein, we report on the rational design, preparation and characterization of a novel homo-octanuclear helicate, which results from a spatial extension of the central tetranuclear platform. The 3D supramolecular assembly is obtained by complexing europium(III) with a new hexatopic tripodal ligand. The isolated octanuclear helicate is fully characterized by different methods clearly evidencing the structure predicted with molecular modelling. The ligand preorganization plays a crucial role in a successful self-assembly process and induces the formation of a well-defined triple-stranded helical structure. This prototypal octanuclear edifice accommodating functional lanthanides within a 3D scaffold offers attractive perspectives for further applications. PMID:25765709

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Light harvesting arrays

    DOEpatents

    Lindsey, Jonathan S. (Raleigh, NC)

    2002-01-01

    A light harvesting array useful for the manufacture of devices such as solar cells comprises: (a) a first substrate comprising a first electrode; and (b) a layer of light harvesting rods electrically coupled to the first electrode, each of the light harvesting rods comprising a polymer of Formula I: X.sup.1.paren open-st.X.sup.m+1).sub.m (I) wherein m is at least 1, and may be from two, three or four to 20 or more; X.sup.1 is a charge separation group (and preferably a porphyrinic macrocycle, which may be one ligand of a double-decker sandwich compound) having an excited-state of energy equal to or lower than that of X.sup.2, and X.sup.2 through X.sup.m+1 are chromophores (and again are preferably porphyrinic macrocycles).

  17. Natural strategies for photosynthetic light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Croce, Roberta; van Amerongen, Herbert

    2014-07-01

    Photosynthetic organisms are crucial for life on Earth as they provide food and oxygen and are at the basis of most energy resources. They have a large variety of light-harvesting strategies that allow them to live nearly everywhere where sunlight can penetrate. They have adapted their pigmentation to the spectral composition of light in their habitat, they acclimate to slowly varying light intensities and they rapidly respond to fast changes in light quality and quantity. This is particularly important for oxygen-producing organisms because an overdose of light in combination with oxygen can be lethal. Rapid progress is being made in understanding how different organisms maximize light harvesting and minimize deleterious effects. Here we summarize the latest findings and explain the main design principles used in nature. The available knowledge can be used for optimizing light harvesting in both natural and artificial photosynthesis to improve light-driven production processes. PMID:24937067

  18. Towards self-assembled hybrid artificial cells: novel bottom-up approaches to functional synthetic membranes.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    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

  19. Dynamic, self-assembled aggregates of magnetized, millimeter-sized objects rotating at the liquid-air interface: Macroscopic, two-dimensional classical artificial atoms and molecules

    SciTech Connect

    Grzybowski, Bartosz A.; Jiang, Xingyu; Stone, Howard A.; Whitesides, George M.

    2001-07-01

    This paper describes self-assembly of millimeter-sized, magnetized disks floating on a liquid-air interface, and rotating under the influence of a rotating external magnetic field. Spinning of the disks results in hydrodynamic repulsion between them, while the rotating magnetic field produces an average confining potential acting on all disks. The interplay between hydrodynamic and magnetic interactions leads to the formation of patterns. Theoretical analysis of hydrodynamic and magnetic forces indicates that the interactions in this system are similar to those acting in systems of finite numbers of particles behaving classically (''classical artificial atoms''). Macroscopic artificial atoms and molecules are described, and the rules governing their morphologies outlined.

  20. Tetraphenylethene-based star shaped porphyrins: synthesis, self-assembly, and optical and photophysical study.

    PubMed

    Rananaware, Anushri; Bhosale, Rajesh S; Ohkubo, Kei; Patil, Hemlata; Jones, Lathe A; Jackson, Sam L; Fukuzumi, Shunichi; Bhosale, Sidhanath V; Bhosale, Sheshanath V

    2015-04-17

    Supramolecular self-assembly and self-organization are simple and convenient ways to design and create controlled assemblies with organic molecules, and they have provoked great interest due to their potential applications in various fields, such as electronics, photonics, and light-energy conversion. Herein, we describe the synthesis of two π-conjugated porphyrin molecules bearing tetraphenylethene moieties with high fluorescence quantum yield. Photophysical and electrochemical studies were conducted to understand the physical and redox properties of these new materials, respectively. Furthermore, these derivatives were used to investigate self-assembly via the solvophobic effect. The self-assembled aggregation was performed in nonpolar and polar organic solvents and forms nanospheres and ring-like nanostructures, respectively. The solution based aggregation was studied by means of UV-vis absorption, emission, XRD, and DLS analyses. Self-assembled ring-shape structures were visualized by SEM and TEM imaging. This ring-shape morphology of nanosized macromolecules might be a good candidate for the creation of artificial light-harvesting nanodevices. PMID:25822257

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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 spectrum, and illustrate a versatile paradigm for the construction of artificial LH systems. PMID:22375881

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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 represented a diverse international and multidisciplinary group, with over 160 individuals attending from a total of 17 different countries. Attendees came from a wide range of fields assuring that the widest possible interdisciplinary exchanges. They included prominent biochemists, biophysicists, plant physiologists, chemical physicists, as well as theoretical and computational physical chemists, who presented their research findings or to hear the latest advances in this very dynamic field. In the choice of speakers, a balance was created between established scientists and young, emerging researchers, given this opportunity to showcase their results. Sessions were held on electronic and vibrational coherence including coherent sharing of excitations among donor and acceptor molecules during excitation energy transfer, nonphotochemical quenching, acclimation to light environments, evolution, adaptation and biodiversity of light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes, their structure and membrane organization, spectroscopy and dynamics, as well as artificial antenna systems. A joint session was also held with the participants from the Cyanobacterial Satellite Conference. A special issue of Photosynthesis Research devoted to light harvesting (Volume 121, Issue No. 1, July 2014) has recently appeared which contains peer-reviewed original research contributions arising from talks and posters presented at the PS2013 Satellite Workshop on Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting Systems. Edited by the Organizers of the Workshop, Robert E. Blankenship, Harry A. Frank and Robert A. Niederman, it includes topics ranging from the isolation of new bacteriochlorophyll species from green bacteria, temperature effects on the excited states of the newly discovered chlorophyll (Chl) ƒ, new architectures for enhancing energy capture by biohybrid light-harvesting complexes, forces governing the formation of light-harvesting rings, spectroscopy of carotenoids of algae and diatoms and the supramolecular organization of caroteno-Chl proteins in diatoms, the molecular basis for urea dissociation of phycocyanin trimers and the role of vibronic molecular excitation theory in describing the spectral dynamics of pigment-protein complexes.

  13. 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

  14. Energy, charge, and spin transport in molecules and self-assembled nanostructures inspired by photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Wasielewski, Michael R

    2006-07-01

    Electron transfer in biological molecules provides both insight and inspiration for developing chemical systems having similar functionality. Photosynthesis is an example of an integrated system in which light harvesting, photoinduced charge separation, and catalysis combine to carry out two thermodynamically demanding processes, the oxidation of water and the reduction of carbon dioxide. The development of artificial photosynthetic systems for solar energy conversion requires a fundamental understanding of electron-transfer reactions between organic molecules. Since these reactions most often involve single-electron transfers, the spin dynamics of photogenerated radical ion pairs provide important information on how the rates and efficiencies of these reactions depend on molecular structure. Given this knowledge, the design and synthesis of large integrated structures to carry out artificial photosynthesis is moving forward. An important approach to achieving this goal is the development of small, functional building blocks, having a minimum number of covalent bonds, which also have the appropriate molecular recognition sites to facilitate self-assembly into a complete, functional artificial photosynthetic system. PMID:16808492

  15. Solar cells incorporating light harvesting arrays

    DOEpatents

    Lindsey, Jonathan S.; Meyer, Gerald J.

    2003-07-22

    A solar cell incorporates a light harvesting array that comprises: (a) a first substrate comprising a first electrode; and (b) a layer of light harvesting rods electrically coupled to the first electrode, each of the light harvesting rods comprising a polymer of Formula I: ##EQU1## wherein m is at least 1, and may be from two, three or four to 20 or more; X.sup.1 is a charge separation group (and preferably a porphyrinic macrocycle, which may be one ligand of a double-decker sandwich compound) having an excited-state of energy equal to or lower than that of X.sup.2 ; and X.sup.2 through X.sup.m+1 are chromophores (and again are preferably porphyrinic macrocycles).

  16. Solar cells incorporating light harvesting arrays

    DOEpatents

    Lindsey, Jonathan S. (Raleigh, NC); Meyer, Gerald J. (Baltimore, MD)

    2002-01-01

    A solar cell incorporates a light harvesting array that comprises: (a) a first substrate comprising a first electrode; and (b) a layer of light harvesting rods electrically coupled to the first electrode, each of the light harvesting rods comprising a polymer of Formula I: X.sup.1.paren open-st.X.sup.m+1).sub.m (I) wherein m is at least 1, and may be from two, three or four to 20 or more; X.sup.1 is a charge separation group (and preferably a porphyrinic macrocycle, which may be one ligand of a double-decker sandwich compound) having an excited-state of energy equal to or lower than that of X.sup.2 ; and X.sup.2 through X.sup.m+1 are chromophores (and again are preferably porphyrinic macrocycles).

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Toward a molecular programming language for algorithmic self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patitz, Matthew John

    Self-assembly is the process whereby relatively simple components autonomously combine to form more complex objects. Nature exhibits self-assembly to form everything from microscopic crystals to living cells to galaxies. With a desire to both form increasingly sophisticated products and to understand the basic components of living systems, scientists have developed and studied artificial self-assembling systems. One such framework is the Tile Assembly Model introduced by Erik Winfree in 1998. In this model, simple two-dimensional square 'tiles' are designed so that they self-assemble into desired shapes. The work in this thesis consists of a series of results which build toward the future goal of designing an abstracted, high-level programming language for designing the molecular components of self-assembling systems which can perform powerful computations and form into intricate structures. The first two sets of results demonstrate self-assembling systems which perform infinite series of computations that characterize computably enumerable and decidable languages, and exhibit tools for algorithmically generating the necessary sets of tiles. In the next chapter, methods for generating tile sets which self-assemble into complicated shapes, namely a class of discrete self-similar fractal structures, are presented. Next, a software package for graphically designing tile sets, simulating their self-assembly, and debugging designed systems is discussed. Finally, a high-level programming language which abstracts much of the complexity and tedium of designing such systems, while preventing many of the common errors, is presented. The summation of this body of work presents a broad coverage of the spectrum of desired outputs from artificial self-assembling systems and a progression in the sophistication of tools used to design them. By creating a broader and deeper set of modular tools for designing self-assembling systems, we hope to increase the complexity which is attainable. These tools provide a solid foundation for future work in both the Tile Assembly Model and explorations into more advanced models.

  20. 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

  1. Lessons from nature about solar light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Scholes, Gregory D; Fleming, Graham R; Olaya-Castro, Alexandra; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2011-10-01

    Solar fuel production often starts with the energy from light being absorbed by an assembly of molecules; this electronic excitation is subsequently transferred to a suitable acceptor. For example, in photosynthesis, antenna complexes capture sunlight and direct the energy to reaction centres that then carry out the associated chemistry. In this Review, we describe the principles learned from studies of various natural antenna complexes and suggest how to elucidate strategies for designing light-harvesting systems. We envisage that such systems will be used for solar fuel production, to direct and regulate excitation energy flow using molecular organizations that facilitate feedback and control, or to transfer excitons over long distances. Also described are the notable properties of light-harvesting chromophores, spatial-energetic landscapes, the roles of excitonic states and quantum coherence, as well as how antennas are regulated and photoprotected. PMID:21941248

  2. Photosynthetic light harvesting: excitons and coherence.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

    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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    2016-02-01

    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

  6. Photon echo studies of photosynthetic light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Read, Elizabeth L; Lee, Hohjai; Fleming, Graham R

    2009-01-01

    The broad linewidths in absorption spectra of photosynthetic complexes obscure information related to their structure and function. Photon echo techniques represent a powerful class of time-resolved electronic spectroscopy that allow researchers to probe the interactions normally hidden under broad linewidths with sufficient time resolution to follow the fastest energy transfer events in light harvesting. Here, we outline the technical approach and applications of two types of photon echo experiments: the photon echo peak shift and two-dimensional (2D) Fourier transform photon echo spectroscopy. We review several extensions of these techniques to photosynthetic complexes. Photon echo peak shift spectroscopy can be used to determine the strength of coupling between a pigment and its surrounding environment including neighboring pigments and to quantify timescales of energy transfer. Two-dimensional spectroscopy yields a frequency-resolved map of absorption and emission processes, allowing coupling interactions and energy transfer pathways to be viewed directly. Furthermore, 2D spectroscopy reveals structural information such as the relative orientations of coupled transitions. Both classes of experiments can be used to probe the quantum mechanical nature of photosynthetic light-harvesting: peak shift experiments allow quantification of correlated energetic fluctuations between pigments, while 2D techniques measure quantum beating directly, both of which indicate the extent of quantum coherence over multiple pigment sites in the protein complex. The mechanistic and structural information obtained by these techniques reveals valuable insights into the design principles of photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes, and a multitude of variations on the methods outlined here. PMID:19590976

  7. 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

    Integration in a soft material of all molecular components necessary to generate storable fuels is an interesting target in supramolecular chemistry. The concept is inspired by the internal structure of photosynthetic organelles such as plant chloroplasts which co-localize molecules involved in light absorption, charge transport, and catalysis to create chemical bonds with light energy. We report here on the light-driven production of hydrogen inside a hydrogel scaffold built by the supramolecular self-assembly of a perylene monoimide amphiphile. The charged ribbons formed can electrostatically attract a nickel-based catalyst, and electrolyte screening promotes gelation. We found the emergent phenomenon that screening by the catalyst or the electrolytes led to two-dimensional crystallization of the chromophore assemblies and enhanced the electronic coupling among the molecules. Photocatalytic production of hydrogen is observed in the three-dimensional environment of the hydrogel scaffold and the material is easily placed on surfaces or in the pores of solid supports. The development of soft materials that integrate all necessary molecular components to generate storable fuels in the presence of sunlight is an unexplored area of chemistry with potential impact in renewable energy. Such systems could have advantages over the use of large volumes of liquids, dispersions of expensive or toxic inorganic particles, or complex devices. The use of such soft materials with integrated functions and high water content is bioinspired by the internal structure of chloroplasts in plants. These photosynthetic organelles have evolved to co-localize within stacked lipid bilayers in their stroma the protein machinery which integrates light-absorption, charge transport, and the catalytic functions necessary to convert light energy into chemical bonds1,2. Efforts to emulate natural photosynthetic systems over the past several decades have concentrated on the development of efficient 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 transport the charges to catalytic reaction centers. Despite the large body of work on the gelation and light harvesting abilities of conjugated molecules14, the use of π-conjugated gels for artificial photosynthetic applications has not been reported. Through molecular design, we demonstrate here a supramolecular catalytic system that localizes catalysts within chromophore gels using electrostatic attraction. PMID:25343600

  8. 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

  9. 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).

  10. 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.

  11. Dynamic self-assembly of microscale rotors and swimmers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies Wykes, Megan; Palacci, Jeremie; Adachi, Takuji; Ristroph, Leif; Liu, Yanpeng; Zhong, Xiao; Zhang, Jun; Ward, Michael; Shelley, Michael

    2015-11-01

    Self-assembly is a process found throughout nature and is often dynamic, requiring fuel to occur. Artificial examples are valuable both as aids to understanding biological systems and for developing manufacturing techniques for micron-scale machines. We will describe the behaviour of micron-scale rods, constructed of three equal length segments of gold, platinum and gold (Au-Pt-Au). When placed in a solution of hydrogen peroxide fuel, these are expected to create an extensile-like flow in the surrounding fluid. These immotile rods self-assemble into structures that exhibit the two fundamental types of motion: rotation and translation, in the form of steadily rotating stacks and T-shaped swimmers. This is a rare example of an artificial system where dynamic and reversible self-assembly results in ordered structures which exhibit emergent motility.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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 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. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Details of the crystallographic refinement, tables of refinement parameters and bond distances and NSD analysis, and figures showing SEM images of Zn/Sn nanosheets and clovers, the solid grown at different porphyrin concentrations, SEM images of nanosheets at high and low magnification, an ORTEP image showing the five crystallographically distinct porphyrin molecules and the water molecules, and a view of the crystal structure down the b axis are given in the ESI. CCDC reference number 833006. For ESI and crystallographic data in CIF or other electronic format see DOI: 10.1039/c2nr11826b

  18. Cyclic Tetramers of Zinc Chlorophylls as a Coupled Light-Harvesting Antenna-Charge-Separation System.

    PubMed

    Shinozaki, Yoshinao; Ohkubo, Kei; Fukuzumi, Shunichi; Sugawa, Kosuke; Otsuki, Joe

    2016-01-01

    A coupled light-harvesting antenna-charge-separation system, consisting of self-assembled zinc chlorophyll derivatives that incorporate an electron-accepting unit, is reported. The cyclic tetramers that incorporated an electron acceptor were constructed by the co-assembly of a pyridine-appended zinc chlorophyll derivative, ZnPy, and a zinc chlorophyll derivative further decorated with a fullerene unit, ZnPyC60 . Comprehensive steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopic studies were conducted for the individual tetramers of ZnPy and ZnPyC60 as well as their co-tetramers. Intra-assembly singlet energy transfer was confirmed by singlet-singlet annihilation in the ZnPy tetramer. Electron transfer from the singlet chlorin unit to the fullerene unit was clearly demonstrated by the transient absorption of the fullerene radical anion in the ZnPyC60 tetramer. Finally, with the co-tetramer, a coupled light-harvesting and charge-separation system with practically 100 % quantum efficiency was demonstrated. PMID:26616389

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 incorporated in self-assembly reactions to control the stereochemistry of increasingly complex architectures. This strategy has also allowed exploration of the degree to which stereochemical information is propagated through tetrahedral frameworks cooperatively, leading to the observation of stereochemical coupling across more than 2 nm between metal stereocenters and the enantioselective synthesis of a face-capped tetrahedron containing no carbon stereocenters via a stereochemical memory effect. Several studies on the communication of stereochemistry between the configurationally flexible metal centers in tetrahedral metal-organic cages have shed light on the factors governing this process, allowing the synthesis of an asymmetric cage, obtained in racemic form, in which all symmetry elements have been broken. Finally, we discuss how stereochemical diversity leads to structural complexity in the structures prepared through subcomponent self-assembly. Initial use of octahedral metal templates with facial stereochemistry in subcomponent self-assembly, which predictably gave rise to structures of tetrahedral symmetry, was extended to meridional metal centers. These lower-symmetry linkages have allowed the assembly of a series of increasingly intricate 3D architectures of varying functionality. The knowledge gained from investigating different aspects of the stereochemistry of metal-templated assemblies thus not only leads to new means of structural control but also opens pathways toward functions such as stereoselective guest binding and transformation. PMID:24793652

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Aluminum Nanoarrays for Plasmon-Enhanced Light Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Lee, Minah; Kim, Jong Uk; Lee, Ki Joong; Ahn, SooHoon; Shin, Yong-Beom; Shin, Jonghwa; Park, Chan Beum

    2015-06-23

    The practical limits of coinage-metal-based plasmonic materials demand sustainable, abundant alternatives with a wide plasmonic range of the solar energy spectrum. Aluminum (Al) is an emerging alternative, but its instability in aqueous environments critically limits its applicability to various light-harvesting systems. Here, we report a design strategy to achieve a robust platform for plasmon-enhanced light harvesting using Al nanostructures. The incorporation of mussel-inspired polydopamine nanolayers in the Al nanoarrays allowed for the reliable use of Al plasmonic resonances in a highly corrosive photocatalytic redox solution and provided nanoscale arrangement of organic photosensitizers on Al surfaces. The Al-photosensitizer core-shell assemblies exhibited plasmon-enhanced light absorption, which resulted in a 300% efficiency increase in photo-to-chemical conversion. Our strategy enables stable and advanced use of aluminum for plasmonic light harvesting. PMID:26046384

  13. Supramolecular pathways: Accessible self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunnlaugsson, Thorfinnur

    2016-01-01

    Supramolecular processes are attractive for the generation of functional materials, but managing multiple, competing self-assembly pathways has remained challenging. Now, the self-assembly of a platinum compound into three different aggregates has been elucidated, visualized in real time, and controlled.

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. Self-assembled nanomaterials for photoacoustic imaging.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-28

    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

  17. 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

  18. Principles and implementations of dissipative (dynamic) self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Fialkowski, Marcin; Bishop, Kyle J M; Klajn, Rafal; Smoukov, Stoyan K; Campbell, Christopher J; Grzybowski, Bartosz A

    2006-02-16

    Dynamic self-assembly (DySA) processes occurring outside of thermodynamic equilibrium underlie many forms of adaptive and intelligent behaviors in natural systems. Relatively little, however, is known about the principles that govern DySA and the ways in which it can be extended to artificial ensembles. This article discusses recent advances in both the theory and the practice of nonequilibrium self-assembly. It is argued that a union of ideas from thermodynamics and dynamic systems' theory can provide a general description of DySA. In parallel, heuristic design rules can be used to construct DySA systems of increasing complexities based on a variety of suitable interactions/potentials on length scales from nanoscopic to macroscopic. Applications of these rules to magnetohydrodynamic DySA are also discussed. PMID:16471845

  19. 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

  20. Insights from Placing Photosynthetic Light Harvesting into Context.

    PubMed

    Demmig-Adams, Barbara; Stewart, Jared J; Burch, Tyson A; Adams, William W

    2014-08-21

    Solar-energy conversion through natural photosynthesis forms the base of virtually all food chains on Earth and provides fiber, materials, and fuels, as well as inspiration for the design of biomimetic energy-conversion systems. We summarize well-known as well as recently discovered feedback loops between natural light-harvesting systems and whole-organism function in natural settings. We propose that the low effective quantum yield of natural light-harvesting systems in high light is caused by downstream limitations rather than unavoidable intrinsic vulnerabilities. We evaluate potential avenues, and their costs and benefits, for increasing the maximal rate and photon yield of photosynthesis in high light in plants and photosynthetic microbes. By summarizing mechanisms observable only in complex systems (whole plants, algae, or, in some cases, intact leaves), we aim to stimulate future research efforts on reciprocal feedback loops between light harvesting and downstream processes in whole organisms and to provide additional arguments for the significance of research on photosynthetic light harvesting. PMID:26278094

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stolley, Ryan M.; Helm, Monte L.

    2014-11-01

    To convert solar energy into viable fuels, coupling light-harvesting materials to catalysts is a crucial challenge. Now, the combination of an organic supramolecular hydrogel and a non-precious metal catalyst has been demonstrated to be effective for photocatalytic H2 production.

  2. Light-harvesting photocatalysis for water oxidation using mesoporous organosilica.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Hiroyuki; Ohashi, Masataka; Goto, Yasutomo; Ohsuna, Tetsu; Tani, Takao; Inagaki, Shinji

    2014-07-14

    An organic-based photocatalysis system for water oxidation, with visible-light harvesting antennae, was constructed using periodic mesoporous organosilica (PMO). PMO containing acridone groups in the framework (Acd-PMO), a visible-light harvesting antenna, was supported with [Ru(II)(bpy)3(2+)] complex (bpy = 2,2'-bipyridyl) coupled with iridium oxide (IrO(x)) particles in the mesochannels as photosensitizer and catalyst, respectively. Acd-PMO absorbed visible light and funneled the light energy into the Ru complex in the mesochannels through excitation energy transfer. The excited state of Ru complex is oxidatively quenched by a sacrificial oxidant (Na2S2O8) to form Ru(3+) species. The Ru(3+) species extracts an electron from IrO(x) to oxidize water for oxygen production. The reaction quantum yield was 0.34 %, which was improved to 0.68 or 1.2 % by the modifications of PMO. A unique sequence of reactions mimicking natural photosystem II, 1) light-harvesting, 2) charge separation, and 3) oxygen generation, were realized for the first time by using the light-harvesting PMO. PMID:24890840

  3. 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

  4. Self-Assembly of Biomolecular Soft Matter

    PubMed Central

    Zha, R. Helen; Palmer, Liam C.; Cui, Honggang; Bitton, Ronit

    2014-01-01

    Self-assembly programmed by molecular structure and guided dynamically by energy dissipation is a ubiquitous phenomenon in biological systems that build functional structures from the nanoscale to macroscopic dimensions. This paper describes examples of one-dimensional self-assembly of peptide amphiphiles and the consequent biological functions that emerge in these systems. We also discuss here hierarchical self-assembly of supramolecular peptide nanostructures and polysaccharides, and some new results are reported on supramolecular crystals formed by highly charged peptide amphiphiles. Reflecting on presentations at this Faraday Discussion, the paper ends with a discussion of some of the future opportunities and challenges of the field. PMID:24611266

  5. 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

  6. Self-assembled chitin nanofibers and applications.

    PubMed

    Rolandi, Marco; Rolandi, Ranieri

    2014-05-01

    Self-assembled natural biomaterials offer a variety of ready-made nanostructures available for basic science research and technological applications. Most natural structural materials are made of self-assembled nanofibers with diameters in the nanometer range. Among these materials, chitin is the second most abundant polysaccharide after cellulose and is part of the exoskeleton or arthropods and mollusk shells. Chitin has several desirable properties as a biomaterial including mechanical strength, chemical and thermal stability, and biocompatibility. However, chitin insolubility in most organic solvents has somewhat limited its use. In this research highlight, we describe recent developments in producing biogenic chitin nanofibers using self-assembly from a solution of squid pen β-chitin in hexafluoroisopropanol. With this solution based assembly, we have demonstrated chitin-silk composite self-assembly, chitin nanofiber fabrication across length-scales, and manufacturing of chitin nanofiber substrates for tissue engineering. PMID:24556234

  7. Biomedical Applications of Self-Assembling Peptides.

    PubMed

    Rad-Malekshahi, Mazda; Lempsink, Ludwijn; Amidi, Maryam; Hennink, Wim E; Mastrobattista, Enrico

    2016-01-20

    Self-assembling peptides have gained increasing attention as versatile molecules to generate diverse supramolecular structures with tunable functionality. Because of the possibility to integrate a wide range of functional domains into self-assembling peptides including cell attachment sequences, signaling domains, vaccine epitopes, and even therapeutic moieties, complex nanostructures can be obtained with a wide range of applications in the biomedical field. The first part of this Review provides a concise overview of how peptide primary and secondary structure dictate the way such self-assembling peptides organize into higher ordered, supramolecular structures. Next, an overview of the literature will be given on recent studies on peptide self-assembly for application in drug delivery, vaccination, and tissue engineering. PMID:26473310

  8. Self-assembled Materials for Catalysis

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Kake; Wang, Donghai; Liu, Jun

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to highlight developments on self-assembled nanostructured materials (i.e. mesoporous and nanoparticle based materials) and their catalytic applications. Since there are some reviews available for metal-based nanoparticles as catalysts, this review will mainly focus on self-assembled oxide-based catalytic materials. The content includes: (1) Design and synthetic strategy toward self-assembled mesoporous catalysts; (2) Polyoxometalates (POMs) based nanocatalysts; (3) Dendrimers based nanocatalysts; (4) Shaped nanomaterials and catalytic applications. We show that self-assemblies of molecules, crystalline seeds, nano-building blocks into organized mesoscopic structures paved new roads for tailoring porosities of heterogeneous catalysts and catalytic active sites.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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 directed self-assembly of anisotropic nanoparticles and their unique physical properties.

  12. The major light-harvesting pigment protein of Acaryochloris marina.

    PubMed

    Chen, Min; Quinnell, Rosanne G; Larkum, Anthony W D

    2002-03-13

    The major light-harvesting protein complex containing chlorophyll (Chl) d was isolated from Acaryochloris marina thylakoid membranes. Isolation was achieved by detergent solubilisation followed by separation on 6-40% sucrose gradients using ultracentrifugation. The best Chl d yield (70%) used 0.3% dodecyl maltoside, 0.15% octyl glucoside, 0.05% zwittergent 3-14 with the detergent:total Chl d ratio around 10:1 (w/w). Characterisation of the light-harvesting pigment protein complex (lhc) involved non-denaturing electrophoresis, SDS-PAGE, absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy. The main polypeptide in the lhc was shown to be ca. 34 kDa and to contain Chl d and Chl a, indicating that the Acaryochloris lhc is similar to that of prochlorophytes. The Chl a level varied with the culture conditions, which is consistent with previous findings. PMID:11943141

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Light harvesting by lamellar chromatophores in Rhodospirillum photometricum.

    PubMed

    Chandler, Danielle E; Strümpfer, Johan; Sener, Melih; Scheuring, Simon; Schulten, Klaus

    2014-06-01

    Purple photosynthetic bacteria harvest light using pigment-protein complexes which are often arranged in pseudo-organelles called chromatophores. A model of a chromatophore from Rhodospirillum photometricum was constructed based on atomic force microscopy data. Molecular-dynamics simulations and quantum-dynamics calculations were performed to characterize the intercomplex excitation transfer network and explore the interplay between close-packing and light-harvesting efficiency. PMID:24896130

  18. Fluctuating Two-State Light Harvesting in a Photosynthetic Membrane

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Duohai; Hu, Dehong; Liu, Ruchuan; Zeng, Xiaohua; Kaplan, Samuel; Lu, H. Peter

    2007-06-28

    How light is converted into chemical energy in a natural photosynthetic system is of great interest in energy sciences. Using single-molecule and single-vesicle fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging, we have observed fluctuating inter-molecular protein energy transfers in the photosynthetic membranes of R. sphaeroides. Our results suggest that there are dynamic coupled and non-coupled states in the light-harvesting protein assembly.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 each major biliprotein and the achromic linker proteins that mediate assembly throughout the structure. The biliprotein subunit structures all show an identical motif that is reflected by significant amino acid sequence similarities across the different classes. Since phycobilisomes can comprise up to 40% of the cyanobacterial dry mass, assembly of these complexes must occur in the presence of high localized concentrations of components that are very similar in structure. That phycobilisome assembly is an efficient process with no evidence of significant misassembly suggests that effective molecular recognition during phycobilisome biosynthesis is based upon the subtle differences between subunits of different class biliproteins. We are using a protein engineering approach to examine structural features that mediate molecular recognition in two of the earliest steps of phycobilisome assembly, the docking of (alpha) and (beta) subunits and the selective attachment of chromophores.

  1. Randomized Self Assembly of Rectangular Nano Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kundeti, Vamsi; Rajasekaran, Sanguthevar

    Self assembly systems have numerous critical applications in medicine, circuit design, etc. For example, they can serve as nano drug delivery systems. The problem of assembling squares has been well studied. A lower bound on the tile complexity of any deterministic self assembly system for an N×N square is Ω(log(N)/log(log(N))) (inferred from the Kolmogrov complexity). Deterministic self assembly systems with an optimal tile complexity have been designed for squares and related shapes in the past. However designing Θ(log(N)/log(log(N))) unique tiles specific to a shape which needs to be self assembled is still an intensive task. Creating a copy of a tile is much simpler than creating a unique tile. With this constraint in mind probabilistic self assembly systems were introduced. These systems have O(1) tile complexity and the concentration of each of the tiles can be varied to produce the desired shape. Becker, et al. [1] introduced a line sampling technique which can self assemble m×n rectangles, where m is the expected width and n is the expected height of the rectangle. Kao, et al. [2] combined the line sampling technique with binary counters in a novel way to self assemble a supertile which can encode a binary string. This supertile can then be used to produce an n'×n' square such that (1 - ɛ)n ≤ n' ≤ (1 + ɛ)n (for some relevant ɛ) with probability ≥ 1 - δ for sufficiently large n (i.e., n ≥ f(ɛ,δ), for some appropriate function f). Doty[3] made the idea of Kao more precise, however the underlying construction is still based on sub-tiles to perform binary counting and division.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Self Assembled Monolayer for Molecular Electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koo, Ja-Ryong; Pyo, Sang-Woo; Kim, Jun-Ho; Lee, Hyun-Koo; Kim, Young Kwan

    2005-01-01

    Molecular electronic devices were fabricated with thiol derivatives as redox-active component. This molecules have a thiol radical to allow monolayer formation by the self assembly method, and then this self assembled monolayer (SAM) were inserted between patterned Pt bottom electrode (30 nm) and Ti (5 nm)/Al (30 nm) top electrodes in crossbar array architectures. Before self assembly process, the substrate was treated by a piranha solution or a UV-ozone treatment. From contact angle measurements, before forming SAM, both the substrates treated by the piranha solution and the UV-ozone were hydrophilic condition. After forming SAM, the substrates were maintained with hydrophobic condition in case of the octadecanethiol (C18SH) and hydrophilic condition in case of the 11-mercapto-1-undecanol (HSC11OH). Such results were shown that the SAM was well packed. Also, the current-voltage (I-V) characteristics of the SAM devices along the direction vertical to substrate were measured.

  7. 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.

  8. S-Layer Protein Self-Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Pum, Dietmar; Toca-Herrera, Jose Luis; Sleytr, Uwe B.

    2013-01-01

    Crystalline S(urface)-layers are the most commonly observed cell surface structures in prokaryotic organisms (bacteria and archaea). S-layers are highly porous protein meshworks with unit cell sizes in the range of 3 to 30 nm, and thicknesses of ~10 nm. One of the key features of S-layer proteins is their intrinsic capability to form self-assembled mono- or double layers in solution, and at interfaces. Basic research on S-layer proteins laid foundation to make use of the unique self-assembly properties of native and, in particular, genetically functionalized S-layer protein lattices, in a broad range of applications in the life and non-life sciences. This contribution briefly summarizes the knowledge about structure, genetics, chemistry, morphogenesis, and function of S-layer proteins and pays particular attention to the self-assembly in solution, and at differently functionalized solid supports. PMID:23354479

  9. Theory of Programmable Hierarchic Self-Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tkachenko, Alexei V.

    2011-06-01

    We present a theoretical analysis of the inverse problem in self-assembly. A particular scheme is proposed for building an arbitrary desired nanostructure out of self-assembled building blocks (“octopus” nanoparticles). The conditions for robust self-assembly of the target structure are identified. This includes the minimal number of “colors” needed to encode interparticle bonds, which are to be implemented as pairs of complementary DNA sequences. As a part of this analysis, it is demonstrated that a floppy network with thermal fluctuations, in a certain range of coordination numbers ⟨Z⟩, possesses entropic rigidity and can be described as a traditional elastic solid. The onset of the entropic rigidity, ⟨Z⟩=d+1, determines the minimal number of bond types per particle needed to encode the desired structure. Thermodynamic considerations give additional conditions for the implementation of this scheme.

  10. Handedness and self assembly of chiral rods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Efrati, Efi

    2014-03-01

    When handed building blocks, such as twisted fusilli, self-assemble the resulting assembled object is typically also handed (as are its physical response properties). This phenomenon plays a central role in fields raging from biological self-assembly to optimizing the design of optical meta-materials. Despite the importance of this problem, predicting the relation between the handedness of the constituents of an assembled object and its overall handedness has remained an elusive goal even for the simplest of cases. At the heart of this problem lies the difficulty of quantifying the handedness of even a single building block. In this talk I will show how a recent orientation-dependent interpretation of handedness as a relation between directions and rotations sidesteps most of the difficulties associated with the quantification of handedness and resolves an existing puzzle regarding the self-assembly of handed colloidal rods.

  11. Carotenoid Cation Formation and the Regulation of Photosynthetic Light Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Nancy E.; Zigmantas, Donatas; Valkunas, Leonas; Li, Xiao-Ping; Niyogi, Krishna K.; Fleming, Graham R.

    2005-01-01

    Photosynthetic light harvesting in excess light is regulated by a process known as feedback deexcitation. Femtosecond transient absorption measurements on thylakoid membranes show selective formation of a carotenoid radical cation upon excitation of chlorophyll under conditions of maximum, steady-state feedback deexcitation. Studies on transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants confirmed that this carotenoid radical cation formation is correlated with feedback deexcitation and requires the presence of zeaxanthin, the specific carotenoid synthesized during high light exposure. These results indicate that energy transfer from chlorophyll molecules to a chlorophyll-zeaxanthin heterodimer, which then undergoes charge separation, is the mechanism for excess energy dissipation during feedback deexcitation.

  12. Light harvesting complex II B850 excitation dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Strümpfer, Johan; Schulten, Klaus

    2009-01-01

    The dynamics of excitation energy transfer within the B850 ring of light harvesting complex 2 from Rhodobacter sphaeroides and between neighboring B850 rings is investigated by means of dissipative quantum mechanics. The assumption of Boltzmann populated donor states for the calculation of intercomplex excitation transfer rates by generalized Förster theory is shown to give accurate results since intracomplex exciton relaxation to near-Boltzmann population exciton states occurs within a few picoseconds. The primary channels of exciton transfer between B850 rings are found to be the five lowest-lying exciton states, with non-850 nm exciton states making significant contributions to the total transfer rate. PMID:20001083

  13. Molecular factors controlling photosynthetic light harvesting by carotenoids.

    PubMed

    Polívka, Tomás; Frank, Harry A

    2010-08-17

    Carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments that absorb light in the spectral region in which the sun irradiates maximally. These molecules transfer this energy to chlorophylls, initiating the primary photochemical events of photosynthesis. Carotenoids also regulate the flow of energy within the photosynthetic apparatus and protect it from photoinduced damage caused by excess light absorption. To carry out these functions in nature, carotenoids are bound in discrete pigment-protein complexes in the proximity of chlorophylls. A few three-dimensional structures of these carotenoid complexes have been determined by X-ray crystallography. Thus, the stage is set for attempting to correlate the structural information with the spectroscopic properties of carotenoids to understand the molecular mechanism(s) of their function in photosynthetic systems. In this Account, we summarize current spectroscopic data describing the excited state energies and ultrafast dynamics of purified carotenoids in solution and bound in light-harvesting complexes from purple bacteria, marine algae, and green plants. Many of these complexes can be modified using mutagenesis or pigment exchange which facilitates the elucidation of correlations between structure and function. We describe the structural and electronic factors controlling the function of carotenoids as energy donors. We also discuss unresolved issues related to the nature of spectroscopically dark excited states, which could play a role in light harvesting. To illustrate the interplay between structural determinations and spectroscopic investigations that exemplifies work in the field, we describe the spectroscopic properties of four light-harvesting complexes whose structures have been determined to atomic resolution. The first, the LH2 complex from the purple bacterium Rhodopseudomonas acidophila, contains the carotenoid rhodopin glucoside. The second is the LHCII trimeric complex from higher plants which uses the carotenoids lutein, neoxanthin, and violaxanthin to transfer energy to chlorophyll. The third, the peridinin-chlorophyll-protein (PCP) from the dinoflagellate Amphidinium carterae, is the only known complex in which the bound carotenoid (peridinin) pigments outnumber the chlorophylls. The last is xanthorhodopsin from the eubacterium Salinibacter ruber. This complex contains the carotenoid salinixanthin, which transfers energy to a retinal chromophore. The carotenoids in these pigment-protein complexes transfer energy with high efficiency by optimizing both the distance and orientation of the carotenoid donor and chlorophyll acceptor molecules. Importantly, the versatility and robustness of carotenoids in these light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes have led to their incorporation in the design and synthesis of nanoscale antenna systems. In these bioinspired systems, researchers are seeking to improve the light capture and use of energy from the solar emission spectrum. PMID:20446691

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Remote control of self-assembled microswimmers.

    PubMed

    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

  18. 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.

  19. Manipulating Excited-State Dynamics of Individual Light-Harvesting Chromophores through Restricted Motions in a Hydrated Nanoscale Protein Cavity.

    PubMed

    Noriega, Rodrigo; Finley, Daniel T; Haberstroh, John; Geissler, Phillip L; Francis, Matthew B; Ginsberg, Naomi S

    2015-06-11

    Manipulating the photophysical properties of light-absorbing units is a crucial element in the design of biomimetic light-harvesting systems. Using a highly tunable synthetic platform combined with transient absorption and time-resolved fluorescence measurements and molecular dynamics simulations, we interrogate isolated chromophores covalently linked to different positions in the interior of the hydrated nanoscale cavity of a supramolecular protein assembly. We find that, following photoexcitation, the time scales over which these chromophores are solvated, undergo conformational rearrangements, and return to the ground state are highly sensitive to their position within this cavity and are significantly slower than in a bulk aqueous solution. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal the hindered translations and rotations of water molecules within the protein cavity with spatial specificity. The results presented herein show that fully hydrated nanoscale protein cavities are a promising way to mimic the tight protein pockets found in natural light-harvesting complexes. We also show that the interplay between protein, solvent, and chromophores can be used to substantially tune the relaxation processes within artificial light-harvesting assemblies in order to significantly improve the yield of interchromophore energy transfer and extend the range of excitation transport. Our observations have implications for other important, similarly sized bioinspired materials, such as nanoreactors and biocompatible targeted delivery agents. PMID:26035585

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-25

    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). PMID:25168231

  1. 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).

  2. 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

  3. Regulation of photosystem I light harvesting by zeaxanthin.

    PubMed

    Ballottari, Matteo; Alcocer, Marcelo J P; D'Andrea, Cosimo; Viola, Daniele; Ahn, Tae Kyu; Petrozza, Annamaria; Polli, Dario; Fleming, Graham R; Cerullo, Giulio; Bassi, Roberto

    2014-06-10

    In oxygenic photosynthetic eukaryotes, the hydroxylated carotenoid zeaxanthin is produced from preexisting violaxanthin upon exposure to excess light conditions. Zeaxanthin binding to components of the photosystem II (PSII) antenna system has been investigated thoroughly and shown to help in the dissipation of excess chlorophyll-excited states and scavenging of oxygen radicals. However, the functional consequences of the accumulation of the light-harvesting complex I (LHCI) proteins in the photosystem I (PSI) antenna have remained unclarified so far. In this work we investigated the effect of zeaxanthin binding on photoprotection of PSI-LHCI by comparing preparations isolated from wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana (i.e., with violaxanthin) and those isolated from the A. thaliana nonphotochemical quenching 2 mutant, in which violaxanthin is replaced by zeaxanthin. Time-resolved fluorescence measurements showed that zeaxanthin binding leads to a previously unrecognized quenching effect on PSI-LHCI fluorescence. The efficiency of energy transfer from the LHCI moiety of the complex to the PSI reaction center was down-regulated, and an enhanced PSI resistance to photoinhibition was observed both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, zeaxanthin was shown to be effective in inducing dissipative states in PSI, similar to its well-known effect on PSII. We propose that, upon acclimation to high light, PSI-LHCI changes its light-harvesting efficiency by a zeaxanthin-dependent quenching of the absorbed excitation energy, whereas in PSII the stoichiometry of LHC antenna proteins per reaction center is reduced directly. PMID:24872450

  4. Regulation of photosystem I light harvesting by zeaxanthin

    PubMed Central

    Ballottari, Matteo; Alcocer, Marcelo J. P.; D’Andrea, Cosimo; Viola, Daniele; Ahn, Tae Kyu; Petrozza, Annamaria; Polli, Dario; Fleming, Graham R.; Cerullo, Giulio; Bassi, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    In oxygenic photosynthetic eukaryotes, the hydroxylated carotenoid zeaxanthin is produced from preexisting violaxanthin upon exposure to excess light conditions. Zeaxanthin binding to components of the photosystem II (PSII) antenna system has been investigated thoroughly and shown to help in the dissipation of excess chlorophyll-excited states and scavenging of oxygen radicals. However, the functional consequences of the accumulation of the light-harvesting complex I (LHCI) proteins in the photosystem I (PSI) antenna have remained unclarified so far. In this work we investigated the effect of zeaxanthin binding on photoprotection of PSI–LHCI by comparing preparations isolated from wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana (i.e., with violaxanthin) and those isolated from the A. thaliana nonphotochemical quenching 2 mutant, in which violaxanthin is replaced by zeaxanthin. Time-resolved fluorescence measurements showed that zeaxanthin binding leads to a previously unrecognized quenching effect on PSI–LHCI fluorescence. The efficiency of energy transfer from the LHCI moiety of the complex to the PSI reaction center was down-regulated, and an enhanced PSI resistance to photoinhibition was observed both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, zeaxanthin was shown to be effective in inducing dissipative states in PSI, similar to its well-known effect on PSII. We propose that, upon acclimation to high light, PSI–LHCI changes its light-harvesting efficiency by a zeaxanthin-dependent quenching of the absorbed excitation energy, whereas in PSII the stoichiometry of LHC antenna proteins per reaction center is reduced directly. PMID:24872450

  5. 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

  6. Self-assembly in nematic colloids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muševič, Igor; Škarabot, Miha; Ravnik, Miha; Tkalec, Uroš; Poberaj, Igor; Babič, Dušan; Žumer, Slobodan

    2007-05-01

    The ability to generate regular spatial arrangements of particles on different length scales is one of the central issues of the "bottom-up" approach in nanotechnology. Current techniques rely on single atom or molecule manipulation by the STM, colloidal particle manipulation by laser or optoelectronic tweezers, microfluidics, optofluidics, micromanipulation and classical lithography. Of particular interest is self-assembly, where the pre-determined spatial arrangements of particles, such as 3D photonic crystals, could be realized spontaneously. Dispersions of particles in liquid crystals show several novel classes of anisotropic forces between inclusions, which result in an amazing diversity of self-assembled patterns, such as linear chains and 2D photonic crystals of microspheres. The forces between the particles in nematic colloids are extremely strong and long-range, resulting in several thousand times stronger binding compared to the binding in water based colloids. The mechanisms of self-assembly in nematic colloids are discussed, showing this is a novel paradigm in colloidal science, which can lead to new approaches in colloidal self-assembly for photonic devices.

  7. Self-assembled thin film chemical sensors

    SciTech Connect

    Swanson, B.; Li, DeQuan

    1996-11-01

    This is the final report of a one-year, Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Current chemical sensors suffer from poor molecular specificity, sensitivity, and stability and seldom have the recovery properties needed for real-time monitoring applications. We have employed self-assembly techniques to covalently bond species- selective reagents directly to the surface of the transducer so that analyte/reagent chemistry occurs at the interface between the transducer and the media to be monitored. The use of self-assembling monolayer and -multilayer (SAM) techniques results in stable sensing elements with optimal specificity built in through the use of reagents that have been designed for molecular recognition. Moreover, self-assembly chemistry applied to oxide surfaces allows flexible means of transduction spanning optical, electrochemical, mass-loading, and conduction methods. The work conducted on this project focused on demonstration of the methodology and the application to selected organic vapors (aromatic compounds and halogenated hydrocarbons). We have been able to develop a series of surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensors that are specific for aromatic compounds and halogenated hydrocarbons based on self-assembled thin films of cyclodextrins and calixarenes. Monolayers of seven different cyclodextrins and clixarenes have been attached to SAW transducers and their response to several organic molecules in the vapor phase have been measured. This preliminary data confirms the efficacy of this approach for real- time monitoring of hydrocarbons.

  8. Inverse Problem in Self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tkachenko, Alexei

    2012-02-01

    By decorating colloids and nanoparticles with DNA, one can introduce highly selective key-lock interactions between them. This leads to a new class of systems and problems in soft condensed matter physics. In particular, this opens a possibility to solve inverse problem in self-assembly: how to build an arbitrary desired structure with the bottom-up approach? I will present a theoretical and computational analysis of the hierarchical strategy in attacking this problem. It involves self-assembly of particular building blocks (``octopus particles''), that in turn would assemble into the target structure. On a conceptual level, our approach combines elements of three different brands of programmable self assembly: DNA nanotechnology, nanoparticle-DNA assemblies and patchy colloids. I will discuss the general design principles, theoretical and practical limitations of this approach, and illustrate them with our simulation results. Our crucial result is that not only it is possible to design a system that has a given nanostructure as a ground state, but one can also program and optimize the kinetic pathway for its self-assembly.

  9. Molecular Self-assembly for Organic Electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jun; Kaur, Irvinder; Diaconescu, Bogdan; Jazdzyk, Mikael; Miller, Glen P.; Pohl, Karsten

    2009-10-01

    Self-assembled thin films of novel organic molecules hold the promise of emerging technologies and applications ranging from sensors for biological applications to organic electronics and more efficient organic photovoltaics. Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) form as a result of a delicate balance between competing molecule-substrate and intermolecular interactions. To control such self-assembly processes, it is mandatory to understand how this balance reflects onto the SAM's final structure. Here we present an ultra-high vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) study of the self-assembly of novel pentacene derivatives and functionalized fullerenes (F-C60) on metal surfaces. Pentacene is known to exhibit large carrier mobility and has been studied extensively as a semiconductor in organic thin film devices. However, it is subject to facile photo-oxidation that limits device lifetime. We recently synthesized novel pentacene derivatives that show a dramatically increased resistance to photo-oxidation. We identified 6,13-dichloropentacene as a promising candidate for organic electronics. On the compact surface of gold, 6,13-dichloropentacene forms self-assembled domains with various high symmetry orientations. The quality of the SAM is seem to dramatically improve when the 6,13-dichloropentacene are deposited on the (788) vicinal surface of gold where the presence of parallel atomic steps will select only one of the possible SAM orientations due to the molecule-step interaction. Thus we observe the formation of very large self-assembled 6,13-dichloropentacene monolayers with perfect single domain orientation. We have also studied the self-assembly of C60 functionalized with alkyl chains of various lengths (F-C60) on Ag(111). We find that as a function of the alkyl chain length various structures are forming, ranging from zigzag like to linear arrays of C60 fullerene cages. The symmetry and unit cell size of the F-C60 SAMs is dictated by the alkyl-surface and the intermolecular interactions. These results show that C60 molecules can be assembled in 2D and non-compact molecular arrays with a surface density controllable via appropriate chemical functionalization. Those structures show promise as candidates for selfassembled molecular junctions.

  10. 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, etc.). The SANC technologies will establish LMA and related US manufacturing capability for commercial and military applications therefore reducing reliance on off-shore development and production of related critical technologies. If these technologies are successfully licensed, production of these coatings in manufactory will create significant technical employment opportunities.

  11. Solvation Effects in Self-Assembled Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Frink, L.J.D.

    1998-11-10

    Many types of self-assembly can be found in nature. They include crystallization, the formation of micelles, and the folding of proteins. Recently there has been much interest in pursuing nano-to-microscopically engineered materials by way of self-assembly on imprinted or templated surfaces. In all of these diverse cases, wetting plays a critical role in the assembly process. Wetting involves the interactions of the substrate or amphiphilic molecule or macromolecule with a solvent. In many self-assembled systems we find that the critical feature of the system is a substrate! or macromolecule with a both hydrophilic and hydrophobic nature. In this paper we discuss the wetting properties of a striped surface where the stripes represent alternating chemical characteristics. We show how the chemical heterogeneity affects the wetting properties of the surface (e.g. the static contact angle), and discuss the length limitations on the soft lithography approach. In this paper, the wetting of a chemically heterogeneous surface is studied using a nonlocal Density Functional Theory (DFT). The results for the heterogeneous surface model we discuss have immediate implications for soft-lithography by self-assembly. It also lends fundamental insight into the mechanisms controlling self-assembly of macromolecules. We present the results of nonlocal 2D DFT calculations on the wetting properties of chemically heterogeneous surfaces. These calculations showed complex density distributions and phase behavior as a result of the heterogeneity. The location of the wetting transition are found to be strongly dependent on the extent and strength of the heterogeneity, and complete wetting was suppressed altogether if the hydrophobic parts of the surface were large enough. In these cases, the condensed nanophase may crystallize if the hydrophilic surface-fluid interactions are strong enough. By exploring the phase space including strength of hydrophilic interactions and extent of chemical heterogeneity, an operational phase diagram was established that could be used for designing nanoscopically tailored devices and materials.

  12. Block copolymer self-assembly for the responsive reinforcement of injectable protein hydrogels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glassman, M. J.; Li, S.; Chan, J.; Olsen, B. D.

    2012-02-01

    Shear-thinning injectable protein hydrogels are emerging as important biomaterials for the minimally-invasive implantation of scaffolds for tissue engineering and drug delivery. In this work, responsive block copolymer self-assembly is employed to trigger nanostructure formation in hydrogels made from artificial associative proteins, producing hydrogels with resistance to shear-thinning post injection, reduced erosion rate, higher toughness, and dramatically reduced creep compliance. Polymer-protein-polymer triblock copolymers have been synthesized by conjugating poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) to either end of a protein midblock decorated with self-associating pentavalent sticker domains. Self-assembly at elevated temperatures introduces a second physical network into the protein hydrogel with an independent and tunable relaxation time. The phase behavior of these dual-network hydrogels has been explored, revealing the ability to access nanostructured morphologies, and the effect of self-assembled polymer domains on the linear mechanics and toughness of injectable hydrogels has been investigated.

  13. 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 method is developed that only treats those degrees of freedom which directly couple to quantum systems and hence maintain the non-Markovian nature of the dynamics in contrast to the fully reduced master equation. This brownian dynamics approach has a significant reduced computational cost compared with ILDM propagation. The algorithm is tested with a spin-boson-global bath model, and shows potential for capturing non-markovian features that will be lost with a fully reduced master equation description of the excitation energy transfer.

  14. Pigment interactions in light-harvesting complex II in different molecular environments.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-20

    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

  15. 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

  16. Maximizing omnidirectional light harvesting in metal oxide hyperbranched array architectures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Wu-Qiang; Feng, Hao-Lin; Rao, Hua-Shang; Xu, Yang-Fan; Kuang, Dai-Bin; Su, Cheng-Yong

    2014-05-01

    The scrupulous design of nanoarchitectures and smart hybridization of specific active materials are closely related to the overall photovoltaic performance of an anode electrode. Here we present a solution-based strategy for the fabrication of well-aligned metal oxide-based nanowire-nanosheet-nanorod hyperbranched arrays on transparent conducting oxide substrates. For these hyperbranched arrays, we observe a twofold increment in dye adsorption and enhanced light trapping and scattering capability compared with the pristine titanium dioxide nanowires, and thus a power conversion efficiency of 9.09% is achieved. Our growth approach presents a strategy to broaden the photoresponse and maximize the light-harvesting efficiency of arrays architectures, and may lead to applications for energy conversion and storage, catalysis, water splitting and gas sensing.

  17. Perspective: Detecting and measuring exciton delocalization in photosynthetic light harvesting

    SciTech Connect

    Scholes, Gregory D. Smyth, Cathal

    2014-03-21

    Photosynthetic units perform energy transfer remarkably well under a diverse range of demanding conditions. However, the mechanism of energy transfer, from excitation to conversion, is still not fully understood. Of particular interest is the possible role that coherence plays in this process. In this perspective, we overview photosynthetic light harvesting and discuss consequences of excitons for energy transfer and how delocalization can be assessed. We focus on challenges such as decoherence and nuclear-coordinate dependent delocalization. These approaches complement conventional spectroscopy and delocalization measurement techniques. New broadband transient absorption data may help uncover the difference between electronic and vibrational coherences present in two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy data. We describe how multipartite entanglement from quantum information theory allows us to formulate measures that elucidate the delocalization length of excitation and the details of that delocalization even from highly averaged information such as the density matrix.

  18. Potential of light-harvesting proton pumps for bioenergy applications.

    PubMed

    Walter, Jessica M; Greenfield, Derek; Liphardt, Jan

    2010-06-01

    Concerns about the security and longevity of traditional energy sources have increased interest in alternative methods of energy production, particularly those which utilize abundantly available solar energy. Solar energy can be harvested either indirectly through the conversion of plant or algal byproducts into biofuels or directly using engineered microorganisms. Here we summarize the main features of light-harvesting proton pumps, which may provide a relatively simple way to boost the efficiency of energy-limited biological processes in fuel production. This family of proton pumps, which includes bacteriorhodopsin and proteorhodopsin, directly uses light energy to create a proton motive force (pmf) which can be used by other enzymes to facilitate active transport, regulate transmembrane proteins, or to generate ATP and NADH. PMID:20371172

  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. Binding polynomial in molecular self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Mosunov, Andrew A; Rybakova, Kristina A; Rogova, Olga V; Evstigneev, Maxim P

    2014-06-01

    In the present work the concept of a binding polynomial is revisited for the most widely used case of self-assembly of identical molecular units and results in the re-construction of a link to the grand partition function of such a system. It is found that if the self-assembly process is not pronounced (i.e., the product of the equilibrium constant and the monomer concentration is close to zero), the binding polynomial has the meaning of a molecular partition function that is given by the summation over energy levels of any molecule in the system. In other cases the concept of a binding polynomial may be misleading. PMID:25019755

  1. 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.

  2. Programming protein self assembly with coiled coils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dietz, Hendrik; Bornschlögl, Thomas; Heym, Roland; König, Frauke; Rief, Matthias

    2007-11-01

    The controlled assembly of protein domains into supramolecular structures will be an important prerequisite for the use of functional proteins in future nanotechnology applications. Coiled coils are multimerization motifs whose dimerization properties can be programmed by amino acid sequence. Here, we report programmed supramolecular self-assembly of protein molecules using coiled coils and directly demonstrate its potential on the single molecule level by AFM force spectroscopy. We flanked two different model proteins, Ig27 from human cardiac titin and green fluorescent protein (GFP), by coiled coil binding partners and studied the capability of these elementary building blocks to self-assemble into linear chains. Simple sterical constraints are shown to control the assembly process, providing evidence that many proteins can be assembled with this method. An application for this technique is the design of polyproteins for single molecule force spectroscopy with an integrated force-calibration standard.

  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. Controlling and imaging biomimetic self-assembly.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26673259

  5. Self-assembly of anisotropic nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Youngsoo

    Controlling and manipulating the physical and chemical intrinsic properties of nanomaterials has been a fascinating issue in chemistry and materials science. Two central geometric variables, size and shape, strongly affect the intrinsic properties of nanomaterials. Specifically, the shape of nanocrystals plays a pivotal role in the determining intrinsic properties, including optical, electronic, magnetic, and catalytic behavior. Since nanocrystals with tailored geometries possess unique shape dependent behaviors, considerable efforts to develop shape controlled inorganic materials and to investigate their shape anisotropic effects on functional properties are currently being undertaken. This dissertation will introduce specific shape anisotropic behavior of the shape modified particles achieved through two different synthetic routes: i) structural modification of shape anisotropic particles and ii) 3-dimensional self-assembly via microwave-assisted solvothermal reactions. Each topic section will systematically provide an approach on enhancing each specific intrinsic property originating from self-assembly of anisotropic nanostructure and will discuss the fundamentals behind these phenomena.

  6. Linear self-assembly under confinement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henderson, J. R.

    2008-03-01

    An exactly solvable model is used to obtain the response to confinement of the cluster distribution of linear aggregation. A direct relevance to simulation studies of linear self-assembly in discotic solutions and in peptide tape formation is proposed. The mapping predicts, for typical simulation procedures, that a finite reservoir of solute leads to a dramatic departure from isodesmic chemical equilibria for solute-solute interaction strengths higher than only a few kBT .

  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. 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.

  9. Simulating Self-Assembly with Simple Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rapaport, D. C.

    Results from recent molecular dynamics simulations of virus capsid self-assembly are described. The model is based on rigid trapezoidal particles designed to form polyhedral shells of size 60, together with an atomistic solvent. The underlying bonding process is fully reversible. More extensive computations are required than in previous work on icosahedral shells built from triangular particles, but the outcome is a high yield of closed shells. Intermediate clusters have a variety of forms, and bond counts provide a useful classification scheme

  10. 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.

  11. Engineering building blocks for self-assembling protein nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Like natural viruses, manmade protein cages for drug delivery are to be ideally formed by repetitive subunits with self-assembling properties, mimicking viral functions and molecular organization. Naturally formed nanostructures (such as viruses, flagella or simpler protein oligomers) can be engineered to acquire specific traits of interest in biomedicine, for instance through the addition of cell targeting agents for desired biodistribution and specific delivery of associated drugs. However, fully artificial constructs would be highly desirable regarding finest tuning and adaptation to precise therapeutic purposes. Although engineering of protein assembling is still in its infancy, arising principles and promising strategies of protein manipulation point out the rational construction of nanoscale protein cages as a feasible concept, reachable through conventional recombinant DNA technologies and microbial protein production. PMID:21192790

  12. Engineering building blocks for self-assembling protein nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Vázquez, Esther; Villaverde, Antonio

    2010-01-01

    Like natural viruses, manmade protein cages for drug delivery are to be ideally formed by repetitive subunits with self-assembling properties, mimicking viral functions and molecular organization. Naturally formed nanostructures (such as viruses, flagella or simpler protein oligomers) can be engineered to acquire specific traits of interest in biomedicine, for instance through the addition of cell targeting agents for desired biodistribution and specific delivery of associated drugs. However, fully artificial constructs would be highly desirable regarding finest tuning and adaptation to precise therapeutic purposes. Although engineering of protein assembling is still in its infancy, arising principles and promising strategies of protein manipulation point out the rational construction of nanoscale protein cages as a feasible concept, reachable through conventional recombinant DNA technologies and microbial protein production. PMID:21192790

  13. 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

  14. 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).

  15. Anisotropic Self-Assembly of Nanoparticle Amphiphiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Sanat

    2009-03-01

    It is easy to understand the self-assembly of particles having anisotropic shapes or interactions, such as Co nanoparticles or proteins, into highly extended structures. However, there is no experimentally established strategy for creating anisotropic structures from common spherical nanoparticles. We demonstrate that spherical nanoparticles, uniformly grafted with macromolecules, robustly self-assemble into a range of anisotropic superstructures when they are dispersed in the corresponding homopolymer matrix. This phenomenon is driven by the microphase separation between the inorganic nanoparticles and the (organic) polymeric chains grafted to their surfaces in a fashion similar to block copolymers. This microphase separation driven particle self-assembly provides a unique means of controlling the global nanoparticle dispersion state in polymer nanocomposites. The relationship between the state of particle dispersion and nanocomposite properties can thus be critically examined, and in particular we focus on the mechanical reinforcement afforded when particles are added to polymers. Grafted nanoparticles are thus versatile building blocks for creating tunable and functional particle superstructures with significant practical applications. With Pinar Akcora, Hongjun Liu, Yu Li, Brian Benicewicz, Linda Schadler, Thanos Panagiotopoulos, Jack Douglas, P. Thiyagarajan and Ralph Colby.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Self-assembly of polar food lipids.

    PubMed

    Leser, Martin E; Sagalowicz, Laurent; Michel, Martin; Watzke, Heribert J

    2006-11-16

    Polar lipids, such as monoglycerides and phospholipids, are amphiphilic molecules commonly used as processing and stabilization aids in the manufacturing of food products. As all amphiphilic molecules (surfactants, emulsifiers) they show self-assembly phenomena when added into water above a certain concentration (the critical aggregation concentration). The variety of self-assembly structures that can be formed by polar food lipids is as rich as it is for synthetic surfactants: micelles (normal and reverse micelles), microemulsions, and liquid crystalline phases can be formulated using food-grade ingredients. In the present work we will first discuss microemulsion and liquid crystalline phase formation from ingredients commonly used in food industry. In the last section we will focus on three different potential application fields, namely (i) solubilization of poorly water soluble ingredients, (ii) controlled release, and (iii) chemical reactivity. We will show how the interfacial area present in self-assembly structures can be used for (i) the delivery of functional molecules, (ii) controlling the release of functional molecules, and (iii) modulating the chemical reactivity between reactive molecules, such as aromas. PMID:17045560

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Experimental studies and numerical simulations on light-harvesting devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagedorn, Kevin V.

    Obtaining high solar energy conversion efficiencies with materials that require minimal processing or refining is critical to next generation light-harvesting systems. Organic dyes and inorganic nanostructured semiconductors are two material types that address this need and are studied herein. Two sets of organic chromophore systems were characterized. First, triarylamine multi-chromophore dendrimers with purposely designed biphenyl-based trap sites were investigated using fluorescence upconversion spectroscopy. A rise in the fluorescence from the biphenyl site after the excitation pulse demonstrated that excitons were trapped with 99% efficiency. These data show that excitons can be directed to a specific site in a molecular chromophore. Separately, thiophene macrocycles were investigated to determine if molecular systems could show high energetic degeneracy. The chromophore coupling constants of two thiophene rings were quantified using time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy measurements. The calculated chromophore coupling constants for the cyclic system were an order of magnitude higher than linear chains. In addition, the cyclic system had a two photon absorption cross section of 1470 GM, which is over a thousand times greater than the linear chain and useful for applications in imaging and lithography. Nanostructured inorganic semiconductors were also the subject of study. In one set of experiments, the first example of macroporous p-GaP(100) was reported and its ability to perform photosynthetic water splitting was demonstrated and assessed. Macroporous films were prepared using a two-electrode cell with a halogen acid electrolyte and pulsed anodic etching voltage waveform. Control over the macroporous film morphology was explored by varying halogen acid type, concentration, and etching voltage. Macroporous p-GaP has applications in photonic and light-harvesting systems. To this end, the relationship between optoelectronic properties and the obtainable solar energy conversion efficiency was determined in nanostructured semiconductors. The photocurrent-potential response of lightly and heavily doped silicon nanowires were quantified, with the heavily doped semiconductors demonstrating superior energy conversion. For low dopant density nanowires, the low energy conversion efficiencies were attributed to a lack of an internal electric field, which resulted in a high majority carrier recombination at the interface. These data provide design principles for efficient solar energy conversion systems based on nanostructured semiconductors.

  3. Integrated Nanosystems Templated by Self-assembled Virus Capsids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephanopoulos, Nicholas

    This dissertation presents the synthesis and modeling of multicomponent nanosystems templated by self-assembled virus capsids. The design principles, synthesis, analysis, and future directions for these capsid-based materials are presented. Chapter 1 gives an overview of the literature on the application of virus capsids in constructing nanomaterials. The uses of capsids in three main areas are considered: (1) as templates for inorganic materials or nanoparticles; (2) as vehicles for biological applications like medical imaging and treatment; and (3) as scaffolds for catalytic materials. In light of this introduction, an overview of the material in this dissertation is described. Chapters 2-4 all describe integrated nanosystems templated by bacteriophage MS2, a spherical icosahedral virus capsid. MS2 possesses an interior and exterior surface that can be modified orthogonally using bioconjugation chemistry to create multivalent, multicomponent constructs with precise localization of components attached to the capsid proteins. Chapter 2 describes the use of MS2 to synthesize a photocatalytic construct by modifying the internal surface with sensitizing chromophores and the external surface with a photocatalytic porphyrin. The chromophores absorbed energy that the porphyrin could not, and transferred it to the porphyrin via FRET through the protein shell. The porphyrin was then able to utilize the energy to carry out photocatalysis at new wavelengths. In Chapter 3, porphyrins were installed on the interior surface of MS2 and DNA aptamers specific for Jurkat leukemia T cells on the exterior surface. The dual-modified capsids were able to bind to Jurkat cells, and upon illumination the porphyrins generated singlet oxygen to kill them selectively over non-targeted cells. Chapter 4 explores integrating MS2 with DNA origami in order to arrange the capsids at larger length scales. Capsids modified with fluorescent dyes inside and single-stranded DNA outside were able to bind to origami tiles bearing complementary DNA probes. The tiles could then be used to arrange the capsids in a one-dimensional array with dimensions far exceeding those of individual MS2 particles. In Chapter 5, the use of a different capsid, that of the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) is described. The defect tolerance of light harvesting systems built using TMV as a scaffold was investigated using a kinetic Monte Carlo model to simulate the energy transfer processes. The results of the simulation were used to understand and explain experimental results obtained from the system.

  4. 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 hydrophobic designs. PMID:24997120

  5. Fractal self-assembly of single-stranded DNA on hydrophobic self-assembled monolayers.

    PubMed

    Xing, Chunyan; Qiao, Haiyan; Li, Yongjun; Ke, Xi; Zhang, Zhe; Zhang, Bailin; Tang, Jilin

    2012-09-27

    The self-assembled structures possess superior stability, biocompatibility and mechanical strength, and their study can provide insight into the use of creating novel biomaterials. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) images of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) nanostructures show that well-ordered organization, high homogeneity, and molecular dimensions fractal-shaped fibers formed on a gold substrate covered with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of 1-hexadecanethiol (HDT). The nanoscaled architectures of ssDNA on HDT/Au changed remarkably following the process of diffusion-limited cluster aggregation (DLA) over time. The ssDNA fibers prefer to form on hydrophobic SAMs instead of hydrophilic SAMs, and the ssDNA has to have complementary regions in their sequences. This method might not be used only for the construction of fractal patterns, but also for the design and fabrication of functional DNA-based, self-assembled materials that exhibit self-similarity at multiple length scales. PMID:22954149

  6. Electron transport and light-harvesting switches in cyanobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Mullineaux, Conrad W.

    2014-01-01

    Cyanobacteria possess multiple mechanisms for regulating the pathways of photosynthetic and respiratory electron transport. Electron transport may be regulated indirectly by controlling the transfer of excitation energy from the light-harvesting complexes, or it may be more directly regulated by controlling the stoichiometry, localization, and interactions of photosynthetic and respiratory electron transport complexes. Regulation of the extent of linear vs. cyclic electron transport is particularly important for controlling the redox balance of the cell. This review discusses what is known of the regulatory mechanisms and the timescales on which they occur, with particular regard to the structural reorganization needed and the constraints imposed by the limited mobility of membrane-integral proteins in the crowded thylakoid membrane. Switching mechanisms requiring substantial movement of integral thylakoid membrane proteins occur on slower timescales than those that require the movement only of cytoplasmic or extrinsic membrane proteins. This difference is probably due to the restricted diffusion of membrane-integral proteins. Multiple switching mechanisms may be needed to regulate electron transport on different timescales. PMID:24478787

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    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

  11. 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

  12. Functional membranes via nanoparticle self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Green, Erica; Fullwood, Emily; Selden, Julieann; Zharov, Ilya

    2015-05-01

    This article summarizes a recently developed approach for the preparation of membrane materials by the self-assembly of inorganic, polymeric or hybrid nanoparticles, with the focus on functional membranes possessing permselectivity. Two types of such membranes are discussed, those possessing size and charge selectivity suitable for ultra- and nanofiltration and chemoselective separation, and those possessing proton or lithium transport properties suitable for fuel cell and lithium battery applications, respectively. This article describes the preparation methods of nanoparticle membranes, as well as their mechanical, molecular, and ionic transport properties. PMID:25873312

  13. 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.

  14. Allostery in molecular self-assemblies: metal ions triggered self-assembly and emissions of terthiophene.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shuai; Zhao, Li; Xiao, Yunlong; Huang, Tian; Li, Jie; Huang, Jianbin; Yan, Yun

    2016-04-01

    Binding of metal ions to the head of a coordinating amphiphile TTC4L substantially changes the emission color of the terthiophene group attached to the chain end via a conformation triggered self-assembly. This is in analogy with the allostery of proteins in which binding a ligand to one site may affect its performance at another site through conformational change. PMID:26871753

  15. On-chip self-assembly of cell embedded microstructures to vascular-like microtubes.

    PubMed

    Yue, Tao; Nakajima, Masahiro; Takeuchi, Masaru; Hu, Chengzhi; Huang, Qiang; Fukuda, Toshio

    2014-03-21

    Currently, research on the construction of vascular-like tubular structures is a hot area of tissue engineering, since it has potential applications in the building of artificial blood vessels. In this paper, we report a fluidic self-assembly method using cell embedded microstructures to construct vascular-like microtubes. A novel 4-layer microfluidic device was fabricated using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which contains fabrication, self-assembly and extraction areas inside one channel. Cell embedded microstructures were directly fabricated using poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) in the fabrication area, namely on-chip fabrication. Self-assembly of the fabricated microstructures was performed in the assembly area which has a micro well. Assembled tubular structures (microtubes) were extracted outside the channel into culture dishes using a normally closed (NC) micro valve in the extraction area. The self-assembly mechanism was experimentally demonstrated. The performance of the NC micro valve and embedded cell concentration were both evaluated. Fibroblast (NIH/3T3) embedded vascular-like microtubes were constructed inside this reusable microfluidic device. PMID:24472895

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Directed Self-Assembly: Expectations and Achievements.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Prashant

    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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Metal induced self-assembly of designed V-shape protein into 2D wavy supramolecular nanostructure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiao, S. P.; Lang, C.; Wang, R. D.; Li, X. M.; Yan, T. F.; Pan, T. Z.; Zhao, L. L.; Fan, X. T.; Zhang, X.; Hou, C. X.; Luo, Q.; Xu, J. Y.; Liu, J. Q.

    2015-12-01

    In order to understand and imitate the more complex bio-processes and fascinating functions in nature, protein self-assembly has been studied and has attracted more and more interest in recent years. Artificial self-assemblies of proteins have been constructed through many strategies. However, the design of complicated protein self-assemblies utilizing the special profile of building blocks remains a challenge. We herein report linear and 2D nanostructures constructed from a V shape SMAC protein and induced by metal coordination. Zigzag nanowires and wavy 2D nanostructures have been demonstrated by AFM and TEM. The zigzag nanowires can translate to a 2D nanostructure with an excess of metal ions, which reveals the step by step assembly process. Fluorescence and UV/Vis spectra have also been obtained to further study the mechanism and process of self-assembly. Upon the protein nanostructure, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) could also be detected using fluorescein modified proteins as building blocks. This article provides an approach for designing and controlling self-assembled protein nanostructures with a distinctive topological morphology.In order to understand and imitate the more complex bio-processes and fascinating functions in nature, protein self-assembly has been studied and has attracted more and more interest in recent years. Artificial self-assemblies of proteins have been constructed through many strategies. However, the design of complicated protein self-assemblies utilizing the special profile of building blocks remains a challenge. We herein report linear and 2D nanostructures constructed from a V shape SMAC protein and induced by metal coordination. Zigzag nanowires and wavy 2D nanostructures have been demonstrated by AFM and TEM. The zigzag nanowires can translate to a 2D nanostructure with an excess of metal ions, which reveals the step by step assembly process. Fluorescence and UV/Vis spectra have also been obtained to further study the mechanism and process of self-assembly. Upon the protein nanostructure, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) could also be detected using fluorescein modified proteins as building blocks. This article provides an approach for designing and controlling self-assembled protein nanostructures with a distinctive topological morphology. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Experimental details, circular dichroism spectra, dynamic light scattering, additional AFM images and fluorescence spectra. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr06378g

  9. 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 ~\

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25746459

  12. 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.

  13. Self-assembly of synthetic zinc chlorins in a silicate micelle prepared by sol-gel process.

    PubMed

    Saga, Yoshitaka; Miyatake, Tomohiro; Tamiaki, Hitoshi

    2002-04-22

    Zinc methyl 3-devinyl-3-hydroxymethyl-pyropheophorbide-a (1), a good model compound of light-harvesting pigments of green photosynthetic bacteria, formed self-aggregates in the presence of octadecyltriethoxysilane and tetraethoxysilane in an aqueous solution to exhibit visible absorption spectra similar to the natural antenna. Base-catalyzed cross-linked polymerization of the additive Si-ORs (R=ethyl and H) afforded the formation of a siloxane network (Si-O-Si) on the surface of the self-assemblies of 1. The resulting microcapsules were stable to tolerate the deaggregation to monomeric 1 by addition of surfactant Triton X-100 more largely than the corresponding micelles before polymerization. PMID:11934594

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Wei-Han

    Through millions of years of evolution, nature creates unique structures and materials that exhibit remarkable performance on mechanicals, opticals, and physical properties. For instance, nacre (mother of pearl), bone and tooth show excellent combination of strong minerals and elastic proteins as reinforced materials. Structured butterfly's wing and moth's eye can selectively reflect light or absorb light without dyes. Lotus leaf and cicada's wing are superhydrophobic to prevent water accumulation. The principles of particular biological capabilities, attributed to the highly sophisticated structures with complex hierarchical designs, have been extensively studied. Recently, a large variety of novel materials have been enabled by natural-inspired designs and nanotechnologies. These advanced materials will have huge impact on practical applications. We have utilized bottom-up approaches to fabricate nacre-like nanocomposites with "brick and mortar" structures. First, we used self-assembly processes, including convective self-assembly, dip-coating, and electrophoretic deposition to form well oriented layer structure of synthesized gibbsite (aluminum hydroxide) nanoplatelets. Low viscous monomer was permeated into layered nanoplatelets and followed by photo-curing. Gibbsite-polymer composite displays 2 times higher tensile strength and 3 times higher modulus when compared with pure polymer. More improvement occurred when surface-modified gibbsite platelets were cross-linked with the polymer matrix. We observed ˜4 times higher strength and nearly 1 order of magnitude higher modulus than pure polymer. To further improve the mechanical strength and toughness of inorganicorganic nanocomposites, we exploited ultrastrong graphene oxide (GO), a single atom thick hexagonal carbon sheet with pendant oxidation groups. GO nanocomposite is made by co-filtrating GO/polyvinyl alcohol suspension on 0.2 im pore-sized membrane. It shows ˜2 times higher strength and ˜15 times higher 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.

  15. 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 used to characterize part-to-substrate MSA. It is shown that the assembly rate and the yield are most dependent on the rotational symmetry of the magnet pattern. Simultaneous and sequential heterogeneous assembly of two types of parts with selective bonding is also demonstrated, with the average assembly yield of 93% in 60 s and 99% in 3.5 min respectively. Finally, MSA with functional electrical interconnects is also demonstrated with a yield of 90.5%.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26493926

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Supramolecular self-assemblies as functional nanomaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busseron, Eric; Ruff, Yves; Moulin, Emilie; Giuseppone, Nicolas

    2013-07-01

    In this review, we survey the diversity of structures and functions which are encountered in advanced self-assembled nanomaterials. We highlight their flourishing implementations in three active domains of applications: biomedical sciences, information technologies, and environmental sciences. Our main objective is to provide the reader with a concise and straightforward entry to this broad field by selecting the most recent and important research articles, supported by some more comprehensive reviews to introduce each topic. Overall, this compilation illustrates how, based on the rules of supramolecular chemistry, the bottom-up approach to design functional objects at the nanoscale is currently producing highly sophisticated materials oriented towards a growing number of applications with high societal impact.

  3. Self-assembly of active attractive spheres.

    PubMed

    Prymidis, Vasileios; Sielcken, Harmen; Filion, Laura

    2015-06-01

    We study the self-assembly of a system of self-propelled, Lennard-Jones particles using Brownian dynamics simulations. We examine the state diagrams of the system for different rotational diffusion coefficients of the self-propelled motion of the particles. For fast rotational diffusion, the state diagram exhibits a strong similarity to that of the equilibrium Lennard-Jones fluid. As we decrease the rotational diffusion coefficient, the state diagram is slowly transformed. Specifically, the liquid-gas coexistence region is gradually replaced by a highly dynamic percolating network state. We find significant local alignment of the particles in the percolating network state despite the absence of aligning interactions, and propose a simple mechanism to justify the formation of this novel state. PMID:25866369

  4. Smart self-assembled hybrid hydrogel biomaterials.

    PubMed

    Kopeček, Jindřich; Yang, Jiyuan

    2012-07-23

    Hybrid biomaterials are systems created from components of at least two distinct classes of molecules, for example, synthetic macromolecules and proteins or peptide domains. The synergistic combination of two types of structures may produce new materials that possess unprecedented levels of structural organization and novel properties. This Review focuses on biorecognition-driven self-assembly of hybrid macromolecules into functional hydrogel biomaterials. First, basic rules that govern the secondary structure of peptides are discussed, and then approaches to the specific design of hybrid systems with tailor-made properties are evaluated, followed by a discussion on the similarity of design principles of biomaterials and macromolecular therapeutics. Finally, the future of the field is briefly outlined. PMID:22806947

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Self-assembly of granular crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shattuck, Mark

    2015-03-01

    Acoustic meta-materials are engineered materials with the ability to control, direct, and manipulate sound waves. Since the 1990s, several groups have developed acoustic meta-materials with novel capabilities including negative index materials for acoustic super-lenses, phononic crystals with acoustic band gaps for wave guides and mirrors, and acoustic cloaking device. Most previous work on acoustic meta-materials has focused on continuum solids and fluids. In contrast, we report on coordinated computational and experimental studies to use macro-self-assembly of granular materials to produce acoustic meta-materials. The advantages of granular acoustic materials are three-fold: 1) Microscopic control: The discrete nature of granular media allows us to optimize acoustic properties on both the grain and network scales. 2) Tunability: The speed of sound in granular media depends strongly on pressure due to non-linear contact interactions and contact breaking. 3) Direct visualization: The macro-scale size of the grains enables visualization of the structure and stress propagation within granular assemblies. We report simulations and experiments of vibrated particles that form a variety of self-assembled ordered structures in two- and three-dimensions. In the simplest case of mono-disperse spheres, using a combination of pressure and vibration we produce crystals with long-range order on the scale of 100's of particles. Using special particle shapes that form ``lock and key'' structures we are able to make binary crystals with prescribed stoichiometries. We discuss the mechanical properties of these structures and methods to create more complicated structures.

  9. Self assembly properties of primitive organic compounds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deamer, D. W.

    1991-01-01

    A central event in the origin of life was the self-assembly of amphiphilic, lipid-like compounds into closed microenvironments. If a primitive macromolecular replicating system could be encapsulated within a vesicular membrane, the components of the system would share the same microenvironment, and the result would be a step toward true cellular function. The goal of our research has been to determine what amphiphilic molecules might plausibly have been available on the early Earth to participate in the formation of such boundary structures. To this end, we have investigated primitive organic mixtures present in carbonaceous meteorites such as the Murchison meteorite, which contains 1-2 percent of its mass in the form of organic carbon compounds. It is likely that such compounds contributed to the inventory of organic carbon on the prebiotic earth, and were available to participate in chemical evolution leading to the emergence of the first cellular life forms. We found that Murchison components extracted into non-polar solvent systems are surface active, a clear indication of amphiphilic character. One acidic fraction self-assembles into vesicular membranes that provide permeability barriers to polar solutes. Other evidence indicates that the membranes are bimolecular layers similar to those formed by contemporary membrane lipids. We conclude that bilayer membrane formation by primitive amphiphiles on the early Earth is feasible. However, only a minor fraction of acidic amphiphiles assembles into bilayers, and the resulting membranes require narrowly defined conditions of pH and ionic composition to be stable. It seems unlikely, therefore, that meteoritic infall was a direct source of membrane amphiphiles. Instead, the hydrocarbon components and their derivatives more probably would provide an organic stock available for chemical evolution. Our current research is directed at possible reactions which would generate substantial quantities of membranogenic amphiphiles. One possibility is photochemical oxidation of hydrocarbons.

  10. Entropically driven self-assembly of multichannel rosette nanotubes

    PubMed Central

    Fenniri, Hicham; Deng, Bo-Liang; Ribbe, Alexander E.; Hallenga, Klaas; Jacob, Jaby; Thiyagarajan, Pappannan

    2002-01-01

    Rosette nanotubes are a new class of organic nanotubes obtained through the hierarchical self-assembly of low molecular weight synthetic modules in water. Here we demonstrate that these materials can serve as scaffolds for the supramolecular synthesis of multichannel nanotubular architectures and report on the discovery of their entropy-driven self-assembly process. PMID:11891281

  11. Self-Assembly Strategy for Fabricating Connected Graphene Nanoribbons.

    PubMed

    Han, Patrick; Akagi, Kazuto; Federici Canova, Filippo; Shimizu, Ryota; Oguchi, Hiroyuki; Shiraki, Susumu; Weiss, Paul S; Asao, Naoki; Hitosugi, Taro

    2015-12-22

    We use self-assembly to fabricate and to connect precise graphene nanoribbons end to end. Combining scanning tunneling microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and density functional theory, we characterize the chemical and electronic aspects of the interconnections between ribbons. We demonstrate how the substrate effects of our self-assembly can be exploited to fabricate graphene structures connected to desired electrodes. PMID:26588477

  12. Equilibrium polymerization models of re-entrant self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Dudowicz, Jacek; Douglas, Jack F; Freed, Karl F

    2009-04-28

    As is well known, liquid-liquid phase separation can occur either upon heating or cooling, corresponding to lower and upper critical solution phase boundaries, respectively. Likewise, self-assembly transitions from a monomeric state to an organized polymeric state can proceed either upon increasing or decreasing temperature, and the concentration dependent ordering temperature is correspondingly called the "floor" or "ceiling" temperature. Motivated by the fact that some phase separating systems exhibit closed loop phase boundaries with two critical points, the present paper analyzes self-assembly analogs of re-entrant phase separation, i.e., re-entrant self-assembly. In particular, re-entrant self-assembly transitions are demonstrated to arise in thermally activated equilibrium self-assembling systems, when thermal activation is more favorable than chain propagation, and in equilibrium self-assembly near an adsorbing boundary where strong competition exists between adsorption and self-assembly. Apparently, the competition between interactions or equilibria generally underlies re-entrant behavior in both liquid-liquid phase separation and self-assembly transitions. PMID:19405628

  13. Self-Assembly of Optical Molecules with Supramolecular Concepts

    PubMed Central

    Okamoto, Ken; Chithra, Parayalil; Richards, Gary J.; Hill, Jonathan P.; Ariga, Katsuhiko

    2009-01-01

    Fabrication of nano-sized objects is one of the most important issues in nanoscience and nanotechnology. Soft nanomaterials with flexible properties have been given much attention and can be obtained through bottom-up processing from functional molecules, where self-assembly based on supramolecular chemistry and designed assembly have become crucial processes and techniques. Among the various functional molecules, dyes have become important materials in certain areas of nanotechnology and their self-assembling behaviors have been actively researched. In this short review, we briefly introduce recent progress in self-assembly of optical molecules and dyes, based mainly on supramolecular concepts. The introduced examples are classified into four categories: self-assembly of (i) low-molecular-weight dyes and (ii) polymeric dyes and dye self-assembly (iii) in nanoscale architectures and (iv) at surfaces. PMID:19564931

  14. Robotics. Programmable self-assembly in a thousand-robot swarm.

    PubMed

    Rubenstein, Michael; Cornejo, Alejandro; Nagpal, Radhika

    2014-08-15

    Self-assembly enables nature to build complex forms, from multicellular organisms to complex animal structures such as flocks of birds, through the interaction of vast numbers of limited and unreliable individuals. Creating this ability in engineered systems poses challenges in the design of both algorithms and physical systems that can operate at such scales. We report a system that demonstrates programmable self-assembly of complex two-dimensional shapes with a thousand-robot swarm. This was enabled by creating autonomous robots designed to operate in large groups and to cooperate through local interactions and by developing a collective algorithm for shape formation that is highly robust to the variability and error characteristic of large-scale decentralized systems. This work advances the aim of creating artificial swarms with the capabilities of natural ones. PMID:25124435

  15. Synthesis of 1D Silica Nanostructures with Controllable Sizes Based on Short Anionic Peptide Self-Assembly.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shengjie; Cai, Qingwei; Du, Mingxuan; Xue, Junyi; Xu, Hai

    2015-09-10

    Artificial synthesis of silica under benign conditions is usually achieved by using cationic organic matrices as templates while the anionic analogues have not received enough consideration, albeit they are also functioning in biosilica formation. In this work, we report the design and self-assembly of an anionic peptide amphiphile (I3E) and the use of its self-assemblies as templates to synthesize 1D silica nanostructures with tunable sizes. We show that short I3E readily formed long nanofibrils in aqueous solution via a hierarchical self-assembly process. By using APTES and TEOS as silica precursors, we found that the I3E nanofibrils templated the production of silica nanotubes with a wide size distribution, in which the silica size regulation was achieved by tuning the interactions among the peptide template and silicon species. These results clearly illustrate a facile method for generating silica nanomaterials based on anionic matrices. PMID:26301578

  16. Large-Area Nanosphere Self-Assembly by a Micro-Propulsive Injection Method for High Throughput Periodic Surface Nanotexturing.

    PubMed

    Gao, Pingqi; He, Jian; Zhou, Suqiong; Yang, Xi; Li, Sizhong; Sheng, Jiang; Wang, Dan; Yu, Tianbao; Ye, Jichun; Cui, Yi

    2015-07-01

    A high throughput surface texturing process for optical and optoelectric devices based on a large-area self-assembly of nanospheres via a low-cost micropropulsive injection (MPI) method is presented. The novel MPI process enables the formation of a well-organized monolayer of hexagonally arranged nanosphere arrays (NAs) with tunable periodicity directly on the water surface, which is then transferred onto the preset substrates. This process can readily reach a throughput of 3000 wafers/h, which is compatible with the high volume photovoltaic manufacturing, thereby presenting a highly versatile platform for the fabrication of periodic nanotexturing on device surfaces. Specifically, a double-sided grating texturing with top-sided nanopencils and bottom-sided inverted-nanopyramids is realized in a thin film of crystalline silicon (28 μm in thickness) using chemical etching on the mask of NAs to significantly enhance antireflection and light trapping, resulting in absorptions nearly approaching the Lambertian limit over a broad wavelength range of 375-1000 nm and even surpassing this limit beyond 1000 nm. In addition, it is demonstrated that the NAs can serve as templates for replicas of three-dimensional conformal amorphous silicon films with significantly enhanced light harvesting. The MPI induced self-assembly process may provide a universal and cost-effective solution for boosting light utilization, a problem of crucial importance for ultrathin solar cells. PMID:26039258

  17. Photoelectron transport tuning of self-assembled subbands.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Zhengwei; Wang, Xinmin; Wu, Weidong; Wang, Xuemin; Peng, Liping; Zhao, Yan; Yan, Dawei; Jiang, Tao; Shen, Changle; Zhan, Zhiqiang; Cao, Linhong; Li, Weihua

    2016-02-18

    Conventionally, electrical transport of quantum subbands occurs at very high electric fields, indicating that the medium is easy to break down. In the experiments and practical applications, the extreme condition is difficult to satisfy. For quantum information transmission, low power consumption and convenient implementation are what we expect. In this paper, we engineered a special quantum dot array (QDA) embedded in a single crystal matrix. By external optical field excitation, we found a series of subbands made of the self-assembled QDA discretely located in the matrix. Changing the spacing between the quantum dots leads to the variation of subband spacing. Artificially manipulating the microcosmic QDA system can bring interesting macroscopic effects, such as an enhanced absorption intensity in the ultraviolet range, a blue-shift of the surface plasmon resonance peak and nonlinear absorption changed from two-photon absorption to saturated absorption. The intrinsic mechanism of the subband optical response was revealed due to the strong quantum confinement effect and dominant intraband transitions. The weak surface plasmon resonance absorption of Ni QDA gave an excellent figure of merit of the order of 10(-10). The composite films are expectation enough to become a prime candidate for nonlinear applications near 532 nm. Therefore with interplay of the weak optical field and subbands, we achieved a tunable photoelectron transport process. PMID:26853784

  18. Bio-Photoelectrochemical Solar Cells Incorporating Reaction Center and Reaction Center Plus Light Harvesting Complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaghoubi, Houman

    Harvesting solar energy can potentially be a promising solution to the energy crisis now and in the future. However, material and processing costs continue to be the most important limitations for the commercial devices. A key solution to these problems might lie within the development of bio-hybrid solar cells that seeks to mimic photosynthesis to harvest solar energy and to take advantage of the low material costs, negative carbon footprint, and material abundance. The bio-photoelectrochemical cell technologies exploit biomimetic means of energy conversion by utilizing plant-derived photosystems which can be inexpensive and ultimately the most sustainable alternative. Plants and photosynthetic bacteria harvest light, through special proteins called reaction centers (RCs), with high efficiency and convert it into electrochemical energy. In theory, photosynthetic RCs can be used in a device to harvest solar energy and generate 1.1 V open circuit voltage and ~1 mA cm-2 short circuit photocurrent. Considering the nearly perfect quantum yield of photo-induced charge separation, efficiency of a protein-based solar cell might exceed 20%. In practice, the efficiency of fabricated devices has been limited mainly due to the challenges in the electron transfer between the protein complex and the device electrodes as well as limited light absorption. The overarching goal of this work is to increase the power conversion efficiency in protein-based solar cells by addressing those issues (i.e. electron transfer and light absorption). This work presents several approaches to increase the charge transfer rate between the photosynthetic RC and underlying electrode as well as increasing the light absorption to eventually enhance the external quantum efficiency (EQE) of bio-hybrid solar cells. The first approach is to decrease the electron transfer distance between one of the redox active sites in the RC and the underlying electrode by direct attachment of the of protein complex onto Au electrodes via surface exposed cysteine residues. This resulted in photocurrent densities as large as ~600 nA cm-2 while still the incident photon to generated electron quantum efficiency was as low as %3 x 10-4. 2- The second approach is to immobilize wild type RCs of Rhodobacter sphaeroides on the surface of a Au underlying electrode using self-assembled monolayers of carboxylic acid terminated oligomers and cytochrome c charge mediating layers, with a preferential orientation from the primary electron donor site. This approach resulted in EQE of up to 0.06%, which showed 200 times efficiency improvement comparing to the first approach. In the third approach, instead of isolated protein complexes, RCs plus light harvesting (LH) complexes were employed for a better photon absorption. Direct attachment of RC-LH1 complexes on Au working electrodes, resulted in 0.21% EQE which showed 3.5 times efficiency improvement over the second approach (700 times higher than the first approach). The main impact of this work is the harnessing of biological RCs for efficient energy harvesting in man-made structures. Specifically, the results in this work will advance the application of RCs in devices for energy harvesting and will enable a better understanding of bio and nanomaterial interfaces, thereby advancing the application of biological materials in electronic devices. At the end, this work offers general guidelines that can serve to improve the performance of bio-hybrid solar cells.

  19. Solvent mediated self-assembly of solids

    SciTech Connect

    De Yoreo, J.; Wilson, W.D.; Palmore, T.

    1997-12-12

    Solvent-mediated crystallization represents a robust approach to self-assembly of nanostructures and microstructures. In organic systems, the relative ease with which the structure of hydrogen- bonded molecules can be manipulated allows for generation of a wide variety of nanoscale crystal structures. In living organisms, control over the micron-to-millimeter form of inorganic crystals is achieved through introduction of bio-organic molecules. The purpose of this proposal is to understand the interplay between solution chemistry, molecular structure, surface chemistry, and the processes of nucleation and crystal growth in solvent-mediated systems, with the goal of developing the atomic and molecular basis of a solvent-mediated self-assembly technology. We will achieve this purpose by: (1) utilizing an atomic force microscopy (AFM) approach that provides in situ, real time imaging during growth from solutions, (2) by modifying kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) models to include solution-surface kinetics, (3) by introducing quantum chemistry (QC) calculations of the potentials of the relevant chemical species and the near-surface structure of the solution, and (4) by utilizing molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to identify the minimum energy pathways to the solid state. Our work will focus on two systems chosen to address both the manometer and micron-to-millimeter length scales of assembly, the family of 2,5- diketopiperazines (X-DKPs) and the system of CaCO{sub 3} with amino acids. Using AFM, we will record the evolution of surface morphology, critical lengths, step speeds, and step-step interactions as a function of supersaturation and temperature. In the case of the X-DKPs, these measurements will be repeated as the molecular structure of the growth unit is varied. In the case of CaCO{sub 3}, they will be performed as a function of solution chemistry including pH, ionic strength, and amino acid content. In addition, we will measure nucleation rates and orientations of CaCO{sub 3} on polyamino acid templates. From these measurements, we will extract fundamental growth parameters for input into KMC simulations whose predictions will in turn be compared to the experimental observations. The KMC simulations will incorporate atomic processes representing the minimum energy pathways as determined from the MD calculations. The interaction potentials of the relevant chemical species as well as the hydrated surface, including the electrochemical double layer, used in the MD simulations will be determined using coupled solutions to the Schrodinger and Poisson-Boltzmann equations which take account of electronic relaxation effects.

  20. Insight into the Structure of Light Harvesting Complex II and its Stabilization in Detergent Solution

    SciTech Connect

    Cardoso, Mateus B; Smolensky, Dmitriy; Heller, William T; O'Neill, Hugh Michael

    2009-01-01

    The structure of spinach light-harvesting complex II (LHC II), stabilized in a solution of the detergent n-octyl-{beta}-d-glucoside (BOG), was investigated by small-angle neutron scattering (SANS). Physicochemical characterization of the isolated complex indicated that it was pure (>95%) and also in its native trimeric state. SANS with contrast variation was used to investigate the properties of the protein-detergent complex at three different H{sub 2}O/D{sub 2}O contrast match points, enabling the scattering properties of the protein and detergent to be investigated independently. The topological shape of LHC II, determined using ab initio shape restoration methods from the SANS data at the contrast match point of BOG, was consistent with the X-ray crystallographic structure of LHC II (Liu et al. Nature 2004 428, 287-292). The interactions of the protein and detergent were investigated at the contrast match point for the protein and also in 100% D{sub 2}O. The data suggested that BOG micelle structure was altered by its interaction with LHC II, but large aggregate structures were not formed. Indirect Fourier transform analysis of the LHC II/BOG scattering curves showed that the increase in the maximum dimension of the protein-detergent complex was consistent with the presence of a monolayer of detergent surrounding the protein. A model of the LHC II/BOG complex was generated to interpret the measurements made in 100% D{sub 2}O. This model adequately reproduced the overall size of the LHC II/BOG complex, but demonstrated that the detergent does not have a highly regular shape that surrounds the hydrophobic periphery of LHC II. In addition to demonstrating that natively structured LHC II can be produced for functional characterization and for use in artificial solar energy applications, the analysis and modeling approaches described here can be used for characterizing detergent-associated {alpha}-helical transmembrane proteins.

  1. Self-assembly and interactions of biomimetic thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Handa, Hitesh

    Bilayer lipid membranes create the natural environment for the immobilization of functional proteins and have been used as a model for understanding structure and properties of cell membranes. The development of biomimetic surfaces requires in depth knowledge of surface science, self-assembly, immobilization techniques, nanofabrication, biomolecular interactions and analytical techniques. This research is focused on synthesizing and characterizing biomimetic artificial surfaces for fundamental studies in membrane structure and better understanding of specific and non-specific interactions. The other main focus is on surface engineering of self-assembled, nanostructured interfaces that mimic cell membranes. These structures provide a powerful bottom-up approach to the studies of the structure and functionality of cell membranes and their interactions with other molecules. One of the advantages of this approach is that the complexity of the system can be controlled and gradually increased to add functionalities. This dissertation provides a first single molecule force measurement of the specific interactions between Salmonella typhimurium and P22 bacteriophage. This dissertation also provides a novel model system for the confined crystallization of drug molecules such as aspirin using the concept of phospholipid bilayer assembly at surfaces. The results will impact the development of biosensors and drug delivery. The defense will focus on the preparation and bio-recognition interactions between a monolayer of bacteriophage P22, covalently bound to glass substrates through a bifunctional cross linker 3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane, and the outer membrane of Salmonella, lipopolysaccharides (LPS). The LPS bilayer was deposited on poly (ethylenimine)-modified mica from their sonicated unilamellar vesicle solution. The specific binding of Salmonella typhimurium to the phage monolayer was studied by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Using AFM force measurements discrete unbinding forces between surface attached P22 and LPS were obtained. Both whole P22 and tailspike proteins separated from the P22 capsid were used. The unbinding force histograms point to discrete forces between substrate-supported P22 and LPS. The unit unbinding force was found to decrease with decreasing force loading rate and increasing temperature. By fitting the force data with the Bell model, an energy barrier of approximately 55 KJ/mol was obtained. The resilience of phage binding to pH variation and hydration/dehydration cycles argues for the robustness of potential phage-based devices.

  2. Self-assembled single-crystal silicon circuits on plastic

    PubMed Central

    Stauth, Sean A.; Parviz, Babak A.

    2006-01-01

    We demonstrate the use of self-assembly for the integration of freestanding micrometer-scale components, including single-crystal, silicon field-effect transistors (FETs) and diffusion resistors, onto flexible plastic substrates. Preferential self-assembly of multiple microcomponent types onto a common platform is achieved through complementary shape recognition and aided by capillary, fluidic, and gravitational forces. We outline a microfabrication process that yields single-crystal, silicon FETs in a freestanding, powder-like collection for use with self-assembly. Demonstrations of self-assembled FETs on plastic include logic inverters and measured electron mobility of 592 cm2/V-s. Finally, we extend the self-assembly process to substrates each containing 10,000 binding sites and realize 97% self-assembly yield within 25 min for 100-μm-sized elements. High-yield self-assembly of micrometer-scale functional devices as outlined here provides a powerful approach for production of macroelectronic systems. PMID:16968780

  3. Self-assembly approach to optical metamaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galisteo, J. F.; García-Santamaría, F.; Golmayo, D.; Juárez, B. H.; López, C.; Palacios, E.

    2005-02-01

    Photonic crystals can be viewed just as a subclass of a larger family of material systems called metamaterials in which the properties largely derive from the structure rather than from the material itself. Opals have only a relatively recent history as photonic bandgap materials and have received a strong thrust from their adequacy as scaffoldings for further templating other materials with photonic applications for instance. The tortuous route from materials to devices might perhaps find reward in the ease and low cost of fabrication of these materials. In this paper we present a review of recent work and work under way in our laboratory tending towards synthesis based on self-assembly to realize metamaterials in the optical range. This comprises the formation of the templates (opals) and subsequent synthesis of guest materials such as semiconductors, metals and insulators. The possibility of further processing allows additional two-dimensional and quasi-two-dimensional patterning for the design of new structures. In this paper we show how the raw matter can be checked for quality and learn how to use its optical properties to evaluate application potential. Issues relating to the optical properties (such as crystalline quality, finite size effects and infiltration with other materials) are examined. We show some examples where opals are used to pattern the growth of other materials with photonic applications (such as metals and semiconductors) and developments leading to both vertical and lateral engineering are shown.

  4. Self-assembled biomimetic superhydrophobic hierarchical arrays.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hongta; Dou, Xuan; Fang, Yin; Jiang, Peng

    2013-09-01

    Here, we report a simple and inexpensive bottom-up technology for fabricating superhydrophobic coatings with hierarchical micro-/nano-structures, which are inspired by the binary periodic structure found on the superhydrophobic compound eyes of some insects (e.g., mosquitoes and moths). Binary colloidal arrays consisting of exemplary large (4 and 30 μm) and small (300 nm) silica spheres are first assembled by a scalable Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technology in a layer-by-layer manner. After surface modification with fluorosilanes, the self-assembled hierarchical particle arrays become superhydrophobic with an apparent water contact angle (CA) larger than 150°. The throughput of the resulting superhydrophobic coatings with hierarchical structures can be significantly improved by templating the binary periodic structures of the LB-assembled colloidal arrays into UV-curable fluoropolymers by a soft lithography approach. Superhydrophobic perfluoroether acrylate hierarchical arrays with large CAs and small CA hysteresis can be faithfully replicated onto various substrates. Both experiments and theoretical calculations based on the Cassie's dewetting model demonstrate the importance of the hierarchical structure in achieving the final superhydrophobic surface states. PMID:23786830

  5. Restricted meniscus convective self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Chen, Kai; Stoianov, Stefan V; Bangerter, Justin; Robinson, Hans D

    2010-04-15

    Convective (or evaporation-induced) self-assembly is a standard technique for depositing uniform, poly-crystalline coatings of nanospheres across multiple square centimeters on the timescale of minutes. In this paper, we present a variation of this technique, where the drying meniscus is restricted by a straight-edge located approximately 100 microm above the substrate adjacent to the drying zone. Surprisingly, we find this technique to yield films at roughly twice the growth rate compared to the standard technique. We attribute this to differing rates of diffusion of vapor from the drying crystal in the two cases. We also investigate the crystal growth rate dependence on ambient relative humidity and find, contrary to some previous reports, that the growth rate depends strongly on the humidity. We introduce a model which indicates that while the length of the drying zone may increase with humidity, this alone cannot compensate for the simultaneous reduction in evaporation rate, so a lower humidity must always lead to a higher growth speed. Comparing the model to our experimental results, we find that the length of the drying zone is constant and mostly independent of parameters such as humidity and surface tension. PMID:20132947

  6. Self-Assembled Epitaxical Nanostructure Arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madhukar, Anupam

    2003-03-01

    The past decade has witnessed major strides in the realization of nanostructures with 3-dimensionally confined electronic states, dubbed quantum dots (QDs). Most notable classes are the solution grown colloidal nanocrystals, also called nanoparticles (NPs) and the strain-driven semiconductor epitaxical islands formed spontaneously beyond a critical deposition amount during growth of a film with a high lattice mismatch with the substrate. The latter, though spatially randomly positioned, by virtue of their epitaxical nature, are readily integrable in a variety of test and device structures. Consequently these have led the way in providing platforms for examining QD physics and QD based devices such as lasers, detectors, amplifiers, and transistors. The colloidal nanocrystals are in desperate need of being epitaxically integrated onto appropriate substrates and thus providing the platform for realizing more flexible and varied classes of quantum nanostructures for even wider range of applications. Epitaxy and spatially-selective self-assembly are thus two key features of wide classes of nanostructures essential for future advanced information sensing, processing, communication and computing technologies within the largely current paradigms of chip and system architectures. In this talk I will focus on some fundamental issues of epitaxical growth and ordering, structural and chemical template engineering approaches, and their implementation for realization of epitaxical QDs in regular 2D and 3D ultra-dense arrays.

  7. Self-Assembled Microdisk Lasers of Perylenediimides.

    PubMed

    Yu, Zhenyi; Wu, Yishi; Liao, Qing; Zhang, Haihua; Bai, Shuming; Li, Hui; Xu, Zhenzhen; Sun, Chunlin; Wang, Xuedong; Yao, Jiannian; Fu, Hongbing

    2015-12-01

    Organic solid-state lasers (OSSLs) have been a topic of intensive investigations. Perylenediimide (PDI) derivatives are widely used in organic thin-film transistors and solar cells. However, OSSLs based on neat PDIs have not been achieved yet, owing to the formation of H-aggregates and excimer trap-states. Here, we demonstrated the first PDI-based OSSL from whispering-gallery mode (WGM) hexagonal microdisk (hMD) microcavity of N,N'-bis(1-ethylpropyl)-2,5,8,11-tetrakis(p-methyl-phenyl)-perylenediimide (mp-PDI) self-assembled from solution. Single-crystal data reveal that mp-PDI molecules stack into a loosely packed twisted brickstone arrangement, resulting in J-type aggregates that exhibit a solid-state photoluminescence (PL) efficiency φ > 15%. Moreover, we found that exciton-vibration coupling in J-aggregates leads to an exceptional ultrafast radiative decay, which reduces the exciton diffusion length, in turn, suppresses bimolecular exciton annihilation (bmEA) process. These spectral features, plus the optical feedback provided by WGM-hMD microcavity, enable the observation of multimode lasing as evidenced by nonlinear output, spectral narrowing, and temporal coherence of laser emission. With consideration of high carrier-mobility associated with PDIs, hMDs of mp-PDI are attractive candidates on the way to achieve electrically driven OSSL. PMID:26580969

  8. Functional Self-Assembled Nanofibers by Electrospinning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greiner, A.; Wendorff, J. H.

    Electrospinning constitutes a unique technique for the production of nanofibers with diameters down to the range of a few nanometers. In strong contrast to conventional fiber producing techniques, it relies on self-assembly processes driven by the Coulomb interactions between charged elements of the fluids to be spun to nanofibers. The transition from a macroscopic fluid object such as a droplet emerging from a die to solid nanofibers is controlled by a set of complex physical instability processes. They give rise to extremely high extensional deformations and strain rates during fiber formation causing among others a high orientational order in the nanofibers as well as enhanced mechanical properties. Electrospinning is predominantly applied to polymer based materials including natural and synthetic polymers, but, more recently, its use has been extended towards the production of metal, ceramic and glass nanofibers exploiting precursor routes. The nanofibers can be functionalized during electrospinning by introducing pores, fractal surfaces, by incorporating functional elements such as catalysts, quantum dots, drugs, enzymes or even bacteria. The production of individual fibers, random nonwovens, or orientationally highly ordered nonwovens is achieved by an appropriate selection of electrode configurations. Broad areas of application exist in Material and Life Sciences for such nanofibers, including not only optoelectronics, sensorics, catalysis, textiles, high efficiency filters, fiber reinforcement but also tissue engineering, drug delivery, and wound healing. The basic electrospinning process has more recently been extended towards compound co-electrospinning and precision deposition electrospinning to further broaden accessible fiber architectures and potential areas of application.

  9. Self-assembled monolayers of rigid thiols.

    PubMed

    Ulman, A; Kang, J F; Shnidman, Y; Liao, S; Jordan, R; Choi, G Y; Zaccaro, J; Myerson, A S; Rafailovich, M; Sokolov, J; Fleischer, C

    2000-09-01

    The preparation, structure, properties and applications of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of rigid 4-mercapto-biphenyls are briefly reviewed. The rigid character of the biphenyl moiety results in a molecular dipole moment that affects both the adsorption kinetics on gold surfaces, as well as the equilibrium structure of mixed SAMs. Due to repulsive intermolecular interaction, the Langmuir isotherm model does not fit the adsorption kinetics of these biphenyl thiols, and a new Ising model was developed to fit the kinetics data. The equilibrium structures of SAMs and mixed SAMs depend on the polarity of the solution from which they were assembled. Infrared spectroscopy suggests that biphenyl moieties in SAMs on gold have small tilt angles with respect to the surfaces normal. Wetting studies shows that surfaces of these SAMs are stable for months, thus providing stable model surfaces that can be engineered at the molecular level. Such molecular engineering is important for nucleation and growth studies. The morphology of glycine crystals grown on SAM surfaces depends on the structure of the nucleating glycine layer, which, in turn, depends on the H-bonding of these molecules with the SAM surface. Finally, the adhesion of PDMS cross-linked networks to SAM surfaces depends on the concentration of interfacial H-bonding. This non-linear relationship suggests that the polymeric nature of the elastomer results in a collective H-bonding effect. PMID:11143796

  10. Dissipative adaptation in driven self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    England, Jeremy L.

    2015-11-01

    In a collection of assembling particles that is allowed to reach thermal equilibrium, the energy of a given microscopic arrangement and the probability of observing the system in that arrangement obey a simple exponential relationship known as the Boltzmann distribution. Once the same thermally fluctuating particles are driven away from equilibrium by forces that do work on the system over time, however, it becomes significantly more challenging to relate the likelihood of a given outcome to familiar thermodynamic quantities. Nonetheless, it has long been appreciated that developing a sound and general understanding of the thermodynamics of such non-equilibrium scenarios could ultimately enable us to control and imitate the marvellous successes that living things achieve in driven self-assembly. Here, I suggest that such a theoretical understanding may at last be emerging, and trace its development from historic first steps to more recent discoveries. Focusing on these newer results, I propose that they imply a general thermodynamic mechanism for self-organization via dissipation of absorbed work that may be applicable in a broad class of driven many-body systems.

  11. Dissipative adaptation in driven self-assembly.

    PubMed

    England, Jeremy L

    2015-11-01

    In a collection of assembling particles that is allowed to reach thermal equilibrium, the energy of a given microscopic arrangement and the probability of observing the system in that arrangement obey a simple exponential relationship known as the Boltzmann distribution. Once the same thermally fluctuating particles are driven away from equilibrium by forces that do work on the system over time, however, it becomes significantly more challenging to relate the likelihood of a given outcome to familiar thermodynamic quantities. Nonetheless, it has long been appreciated that developing a sound and general understanding of the thermodynamics of such non-equilibrium scenarios could ultimately enable us to control and imitate the marvellous successes that living things achieve in driven self-assembly. Here, I suggest that such a theoretical understanding may at last be emerging, and trace its development from historic first steps to more recent discoveries. Focusing on these newer results, I propose that they imply a general thermodynamic mechanism for self-organization via dissipation of absorbed work that may be applicable in a broad class of driven many-body systems. PMID:26530021

  12. Electrostatic self-assembly of biomolecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olvera de La Cruz, Monica

    2015-03-01

    Charged filaments and membranes are natural structures abundant in cell media. In this talk we discuss the assembly of amphiphiles into biocompatible fibers, ribbons and membranes. We describe one- and two-dimensional assemblies that undergo re-entrant transitions in crystalline packing in response to changes in the solution pH and/or salt concentration resulting in different mesoscale morphologies and properties. In the case of one-dimensional structures, we discuss self-assembled amphiphiles into highly charged nanofibers in water that order into two-dimensional crystals. These fibers of about 6 nm cross-sectional diameter form crystalline arrays with inter-fiber spacings of up to 130 nm. Solution concentration and temperature can be adjusted to control the inter-fiber spacings. The addition of salt destroys crystal packing, indicating that electrostatic repulsions are necessary for the observed ordering. We describe the crystallization of bundles of filament networks interacting via long-range repulsions in confinement by a phenomenological model. Two distinct crystallization mechanisms in the short and large screening length regimes are discussed and the phase diagram is obtained. Simulation of large bundles predicts the existence of topological defects among bundled filaments. Crystallization processes driven by electrostatic attractions are also discussed. Funded by Center for Bio-Inspired Energy Science (CBES), which is an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number DE-SC0000989.

  13. Self-Assembly of Tetraphenylalanine Peptides.

    PubMed

    Mayans, Enric; Ballano, Gema; Casanovas, Jordi; Díaz, Angélica; Pérez-Madrigal, Maria M; Estrany, Francesc; Puiggalí, Jordi; Cativiela, Carlos; Alemán, Carlos

    2015-11-16

    Three different tetraphenylalanine (FFFF) based peptides that differ at the N- and C-termini have been synthesized by using standard procedures to study their ability to form different nanoassemblies under a variety of conditions. The FFFF peptide assembles into nanotubes that show more structural imperfections at the surface than those formed by the diphenylalanine (FF) peptide under the same conditions. Periodic DFT calculations (M06L functional) were used to propose a model that consists of three FFFF molecules defining a ring through head-to-tail NH3(+)⋅⋅⋅(-)OOC interactions, which in turn stack to produce deformed channels with internal diameters between 12 and 16 Å. Depending on the experimental conditions used for the peptide incubation, N-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl (Fmoc) protected FFFF self-assembles into a variety of polymorphs: ultra-thin nanoplates, fibrils, and star-like submicrometric aggregates. DFT calculations indicate that Fmoc-FFFF prefers a parallel rather than an antiparallel β-sheet assembly. Finally, coexisting multiple assemblies (up to three) were observed for Fmoc-FFFF-OBzl (OBzl = benzyl ester), which incorporates aromatic protecting groups at the two peptide terminals. This unusual and noticeable feature is attributed to the fact that the assemblies obtained by combining the Fmoc and OBzl groups contained in the peptide are isoenergetic. PMID:26419936

  14. Initial condition of stochastic self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Jason K.; Sindi, Suzanne S.

    2016-02-01

    The formation of a stable protein aggregate is regarded as the rate limiting step in the establishment of prion diseases. In these systems, once aggregates reach a critical size the growth process accelerates and thus the waiting time until the appearance of the first critically sized aggregate is a key determinant of disease onset. In addition to prion diseases, aggregation and nucleation is a central step of many physical, chemical, and biological process. Previous studies have examined the first-arrival time at a critical nucleus size during homogeneous self-assembly under the assumption that at time t =0 the system was in the all-monomer state. However, in order to compare to in vivo biological experiments where protein constituents inherited by a newly born cell likely contain intermediate aggregates, other possibilities must be considered. We consider one such possibility by conditioning the unique ergodic size distribution on subcritical aggregate sizes; this least-informed distribution is then used as an initial condition. We make the claim that this initial condition carries fewer assumptions than an all-monomer one and verify that it can yield significantly different averaged waiting times relative to the all-monomer condition under various models of assembly.

  15. Self-assembling holographic biosensors and biocomputers.

    SciTech Connect

    Light, Yooli Kim; Bachand, George David (Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM); Schoeniger, Joseph S.; Trent, Amanda M. (Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM)

    2006-05-01

    We present concepts for self-assembly of diffractive optics with potential uses in biosensors and biocomputers. The simplest such optics, diffraction gratings, can potentially be made from chemically-stabilized microtubules migrating on nanopatterned tracks of the motor protein kinesin. We discuss the fabrication challenges involved in patterning sub-micron-scale structures with proteins that must be maintained in aqueous buffers to preserve their activity. A novel strategy is presented that employs dry contact printing onto glass-supported amino-silane monolayers of heterobifunctional crosslinkers, followed by solid-state reactions of these cross-linkers, to graft patterns of reactive groups onto the surface. Successive solution-phase addition of cysteine-mutant proteins and amine-reactive polyethylene glycol allows assembly of features onto the printed patterns. We present data from initial experiments showing successful micro- and nanopatterning of lines of single-cysteine mutants of kinesin interleaved with lines of polyethylene, indicating that this strategy can be employed to arrays of features with resolutions suitable for gratings.

  16. Magnetic manipulation of self-assembled colloidal asters.

    SciTech Connect

    Snezhko, A.; Aranson, I. S.

    2011-09-01

    Self-assembled materials must actively consume energy and remain out of equilibrium to support structural complexity and functional diversity. Here we show that a magnetic colloidal suspension confined at the interface between two immiscible liquids and energized by an alternating magnetic field dynamically self-assembles into localized asters and arrays of asters, which exhibit locomotion and shape change. By controlling a small external magnetic field applied parallel to the interface, we show that asters can capture, transport, and position target microparticles. The ability to manipulate colloidal structures is crucial for the further development of self-assembled microrobots

  17. Magnetic manipulation of self-assembled colloidal asters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snezhko, Alexey; Aranson, Igor S.

    2011-09-01

    Self-assembled materials must actively consume energy and remain out of equilibrium to support structural complexity and functional diversity. Here we show that a magnetic colloidal suspension confined at the interface between two immiscible liquids and energized by an alternating magnetic field dynamically self-assembles into localized asters and arrays of asters, which exhibit locomotion and shape change. By controlling a small external magnetic field applied parallel to the interface, we show that asters can capture, transport, and position target microparticles. The ability to manipulate colloidal structures is crucial for the further development of self-assembled microrobots.

  18. Bio-inspired supramolecular self-assembly towards soft nanomaterials

    PubMed Central

    LIN, Yiyang; MAO, Chuanbin

    2011-01-01

    Supramolecular self-assembly has proven to be a reliable approach towards versatile nanomaterials based on multiple weak intermolecular forces. In this review, the development of bio-inspired supramolecular self-assembly into soft materials and their applications are summarized. Molecular systems used in bio-inspired “bottom-up self-assembly” involve small organic molecules, peptides or proteins, nucleic acids, and viruses. Self-assembled soft nanomaterials have been exploited in various applications such as inorganic nanomaterial synthesis, drug or gene delivery, tissue engineering, and so on. PMID:21980594

  19. Nanoparticles Self-Assembly Driven by High Affinity Repeat Protein Pairing.

    PubMed

    Gurunatha, Kargal L; Fournier, Agathe C; Urvoas, Agathe; Valerio-Lepiniec, Marie; Marchi, Valérie; Minard, Philippe; Dujardin, Erik

    2016-03-22

    Proteins are the most specific yet versatile biological self-assembling agents with a rich chemistry. Nevertheless, the design of new proteins with recognition capacities is still in its infancy and has seldom been exploited for the self-assembly of functional inorganic nanoparticles. Here, we report on the protein-directed assembly of gold nanoparticles using purpose-designed artificial repeat proteins having a rigid but modular 3D architecture. αRep protein pairs are selected for their high mutual affinity from a library of 10(9) variants. Their conjugation onto gold nanoparticles drives the massive colloidal assembly of free-standing, one-particle thick films. When the average number of proteins per nanoparticle is lowered, the extent of self-assembly is limited to oligomeric particle clusters. Finally, we demonstrate that the aggregates are reversibly disassembled by an excess of one free protein. Our approach could be optimized for applications in biosensing, cell targeting, or functional nanomaterials engineering. PMID:26863288

  20. Cooperative Self-Assembly Transfer from Hierarchical Supramolecular Polymers to Gold Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Joo Paulo; Tardajos, Gloria; Stepanenko, Vladimir; Rdle, Alexander; Fernndez, Gustavo; Guerrero-Martnez, Andrs

    2015-11-24

    The transfer of information encoded by molecular subcomponents is a key phenomenon that regulates the biological inheritance in living organisms, yet there is a lack of understanding of related transfer mechanisms at the supramolecular level in artificial multicomponent systems. Our contribution to tackle this challenge has focused on the design of a thiolated ?-conjugated linking unit, whose hierarchical, cooperative self-assembly in nonpolar media can be efficiently transferred from the molecular to the nanoscopic level, thereby enabling the reversible self-assembly of gold nanoparticle (AuNP) clusters. The transfer of supramolecular information by the linking ?-system can only take place when a specific cooperative nucleation-elongation mechanism is operative, whereas low-ordered noncooperative assemblies formed below a critical concentration do not suffice to extend the order to the AuNP level. To the best of our knowledge, our approach has allowed for the first time a deep analysis of the hierarchy levels and thermodynamics involved in the self-assembly of AuNPs. PMID:26493583

  1. Toward three-dimensional microelectronic systems: directed self-assembly of silicon microcubes via DNA surface functionalization.

    PubMed

    Lmmerhardt, Nico; Merzsch, Stephan; Ledig, Johannes; Bora, Achyut; Waag, Andreas; Tornow, Marc; Mischnick, Petra

    2013-07-01

    The huge and intelligent processing power of three-dimensional (3D) biological "processors" like the human brain with clock speeds of only 0.1 kHz is an extremely fascinating property, which is based on a massively parallel interconnect strategy. Artificial silicon microprocessors are 7 orders of magnitude faster. Nevertheless, they do not show any indication of intelligent processing power, mostly due to their very limited interconnectivity. Massively parallel interconnectivity can only be realized in three dimensions. Three-dimensional artificial processors would therefore be at the root of fabricating artificially intelligent systems. A first step in this direction would be the self-assembly of silicon based building blocks into 3D structures. We report on the self-assembly of such building blocks by molecular recognition, and on the electrical characterization of the formed assemblies. First, planar silicon substrates were functionalized with self-assembling monolayers of 3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane for coupling of oligonucleotides (single stranded DNA) with glutaric aldehyde. The oligonucleotide immobilization was confirmed and quantified by hybridization with fluorescence-labeled complementary oligonucleotides. After the individual processing steps, the samples were analyzed by contact angle measurements, ellipsometry, atomic force microscopy, and fluorescence microscopy. Patterned DNA-functionalized layers were fabricated by microcontact printing (?CP) and photolithography. Silicon microcubes of 3 ?m edge length as model objects for first 3D self-assembly experiments were fabricated out of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers by a combination of reactive ion etching (RIE) and selective wet etching. The microcubes were then surface-functionalized using the same protocol as on planar substrates, and their self-assembly was demonstrated both on patterned silicon surfaces (88% correctly placed cubes), and to cube aggregates by complementary DNA functionalization and hybridization. The yield of formed aggregates was found to be about 44%, with a relative fraction of dimers of some 30%. Finally, the electrical properties of the formed dimers were characterized using probe tips inside a scanning electron microscope. PMID:23786592

  2. Electronic coherence lineshapes reveal hidden excitonic correlations in photosynthetic light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Wong, Cathy Y; Alvey, Richard M; Turner, Daniel B; Wilk, Krystyna E; Bryant, Donald A; Curmi, Paul M G; Silbey, Robert J; Scholes, Gregory D

    2012-05-01

    The effective absorption cross-section of a molecule (acceptor) can be greatly increased by associating it with a cluster of molecules that absorb light and transfer the excitation energy to the acceptor molecule. The basic mechanism of such light harvesting by Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) is well established, but recent experiments have revealed a new feature whereby excitation is coherently shared among donor and acceptor molecules during FRET. In the present study, two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy was used to examine energy transfer at ambient temperature in a naturally occurring light-harvesting protein (PE545 of the marine cryptophyte alga Rhodomonas sp. strain CS24). Quantum beating was observed across a range of excitation frequencies. The shapes of those features in the two-dimensional spectra were examined. Through simulations, we show that two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy provides a probe of the adiabaticity of the free energy landscape underlying light harvesting. PMID:22522260

  3. Violaxanthin inhibits nonphotochemical quenching in light-harvesting antenna of Chromera velia.

    PubMed

    Kaňa, Radek; Kotabová, Eva; Kopečná, Jana; Trsková, Eliška; Belgio, Erica; Sobotka, Roman; Ruban, Alexander V

    2016-04-01

    Non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) is a photoprotective mechanism in light-harvesting antennae. NPQ is triggered by chloroplast thylakoid lumen acidification and is accompanied by violaxanthin de-epoxidation to zeaxanthin, which further stimulates NPQ. In the present study, we show that violaxanthin can act in the opposite direction to zeaxanthin because an increase in the concentration of violaxanthin reduced NPQ in the light-harvesting antennae of Chromera velia. The correlation overlapped with a similar relationship between violaxanthin and NPQ as observed in isolated higher plant light-harvesting complex II. The data suggest that violaxanthin in C. velia can act as an inhibitor of NPQ, indicating that violaxanthin has to be removed from the vicinity of the protein to reach maximal NPQ. PMID:26988983

  4. Self assembly: An approach to terascale integration

    SciTech Connect

    Singer, S.

    1993-09-01

    Surely one of the most remarkable accomplishments of modern times has been the miniaturization of electronic components, starting with discrete transistors and leading to Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) Circuits which will soon contain almost 100 million components in a few square centimeters. It led to an information processing industry that fuels almost every aspect of industrial societies and that has brought manifold benefits to their citizens. Although continuation of the miniaturization process is likely to produce even greater benefits, many experts are concerned that extrapolation of traditional silicon VLSI techniques will meet with increasingly severe difficulties. Some of these are fundamental in nature, e. g., granularity and fluctuations in semiconductors and interconnects and proximity effects such as tunneling. The first major difficulty to be encountered will be a rising cost of products due to increased complexity and difficulty of manufacturing and assembly. Such difficulties are likely to be seen in about 10 years when minimum component sizes are expected to decrease below 0.15--0.2 {mu}m. If alternatives to present VLSI techniques are to be available when needed, work on them must start now. At Los Alamos, we are exploring the feasibility of ultrasmall wires and switches that self-assemble themselves into computing elements and circuits. Their operation is based on the quantum properties of nanometer scale molecular clusters. This paper will describe our efforts in the development of these components and will summarize our work in four areas: (1) the development of conducting molecular wires, (2) conducting nanoparticle wires and switches based on the Coulomb Blockade principle, (3) the development of advanced architectures that benefit from the use of such components and that significantly advance the art of high performance computing, and (4) the development of novel methods for attaining sub-Angstrom 3-D non-destructive imaging.

  5. Self-assembly in block polyelectrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Shuang; Vishnyakov, Aleksey; Neimark, Alexander V.

    2011-02-01

    The self-consistent field theory (SCFT) complemented with the Poisson-Boltzmann equation is employed to explore self-assembly of polyelectrolyte copolymers composed of charged blocks A and neutral blocks B. We have extended SCFT to dissociating triblock copolymers and demonstrated our approach on three characteristic examples: (1) diblock copolymer (AB) melt, (2) symmetric triblock copolymer (ABA) melt, (3) triblock copolymer (ABA) solution with added electrolyte. For copolymer melts, we varied the composition (that is, the total fraction of A-segments in the system) and the charge density on A blocks and calculated the phase diagram that contains ordered mesophases of lamellar, gyroid, hexagonal, and bcc symmetries, as well as the uniform disordered phase. The phase diagram of charged block copolymer melts in the charge density - system composition coordinates is similar to the classical phase diagram of neutral block copolymer melts, where the composition and the Flory mismatch interaction parameter χ _{AB} are used as variables. We found that the transitions between the polyelectrolyte mesophases with the increase of charge density occur in the same sequence, from lamellar to gyroid to hexagonal to bcc to disordered morphologies, as the mesophase transitions for neutral diblocks with the decrease of χ _{AB}. In a certain range of compositions, the phase diagram for charged triblock copolymers exhibits unexpected features, allowing for transitions from hexagonal to gyroid to lamellar mesophases as the charge density increases. Triblock polyelectrolyte solutions were studied by varying the charge density and solvent concentration at a fixed copolymer composition. Transitions from lamellar to gyroid and gyroid to hexagonal morphologies were observed at lower polymer concentrations than the respective transitions in the similar neutral copolymer, indicating a substantial influence of the charge density on phase behavior.

  6. Inspection of directed self-assembly defects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, Chikashi; Durant, Stephane; Lange, Steve; Harukawa, Ryota; Miyagi, Takemasa; Nagaswami, Venkat; Rincon Delgadillo, Paulina; Gronheid, Roel; Nealey, Paul

    2014-03-01

    Directed Self-Assembly (DSA) is considered as a potential patterning solution for future generation devices. One of the most critical challenges for translating DSA into high volume manufacturing is to achieve low defect density in the DSA patterning process. The defect inspection capability is fundamental to defect reduction in any process, particularly the DSA process, as it provides engineers with information on the numbers and types of defects. While the challenges of other candidates of new generation lithography are well known (for example, smaller size, noise level due to LER etc.), the DSA process causes certain defects that are unique. These defects are nearly planar and in a material which produces very little defect scattering signal. These defects, termed as "dislocation" and "disclination" have unique shapes and have very little material contrast. While large clusters of these unique defects are easy to detect, single dislocation and disclination defects offer considerable challenge during inspection. In this investigation, etching the DSA pattern into a silicon (Si) substrate structure to enhance defect signal and Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) is studied. We used a Rigorous Coupled-Wave Analysis (RCWA) method for solving Maxwell's equations to simulate the DSA unique defects and calculate inspection parameters. Controllable inspection parameters include various illumination and collection apertures, wavelength band, polarization, noise filtering, focus, pixel size, and signal processing. From the RCWA simulation, we compared SNR between "Post-SiN etch" and "Post-SiN+Si-substrate etch" steps. The study is also extended to investigate wafer-level data at post etch inspection. Both the simulations and inspection tool results showed dramatic signal and SNR improvements when the pattern was etched into the SiN+Si substrate allowing capture of DSA unique defect types.

  7. Measuring quantum effects in photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes with multipartite entanglement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smyth, Cathal

    This thesis is a compilation of studies on delocalization measures, entanglement, and the role of quantum coherence in electronic energy transfer (EET) in light-harvesting complexes. The first two chapters after the introduction provide foundational knowledge of quantum information and light-harvesting, respectively. Chapter 2 introduces concepts from quantum information such as purity, bipartite entanglement and criteria for its measurement. The peripheral light-harvesting complex LH2, isolated from the anoxygenic purple bacterium Rhodopseudomonas acidophila, is employed as model system of interest. This light-harvesting complex, along with a description of the process of light-harvesting, the presence of quantum coherence, and the different models used to simulate EET, are described in chapter 3. In combination these two chapters lay the foundation for chapter 4, a critical assessment of the current measures of delocalization employed in EET studies, their relationship, and overall effectiveness. The conclusion is that entanglement based measures are most effective at measuring quantum effects, and that they can be related to more conventional delocalization measures such as the inverse participation ratio (IPR) by taking into account the entropy of the system under study. All the measures within this chapter are known as bipartite measures, and only measure the strength of correlation between two sites. The fifth chapter presents the core of this thesis. Following a brief introduction to the concept of multipartite entanglement, the development of multipartite delocalization measures that give high-resolution information on quantum coherence in light-harvesting complexes is detailed. In contrast to other measures, these analytical measures can detect many body correlations in large systems undergoing decoherence. We determine that, much like the bipartite entanglement based measures of chapter 4, these measures are also a function of system entropy, and have a similar hierarchial structure as that of multipartite entanglement measures. The final chapter applies these measures to our model LH2 complex, and draws conclusions on the role of bipartite delocalization and multipartite delocalization in EET.

  8. Urethane tetrathiafulvalene derivatives: synthesis, self-assembly and electrochemical properities

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Xiang; Lai, Guoqiao; Li, Zhifang; Ma, Yuwen; Yuan, Xiao; Shen, Yongjia

    2015-01-01

    Summary This paper reports the self-assembly of two new tetrathiafulvalene (TTF) derivatives that contain one or two urethane groups. The formation of nanoribbons was evidenced by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), which showed that the self-assembly ability of T 1 was better than that of T 2. The results revealed that more urethane groups in a molecule did not necessarily instigate self-assembly. UV–vis and FTIR spectra were measured to explore noncovalent interactions. The driving forces for self-assembly of TTF derivatives were mainly hydrogen bond interactions and π–π stacking interactions. The electronic conductivity of the T 1 and T 2 films was tested by a four-probe method. PMID:26734083

  9. Differentially photo-crosslinked polymers enable self-assembling microfluidics

    PubMed Central

    Jamal, Mustapha; Zarafshar, Aasiyeh M.; Gracias, David H.

    2012-01-01

    An important feature of naturally self-assembled systems such as leaves and tissues is that they are curved and have embedded fluidic channels that enable the transport of nutrients to, or removal of waste from, specific three-dimensional (3D) regions. Here, we report the self-assembly of photopatterned polymers, and consequently microfluidic devices, into curved geometries. We discovered that differentially photo-crosslinked SU-8 films spontaneously and reversibly curved upon film de-solvation and re-solvation. Photolithographic patterning of the SU-8 films enabled the self-assembly of cylinders, cubes, and bidirectionally folded sheets. We integrated polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic channels with these SU-8 films to self-assemble curved microfluidic networks. PMID:22068594

  10. Supramolecular chirality in self-assembled peptide amphiphile nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Garifullin, Ruslan; Guler, Mustafa O

    2015-08-11

    Induced supramolecular chirality was investigated in the self-assembled peptide amphiphile (PA) nanosystems. Having shown that peptide chirality can be transferred to the covalently-attached achiral pyrene moiety upon PA self-assembly, the chiral information is transferred to molecular pyrene via weak noncovalent interactions. In the first design of a supramolecular chiral system, the chromophore was covalently attached to a peptide sequence (VVAGH) via an ε-aminohexanoic acid spacer. Covalent attachment yielded a PA molecule self-assembling into nanofibers. In the second design, the chromophore was encapsulated within the hydrophobic core of self-assembled nanofibers of another PA consisting of the same peptide sequence attached to lauric acid. We observed that supramolecular chirality was induced in the chromophore by PA assembly into chiral nanostructures, whether it was covalently attached, or noncovalently bound. PMID:26146021

  11. Directed self-assembly of proteins into discrete radial patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thakur, Garima; Prashanthi, Kovur; Thundat, Thomas

    2013-05-01

    Unlike physical patterning of materials at nanometer scale, manipulating soft matter such as biomolecules into patterns is still in its infancy. Self-assembled monolayer (SAM) with surface density gradient has the capability to drive biomolecules in specific directions to create hierarchical and discrete structures. Here, we report on a two-step process of self-assembly of the human serum albumin (HSA) protein into discrete ring structures based on density gradient of SAM. The methodology involves first creating a 2-dimensional (2D) polyethylene glycol (PEG) islands with responsive carboxyl functionalities. Incubation of proteins on such pre-patterned surfaces results in direct self-assembly of protein molecules around PEG islands. Immobilization and adsorption of protein on such structures over time evolve into the self-assembled patterns.

  12. Self-Assembly of Structures with Addressable Complexity.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, William M; Frenkel, Daan

    2016-03-01

    The self-assembly of structures with "addressable complexity", where every component is distinct and is programmed to occupy a specific location within a target structure, is a promising route to engineering materials with precisely defined morphologies. Because systems with many components are inherently complicated, one might assume that the chances of successful self-assembly are extraordinarily small. Yet recent advances suggest otherwise: addressable structures with hundreds of distinct building blocks have been designed and assembled with nanometer precision. Despite this remarkable success, it is often challenging to optimize a self-assembly reaction to ensure that the intended structure is kinetically accessible. In this Perspective, we focus on the prediction of kinetic pathways for self-assembly and implications for the design of robust experimental protocols. The development of general principles to predict these pathways will enable the engineering of complex materials using a much wider range of building blocks than is currently possible. PMID:26862684

  13. Development of toroidal nanostructures by self-assembly: rational designs and applications.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yongju; Li, Wen; Shin, Suyong; Lee, Myongsoo

    2013-12-17

    Toroidal nanostructures are symmetrical ring-shaped structures with a central internal pore. Interestingly, in nature, many transmembrane proteins such as β-barrels and α-helical bundles have toroidal shapes. Because of this similarity, toroidal nanostructures can provide a template for the development of transmembrane channels. However, because of the lack of guiding principles for the construction of toroids, researchers have not widely studied the self-assembly of toroidal nanostructures as compared with the work on other supramolecular architectures. In this Account, we describe our recent efforts to construct toroidal nanostructures through the self-assembly of rationally designed building blocks. In one strategy for building these structures, we induce interfacial curvatures within the building blocks. When we laterally graft a bulky hydrophilic segment onto a p-oligophenyl rod or β-sheet peptides, the backbones of the self-assembled structures can bend in response to the steric effect of these large side groups, driving the p-oligophenyl rod or β-sheet peptides to form nanosized toriods. In another strategy, we can build toroids from bent-shaped building blocks by stacking the macrocycles. Aromatic segments with an internal angle of 120° can associate with each other in aqueous solution to form a hexameric macrocycle. Then these macrocycles can stack on top of each other via hydrophobic and π-π interactions and form highly uniform toroidal nanostructures. We provide many examples that illustrate these guiding principles for constructing toroidal nanostructures in aqueous solution. Efforts to create toroidal nanostructures through the self-assembly of elaborately designed molecular modules provide a fundamental approach toward the development of artificial transmembrane channels. Among the various toroids that we developed, a few nanostructures can insert into lipid membranes and allow limited transport in vesicles. PMID:24053785

  14. Comprehensive simulation of light-emitting and light-harvesting organic devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruhstaller, Beat; Flatz, Thomas; Rezzonico, Daniele; Moos, Michael; Reinke, Nils; Huber, Evelyne; Haeusermann, Roger; Perucco, Benjamin

    2008-08-01

    A comprehensive electronic-optical simulation tool for the design of complex organic multi-layer device structures is presented. The physical models comprise the key optical and electronic processes governing organic light-emitting (OLEDs) and light-harvesting devices. The simulation of such devices is demonstrated for electronic-only or optics-only models as well as for electronic-optical and optical-electronic coupled device models. Validation examples with experimental data and applications for device simulations are also discussed. It is shown that both light-emitting and light-harvesting devices require careful optical as well as electronic multilayer design and characterization.

  15. Self-assembly drugs: from micelles to nanomedicine.

    PubMed

    Messina, Paula V; Besada-Porto, Jose Miguel; Ruso, Juan M

    2014-03-01

    Self-assembly has fascinated many scientists over the past few decades. Rapid advances and widespread interest in the study of this subject has led to the synthesis of an ever-increasing number of elegant and intricate functional structures with sizes that approach nano- and mesoscopic dimensions. Today, it has grown into a mature field of modern science whose interfaces with many disciplines have provided invaluable opportunities for crossing boundaries for scientists seeking to design novel molecular materials exhibiting unusual properties, and for researchers investigating the structure and function of biomolecules. Consequently, self-assembly transcends the traditional divisional boundaries of science and represents a highly interdisciplinary field including nanotechnology and nanomedicine. Basically, self-assembly focuses on a wide range of discrete molecules or molecular assemblies and uses physical transformations to achieve its goals. In this Review, we present a comprehensive overview of the advances in the field of drug self-assembly and discuss in detail the synthesis, self-assembly behavior, and physical properties as well as applications. We refer the reader to past reviews dealing with colloidal molecules and colloidal self-assembly. In the first part, we will discuss, compare, and link the various bioinformatic procedures: Molecular Dynamics and Quantitative Structure Activity Relationship. The second section deals with the self-assembly behavior in more detail, in which we focus on several experimental techniques, selected according to the depth of knowledge obtained. The last part will review the advances in drug-protein assembly. Nature provides many examples of proteins that form their substrate binding sites by bringing together the component pieces in a process of self-assembly. We will focus in the understanding of physical properties and applications developing thereof. PMID:24444168

  16. Electric Field Controlled Self-Assembly of Hierarchically Ordered Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Velichko, Yuri S.; Mantei, Jason R.; Bitton, Ronit; Carvajal, Daniel; Shull, Kenneth R.; Stupp, Samuel I.

    2012-01-01

    Self-assembly in the presence of external forces is an adaptive, directed organization of molecular components under nonequilibrium conditions. While forces may be generated as a result of spontaneous interactions among components of a system, intervention with external forces can significantly alter the final outcome of self-assembly. Superimposing these intrinsic and extrinsic forces provides greater degrees of freedom to control the structure and function of self-assembling materials. In this work we investigate the role of electric fields during the dynamic self-assembly of a negatively charged polyelectrolyte and a positively charged peptide amphiphile in water leading to the formation of an ordered membrane. In the absence of electric fields, contact between the two solutions of oppositely charged molecules triggers the growth of closed membranes with vertically oriented fibrils that encapsulate the polyelectrolyte solution. This process of self-assembly is intrinsically driven by excess osmotic pressure of counterions, and the electric field is found to modify the kinetics of membrane formation, and also its morphology and properties. Depending on the strength and orientation of the field we observe a significant increase or decrease of up to nearly 100% in membrane thickness, as well as the controlled rotation of nanofiber growth direction by 90 degrees, resulting in a significant increase in mechanical stiffness. These results suggest the possibility of using electric fields to control structure in self-assembly processes involving diffusion of oppositely charged molecules. PMID:23166533

  17. Self-assembling peptides: potential role in tumor targeting.

    PubMed

    Sadatmousavi, Parisa; Soltani, Madjid; Nazarian, Reyhaneh; Jafari, Mousa; Chen, P

    2011-08-01

    This review focuses on the application of two classes of peptides, i.e., self-assembling peptides (SAPs) and cell-targeting peptides (CTPs), in the development of nanocarrier delivery systems. Self-assembling peptides are emerging in a wide range of biomedical and bioengineering applications and fall into several classes, including peptide amphiphilies, bolaamphiphile peptides, cyclic peptides, and ionic complementary peptides, which can be found naturally or synthesized. The advantage of synthesizing peptides is that their self-assembling properties can be exploited to form desirable structures for various applications. Another, unique property of self-assembling peptides, is stimuli-responsibility in different environments including various pHs, temperatures, ionic strengths, etc. These characteristics make peptides applicable in a wide range of biomaterials in drug discovery. This study reviews the design principles of well-known self-assembling peptides, as well as their physical/chemical properties. In addition, it discusses the therapeutic cancer-targeting peptides and current combinatorial peptide library methods used to identify targeting peptides. Cancer-targeting peptides can target either tumor cell surfaces or tumor vasculature. The RGD peptide is one of the first tumor-targeting peptides that can bind to self-assembling peptides or any other nanocarrier to improve the therapeutic efficiency of targeting drug delivery systems. PMID:21470142

  18. Self-assembly of graphene oxide at interfaces.

    PubMed

    Shao, Jiao-Jing; Lv, Wei; Yang, Quan-Hong

    2014-08-27

    Due to its amphiphilic property, graphene oxide (GO) can achieve a variety of nanostructures with different morphologies (for example membranes, hydrogel, crumpled particles, hollow spheres, sack-cargo particles, Pickering emulsions, and so on) by self-assembly. The self-assembly is mostly derived from the self-concentration of GO sheets at various interfaces, including liquid-air, liquid-liquid and liquid-solid interfaces. This paper gives a comprehensive review of these assembly phenomena of GO at the three types of interfaces, the derived interfacial self-assembly techniques, and the as-obtained assembled materials and their properties. The interfacial self-assembly of GO, enabled by its fantastic features including the amphiphilicity, the negatively charged nature, abundant oxygen-containing groups and two-dimensional flexibility, is highlighted as an easy and well-controlled strategy for the design and preparation of functionalized carbon materials, and the use of self-assembly for uniform hybridization is addressed for preparing hybrid carbon materials with various functions. A number of new exciting and potential applications are also presented for the assembled GO-based materials. This contribution concludes with some personal perspectives on future challenges before interfacial self-assembly may become a major strategy for the application-targeted design and preparation of functionalized carbon materials. PMID:24852899

  19. Effect of polymerization on hierarchical self-assembly into nanosheets.

    PubMed

    Ikeda, Taichi

    2015-01-20

    The oligomers consisting of phenyl-capped bithiophene and tetra(ethylene glycol)s linked by azide-alkyne Huisgen cycloaddition were synthesized. The relationship between the degree of polymerization and self-assembling ability was investigated in o-dichlorobenzene and dimethyl sulfoxide. From the absorption spectrum, it was confirmed that the critical degree of polymerization (CDP) for thiophene unit aggregation was 4. The morphology of the aggregated product was observed by atomic force microscopy. The oligomers 4mer and 5mer could not self-assemble into well-defined structures due to the weak driving force for the self-assembly. In the cases of 6mer and 7mer, aggregates with nonwell-defined and nanosheet structures coexisted. In the cases of 8mer and 9mer, the nanosheet was the main product. The critical point between 7mer and 8mer could be confirmed by different aggregation behaviors in the cooling process of the solution (nonsigmoidal and sigmoidal). In the cases of 8mer and 9mer, polymer folding prior to intermolecular self-assembly, which was supported by sigmoidal aggregation behavior, leads to the nanosheet formation. On the contrary, shorter oligomers than 8mer experience intermolecular aggregation prior to intramolecular polymer folding, which was supported by the nonsigmoidal aggregation behavior. This is the first report to prove the existence of CDP for folded polymer nanosheet formation which requires hierarchical self-assembly, i.e., polymer folding followed by intermolecular self-assembly. PMID:25526560

  20. Structurally Flexible C₃-Symmetric Receptors for Molecular Recognition and Their Self-Assembly Properties.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ashutosh S; Sun, Shih-Sheng

    2015-12-01

    The bioinspired design and synthesis of building blocks and their assemblies by the supramolecular approach has ever fascinated scientists to utilize such artificial systems for numerous purposes. Flexibility is a basic feature of natural systems. However, in artificial systems this is difficult to control, especially if there is no preorganization of the component(s) of a system. We have designed and synthesized a series of C3 -symmetric N-bridged flexible receptors and successfully utilized them to selectively entrap the notorious and toxic nitrate anion in aqueous medium. This was the first report of highest binding affinity for the nitrate anion in aqueous medium. An impressive self-sorting phenomenon of reversibly formed hydrogen-bonded capsules, which self-assembled from flexible tripodal receptors having branches of similar size and bearing the same amide functionality, has been disclosed. Encapsulated nitrate anion has been further utilized for the photochemical [2+2] cycloaddition reaction for the synthesis of strained four-membered ring structures through dynamic self-assembly. In this Personal Account, we summarize these results showing the utility of naturally inspired flexibility in artificial systems. PMID:26202256

  1. Photoelectron transport tuning of self-assembled subbands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiong, Zhengwei; Wang, Xinmin; Wu, Weidong; Wang, Xuemin; Peng, Liping; Zhao, Yan; Yan, Dawei; Jiang, Tao; Shen, Changle; Zhan, Zhiqiang; Cao, Linhong; Li, Weihua

    2016-02-01

    Conventionally, electrical transport of quantum subbands occurs at very high electric fields, indicating that the medium is easy to break down. In the experiments and practical applications, the extreme condition is difficult to satisfy. For quantum information transmission, low power consumption and convenient implementation are what we expect. In this paper, we engineered a special quantum dot array (QDA) embedded in a single crystal matrix. By external optical field excitation, we found a series of subbands made of the self-assembled QDA discretely located in the matrix. Changing the spacing between the quantum dots leads to the variation of subband spacing. Artificially manipulating the microcosmic QDA system can bring interesting macroscopic effects, such as an enhanced absorption intensity in the ultraviolet range, a blue-shift of the surface plasmon resonance peak and nonlinear absorption changed from two-photon absorption to saturated absorption. The intrinsic mechanism of the subband optical response was revealed due to the strong quantum confinement effect and dominant intraband transitions. The weak surface plasmon resonance absorption of Ni QDA gave an excellent figure of merit of the order of 10-10. The composite films are expectation enough to become a prime candidate for nonlinear applications near 532 nm. Therefore with interplay of the weak optical field and subbands, we achieved a tunable photoelectron transport process.Conventionally, electrical transport of quantum subbands occurs at very high electric fields, indicating that the medium is easy to break down. In the experiments and practical applications, the extreme condition is difficult to satisfy. For quantum information transmission, low power consumption and convenient implementation are what we expect. In this paper, we engineered a special quantum dot array (QDA) embedded in a single crystal matrix. By external optical field excitation, we found a series of subbands made of the self-assembled QDA discretely located in the matrix. Changing the spacing between the quantum dots leads to the variation of subband spacing. Artificially manipulating the microcosmic QDA system can bring interesting macroscopic effects, such as an enhanced absorption intensity in the ultraviolet range, a blue-shift of the surface plasmon resonance peak and nonlinear absorption changed from two-photon absorption to saturated absorption. The intrinsic mechanism of the subband optical response was revealed due to the strong quantum confinement effect and dominant intraband transitions. The weak surface plasmon resonance absorption of Ni QDA gave an excellent figure of merit of the order of 10-10. The composite films are expectation enough to become a prime candidate for nonlinear applications near 532 nm. Therefore with interplay of the weak optical field and subbands, we achieved a tunable photoelectron transport process. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Tables 1 and 2. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr07861j

  2. Structures Self-Assembled Through Directional Solidification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dynys, Frederick W.; Sayir, Ali

    2005-01-01

    Nanotechnology has created a demand for new fabrication methods with an emphasis on simple, low-cost techniques. Directional solidification of eutectics (DSE) is an unconventional approach in comparison to low-temperature biomimetic approaches. A technical challenge for DSE is producing microstructural architectures on the nanometer scale. In both processes, the driving force is the minimization of Gibb's free energy. Selfassembly by biomimetic approaches depends on weak interaction forces between organic molecules to define the architectural structure. The architectural structure for solidification depends on strong chemical bonding between atoms. Constituents partition into atomic-level arrangements at the liquid-solid interface to form polyphase structures, and this atomic-level arrangement at the liquid-solid interface is controlled by atomic diffusion and total undercooling due to composition (diffusion), kinetics, and curvature of the boundary phases. Judicious selection of the materials system and control of the total undercooling are the keys to producing structures on the nanometer scale. The silicon-titanium silicide (Si-TiSi2) eutectic forms a rod structure under isothermal cooling conditions. At the NASA Glenn Research Center, directional solidification was employed along with a thermal gradient to promote uniform rods oriented with the thermal gradient. The preceding photomicrograph shows the typical transverse microstructure of a solidified Si-TiSi2 eutectic composition. The dark and light gray regions are Si and TiSi2, respectively. Preferred rod orientation along the thermal gradient was poor. The ordered TiSi2 rods have a narrow distribution in diameter of 2 to 3 m, as shown. The rod diameter showed a weak dependence on process conditions. Anisotropic etch behavior between different phases provides the opportunity to fabricate structures with high aspect ratios. The photomicrographs show the resulting microstructure after a wet chemical etch and a dry plasma etch. The wet chemical etches the silicon away, exposing the TiSi2 rods, whereas plasma etching preferentially etches the Si-TiSi2 interface to form a crater. The porous architectures are applicable to fabricating microdevices or creating templates for part fabrication. The porous rod structure can serve as a platform for fabricating microplasma devices for propulsion or microheat exchangers and for fabricating microfilters for miniatured chemical reactors. Although more work is required, self-assembly from DSE can have a role in microdevice fabrication.

  3. The Self-Assembly of Nanogold for Optical Metamaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nidetz, Robert A.

    2011-12-01

    Optical metamaterials are an emerging field that enables manipulation of light like never before. Producing optical metamaterials requires sub-wavelength building blocks. The focus here was to develop methods to produce building blocks for metamaterials from nanogold. Electron-beam lithography was used to define an aminosilane patterned chemical template in order to electrostatically self-assemble citrate-capped gold nanoparticles. Equilibrium self-assembly was achieved in 20 minutes by immersing chemical templates into gold nanoparticle solutions. The number of nanoparticles that self-assembled on an aminosilane dot was controlled by manipulating the diameters of the dots and nanoparticles. Adding salt to the nanoparticle solution enabled the nanoparticles to self-assemble in greater numbers on the same sized dot. However, the preparation of the nanoparticle solution containing salt was sensitive to spikes in the salt concentration which led to aggregation of the nanoparticles and non-specific deposition. Gold nanorods were also electrostatically self-assembled. Polyelectrolyte-coated gold nanorods were patterned with limited success. A polyelectrolyte chemical template also patterned gold nanorods, but the gold nanorods preferred to pattern on the edges of the pattern. Ligand-exchanged gold nanorods displayed the best self-assembly, but suffered from slow kinetics. Self-assembled gold nanoparticles were cross-linked with poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride). The poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) allowed additional nanoparticles to pattern on top of the already patterned nanoparticles. Cross-linked nanoparticles were lifted-off of the substrate by sonication in a sodium hydroxide solution. The presence of van der Waals forces and/or amine bonding prevent the nanogold from lifting-off without sonication. A good-solvent evaporation process was used to self-assemble poly(styrene) coated gold nanoparticles into spherical microbead assemblies. The use of larger nanoparticles and larger poly(styrene) ligands resulted in larger and smaller assemblies, respectively. Stirring the solution resulted in a wider size distribution of microbead assemblies due to the stirring's shear forces. Two undeveloped methods to self-assemble nanogold were investigated. One method used block-copolymer thin films as chemical templates to direct the electrostatic self-assembly of nanogold. Another method used gold nanorods that are passivated with different ligands on different faces. The stability of an alkanethiol ligand in different acids and bases was investigated to determine which materials could be used to produce Janus nanorods.

  4. Specific RNA self-assembly with minimal paranemic motifs

    PubMed Central

    Afonin, Kirill A.; Cieply, Dennis J.; Leontis, Neocles B.

    2016-01-01

    The paranemic crossover (PX) is a motif for assembling two nucleic acid molecules using Watson-Crick (WC) basepairing without unfolding pre-formed secondary structure in the individual molecules. Once formed, the paranemic assembly motif comprises adjacent parallel double helices that cross over at every possible point over the length of the motif. The interaction is reversible as it does not require denaturation of basepairs internal to each interacting molecular unit. Paranemic assembly has been demonstrated for DNA but not for RNA, and only for motifs with four or more cross-over points and lengths of five or more helical half-turns. Here we report the design of RNA molecules that paranemically assemble with the minimum number of two cross-overs spanning the major groove to form paranemic motifs with a length of three half-turns (3HT). Dissociation constants (Kds) were measured for series of molecules in which the number of basepairs between the cross-over points was varied from five to eight basepairs. The paranemic 3HT complex with six basepairs (3HT_6M) was found to be the most stable with Kd = 1×10−8 M. The half-time for kinetic exchange of the 3HT_6M complex was determined to be ~100 minutes, from which we calculated association and dissociation rate constants ka = 5.11×103 M−1sec−1 and kd = 5.11×10−5 sec−1. RNA paranemic assembly of 3HT and 5HT complexes is blocked by single-base substitutions that disrupt individual inter-molecular Watson-Crick basepairs and is restored by compensatory substitutions that restore those basepairs. The 3HT motif appears suitable for specific, programmable, and reversible tecto-RNA self-assembly for constructing artificial RNA molecular machines. PMID:18072767

  5. Multiscale simulation on a light-harvesting molecular triad.

    PubMed

    Su, Guoxiong; Czader, Arkadiusz; Homouz, Dirar; Bernardes, Gabriela; Mateen, Sana; Cheung, Margaret S

    2012-07-26

    We have investigated the effect of solvation and confinement on an artificial photosynthetic material, carotenoid-porphyrin-C(60) molecular triad, by a multiscale approach and an enhanced sampling technique. We have developed a combined approach of quantum chemistry, statistical physics, and all-atomistic molecular dynamics simulation to determine the partial atomic charges of the ground-state triad. To fully explore the free energy landscape of triad, the replica exchange method was applied to enhance the sampling efficiency of the simulations. The confinement effects on the triad were modeled by imposing three sizes of spherocylindrical nanocapsules. The triad is structurally flexible under ambient conditions, and its conformation distribution is manipulated by the choice of water models and confinement. Two types of water models (SPC/E and TIP3P) are used for solvation. When solvated by SPC/E water, whose HOH angle follows an ideal tetrahedron, the structural characteristics of triad is compact in the bulk systems. However, under a certain nanosized confinement that drastically disrupts hydrogen bond networks in solvent, the triad favors an extended configuration. By contrast, the triad solvated by TIP3P water shows a set of U-shaped conformations in the confinement. We have shown that a slight structural difference in the two water models with the same dipole moment can have great distinction in water density, water orientation, and the number of hydrogen bonds in the proximity of a large flexible compound such as the triad. Subsequently, it has direct impact on the position of the triad in a confinement as well as the distribution of conformations at the interface of liquid and solid in a finite-size system. PMID:22352456

  6. Preparation of native and recombinant light-harvesting chlorophyll-a/b complex.

    PubMed

    Rühle, Wolfgang; Paulsen, Harald

    2011-01-01

    Procedures to isolate native light-harvesting chlorophyll-a/b complex (LHCIIb) and to reconstitute recombinant LHCIIb are described. Separation of trimeric from monomeric forms and free pigment by sucrose density-gradient ultracentrifugation can be applied to both native and reconstituted complexes. The preparations are characterized by their pigment composition, protein pattern, and spectral properties. PMID:20960126

  7. Preparation of native and recombinant light-harvesting chlorophyll-a/b complex.

    PubMed

    Rühle, Wolfgang; Paulsen, Harald

    2004-01-01

    Procedures to isolate native light-harvesting chlorophyll-a/b complex (LHCIIb) and to reconstitute recombinant LHCIIb are described. Separation of trimeric from monomeric forms and free pigment by sucrose density-gradient ultracentrifugation can be applied to both native and reconstituted complexes. The preparations are characterized by their pigment composition, protein pattern and spectral properties. PMID:15187272

  8. Bio serves nano: biological light-harvesting complex as energy donor for semiconductor quantum dots.

    PubMed

    Werwie, Mara; Xu, Xiangxing; Haase, Mathias; Basché, Thomas; Paulsen, Harald

    2012-04-01

    Light-harvesting complex (LHCII) of the photosynthetic apparatus in plants is attached to type-II core-shell CdTe/CdSe/ZnS nanocrystals (quantum dots, QD) exhibiting an absorption band at 710 nm and carrying a dihydrolipoic acid coating for water solubility. LHCII stays functional upon binding to the QD surface and enhances the light utilization of the QDs significantly, similar to its light-harvesting function in photosynthesis. Electronic excitation energy transfer of about 50% efficiency is shown by donor (LHCII) fluorescence quenching as well as sensitized acceptor (QD) emission and corroborated by time-resolved fluorescence measurements. The energy transfer efficiency is commensurable with the expected efficiency calculated according to Förster theory on the basis of the estimated donor-acceptor separation. Light harvesting is particularly efficient in the red spectral domain where QD absorption is relatively low. Excitation over the entire visible spectrum is further improved by complementing the biological pigments in LHCII with a dye attached to the apoprotein; the dye has been chosen to absorb in the "green gap" of the LHCII absorption spectrum and transfers its excitation energy ultimately to QD. This is the first report of a biological light-harvesting complex serving an inorganic semiconductor nanocrystal. Due to the charge separation between the core and the shell in type-II QDs the presented LHCII-QD hybrid complexes are potentially interesting for sensitized charge-transfer and photovoltaic applications. PMID:22401299

  9. The variability of light-harvesting complexes in aerobic anoxygenic phototrophs.

    PubMed

    Selyanin, Vadim; Hauruseu, Dzmitry; Koblížek, Michal

    2016-04-01

    Light-harvesting capacity was investigated in six species of aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic (AAP) bacteria using absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence emission spectroscopy, and pigment analyses. Aerobically grown AAP cells contained approx. 140-1800 photosynthetic reaction centers per cell, an order of magnitude less than purple non-sulfur bacteria grown semiaerobically. Three of the studied AAP species did not contain outer light-harvesting complexes, and the size of their reaction center core complexes (RC-LH1 core complexes) varied between 29 and 36 bacteriochlorophyll molecules. In AAP species containing accessory antennae, the size was frequently reduced, providing between 5 and 60 additional bacteriochlorophyll molecules. In Roseobacter litoralis, it was found that cells grown at a higher light intensity contained more reaction centers per cell, while the size of the light-harvesting complexes was reduced. The presented results document that AAP species have both the reduced number and size of light-harvesting complexes which is consistent with the auxiliary role of phototrophy in this bacterial group. PMID:26482589

  10. Studying the Effect of Light Quality on the Size of the Photosystem II Light Harvesting Complex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muhoz, Romualdo; Quiles, Maria J.

    2003-01-01

    In this article the effect of light quality on the size of the photosystem II (PSII) light harvesting complex (LHCII) is studied by measuring the chlorophyll fluorescence emitted by leaf sections of oat ("Avena sativa," var. Prevision) plants previously treated with either white light or with light filtered through blue, green, red or farred…

  11. Dynamic, Directed Self-Assembly of Nanoparticles via Toggled Interactions.

    PubMed

    Sherman, Zachary M; Swan, James W

    2016-05-24

    Crystals self-assembled from nanoparticles have useful properties such as optical activity and sensing capability. During fabrication, however, gelation and glassification often leave these materials arrested in defective or disordered metastable states. This is a key difficulty preventing adoption of self-assembled nanoparticle materials at scale. Processes which suppress kinetic arrest and defect formation while accelerating growth of ordered materials are essential for bottom-up approaches to creating nanomaterials. Dynamic, directed self-assembly processes in which the interactions between self-assembling components are actuated temporally offer one promising methodology for accelerating and controlling bottom-up growth of nanostructures. In this article, we show through simulation and theory how time-dependent, periodically toggled interparticle attractions can avoid kinetic barriers and yield well-ordered crystalline domains for a dispersion of nanoparticles interacting via a short-ranged, isotropic potential. The growth mechanism and terminal structure of the dispersion are controlled by parameters of the toggling protocol. This control allows for selection of processes that yield rapid self-assembled, low defect crystals. Although self-assembly via periodically toggled attractions is inherently unsteady and out-of-equilibrium, its outcome is predicted by a first-principles theory of nonequilibrium thermodynamics. The theory necessitates equality of the time average of pressure and chemical potential in coexisting phases of the dispersion. These quantities are evaluated using well known equations of state. The phase behavior predicted by this theory agrees well with measurements made in Brownian dynamics simulations of sedimentation equilibrium and homogeneous nucleation. The theory can easily be extended to model dynamic self-assembly directed by other toggled conservative force fields. PMID:27096705

  12. Hierarchical Self-Assembly of Discrete Organoplatinum(II) Metallacycles with Polysaccharide via Electrostatic Interactions and Their Application for Heparin Detection.

    PubMed

    Chen, Li-Jun; Ren, Yuan-Yuan; Wu, Nai-Wei; Sun, Bin; Ma, Jian-Qiu; Zhang, Li; Tan, Hongwei; Liu, Minghua; Li, Xiaopeng; Yang, Hai-Bo

    2015-09-16

    In recent past years, investigation of hierarchical self-assembly for constructing artificial functional materials has attracted considerable attention. Discrete metallacycles based on coordination bonds have proven to be valid scaffolds to fabricate various supramolecular polymers or smart soft matter through hierarchical self-assembly. Here, we present the first example of the hierarchical self-assembly of discrete metallacycles by taking advantage of the positive charges of the organoplatinum(II) metallacycle skeleton through multiple electrostatic interactions. Heparin, a sulfated glycosaminoglycan polymer that has been widely used as an anticoagulant drug, was selected to induce hierarchical self-assembly because of the existence of multiple negative charges. To investigate the hierarchical self-assembly process, an aggregation-induced emission (AIE) active moiety, tetra-phenylethylene (TPE), was introduced onto the metallacycle via coordination-driven self-assembly. Photophysical studies revealed that the addition of heparin to the tris-TPE metallacycles solution resulted in dramatic fluorescence enhancement, which supported the aggregation between metallacycle and heparin driven by multiple electrostatic interactions. Moreover, the entangled pearl-necklace networks were obtained through hierarchical self-assembly as detected by SEM, TEM, and LSCM experiments. In particular, single bead-like chains were observed in the AFM and TEM images, which provided direct, visual evidence for the aggregation of positively charged metallacycles and negatively charged heparin. More interestingly, further optical study demonstrated that this TPE-decorated metallacycle could function as a turn-on fluorescent probe for heparin detection with high sensitivity and selectivity. Thus, this research presents the first example of counter polyanion-induced hierarchical self-assembly of discrete metallacycles and provides a "proof-of-principle" method for heparin sensing and binding. PMID:26322626

  13. Ultrathin efficient perovskite solar cells employing a periodic structure of a composite hole conductor for elevated plasmonic light harvesting and hole collection.

    PubMed

    Long, Mingzhu; Chen, Zefeng; Zhang, Tiankai; Xiao, Yubin; Zeng, Xiaoliang; Chen, Jian; Yan, Keyou; Xu, Jianbin

    2016-03-17

    We developed a molecule/polymer composite hole transporting material (HTM) with a periodic microstructure for morphology replication of a corrugated Au electrode, which in combination plays a dual role in the optical and electronic enhancement of high performance perovskite solar cells (PSCs). The electro-optics revealed that perovskite couldn't readily extinct the red light even though the thickness increased to 370 nm, but we found that the quasi periodic microstructure composite (PMC) HTM in combination with the conformal Au electrode could promote the absorption through the enhanced cavity effects, leading to comparable absorption even using much thinner perovskite (240 nm). We identified that the cavity was the combination of Fabry-Pérot interferometer and surface plasmonic resonance, with light harvesting enhancement through surface plasmon polariton or waveguide modes that propagate in the plane of the perovskite layer. On the other hand, the PMC HTM increased hole conductivity by one order of magnitude with respect to standard spiro-OMeTAD HTM due to molecular packing and self-assembly, embodying traceable hole mobility and density elevation up to 3 times, and thus the hysteresis was greatly avoided. Owing to dual optical and electronic enhancement, the PMC PSC afforded high efficiency PSC using as thin as 240 nm perovskite layer, delivering a Voc of 1.05 V, Jsc of 22.9 mA cm(-2), FF of 0.736, and efficiency amounting to 17.7% PCE, the highest efficiency with ultrathin perovskite layer. PMID:26377231

  14. Allelic variations of a light harvesting chlorophyll A/B protein gene (Lhcb1) associated with agronomic traits in Barley

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding protein (LHCP) is one of the most abundant chloroplast proteins in plants. Its main function is to collect and transfer light energy to photosynthetic reaction centers. However, the roles of different LHCPs in light-harvesting antenna systems remain obscure. ...

  15. Functional analysis of light-harvesting-like protein 3 (LIL3) and its light-harvesting chlorophyll-binding motif in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Kaori; Takabayashi, Atsushi; Tanaka, Ayumi; Tanaka, Ryouichi

    2014-01-10

    The light-harvesting complex (LHC) constitutes the major light-harvesting antenna of photosynthetic eukaryotes. LHC contains a characteristic sequence motif, termed LHC motif, consisting of 25-30 mostly hydrophobic amino acids. This motif is shared by a number of transmembrane proteins from oxygenic photoautotrophs that are termed light-harvesting-like (LIL) proteins. To gain insights into the functions of LIL proteins and their LHC motifs, we functionally characterized a plant LIL protein, LIL3. This protein has been shown previously to stabilize geranylgeranyl reductase (GGR), a key enzyme in phytol biosynthesis. It is hypothesized that LIL3 functions to anchor GGR to membranes. First, we conjugated the transmembrane domain of LIL3 or that of ascorbate peroxidase to GGR and expressed these chimeric proteins in an Arabidopsis mutant lacking LIL3 protein. As a result, the transgenic plants restored phytol-synthesizing activity. These results indicate that GGR is active as long as it is anchored to membranes, even in the absence of LIL3. Subsequently, we addressed the question why the LHC motif is conserved in the LIL3 sequences. We modified the transmembrane domain of LIL3, which contains the LHC motif, by substituting its conserved amino acids (Glu-171, Asn-174, and Asp-189) with alanine. As a result, the Arabidopsis transgenic plants partly recovered the phytol-biosynthesizing activity. However, in these transgenic plants, the LIL3-GGR complexes were partially dissociated. Collectively, these results indicate that the LHC motif of LIL3 is involved in the complex formation of LIL3 and GGR, which might contribute to the GGR reaction. PMID:24275650

  16. Ultrafast Energy Transfer in an Artificial Photosynthetic Antenna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maiuri, M.; Snellenburg, J. J.; van Stokkum, I. H. M.; Pillai, S.; Gust, D.; Moore, T. A.; Moore, A. L.; van Grondelle, R.; Cerullo, G.; Polli, D.

    2013-03-01

    We temporally resolved energy transfer kinetics in an artificial light-harvesting dyad composed of a phthalocyanine covalently linked to a carotenoid. Upon carotenoid photo-excitation, energy transfers within ≈100fs (≈52% efficiency) to the phthalocyanine.

  17. Functional architectures based on self-assembly of bio-inspired dipeptides: Structure modulation and its photoelectronic applications.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chengjun; Liu, Kai; Li, Junbai; Yan, Xuehai

    2015-11-01

    Getting inspiration from nature and further developing functional architectures provides an effective way to design innovative materials and systems. Among bio-inspired materials, dipeptides and its self-assembled architectures with functionalities have recently been the subject of intensive studies. However, there is still a great challenge to explore its applications likely due to the lack of effective adaptation of their self-assembled structures as well as a lack of understanding of the self-assembly mechanisms. In this context, taking diphenylalanine (FF, a core recognition motif for molecular self-assembly of the Alzheimer's β-amyloid polypeptides) as a model of bio-inspired dipeptides, recent strategies on modulation of dipeptide-based architectures were introduced with regard to both covalent (architectures modulation by coupling functional groups) and non-covalent ways (controlled architectures by different assembly pathways). Then, applications are highlighted in some newly emerging fields of innovative photoelectronic devices and materials, such as artificial photosynthetic systems for renewable solar energy storage and renewable optical waveguiding materials for optoelectronic devices. At last, the challenges and future perspectives of these bio-inspired dipeptides are also addressed. PMID:26365127

  18. Self-Assembled Surfactant Cyclic Peptide Nanostructures as Stabilizing Agents

    PubMed Central

    Mandal, Dindyal; Oh, Donghoon; Ye, Guofeng; Banerjee, Antara; Yadav, Arpita; Parang, Keykavous

    2013-01-01

    A number of cyclic peptides including [FR]4, [FK]4, [WR]4, [CR]4, [AK]4, and [WK]n (n = 3-5) containing L-amino acids were produced using solid-phase peptide synthesis. We hypothesized that an optimal balance of hydrophobicity and charge could generate self-assembled nanostructures in aqueous solution by intramolecular and/or intermolecular interactions. Among all the designed peptides, [WR]n (n = 3-5) generated self-assembled vesicle-like nanostructures at room temperature as shown by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and/or dynamic light scattering (DLS). This class of peptides represents the first report of surfactant-like cyclic peptides that self-assemble into nanostructures. A plausible mechanistic insight into the self-assembly of [WR]5 was obtained by molecular modeling studies. Modified [WR]5 analogues, such as [WMeR]5, [WR(Me)2]5, [WMeR(Me)2]5, and [WdR]5, exhibited different morphologies to [WR]5 as shown by TEM observations. [WR]5 exhibited a significant stabilizing effect for generated silver nanoparticles and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase activity. These studies established a new class of surfactant-like cyclic peptides that self-assembled into nanostructures and could have potential applications for the stabilization of silver nanoparticles and protein biomolecules. PMID:24187575

  19. Sequential programmable self-assembly: Role of cooperative interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halverson, Jonathan D.; Tkachenko, Alexei V.

    2016-03-01

    We propose a general strategy of "sequential programmable self-assembly" that enables a bottom-up design of arbitrary multi-particle architectures on nano- and microscales. We show that a naive realization of this scheme, based on the pairwise additive interactions between particles, has fundamental limitations that lead to a relatively high error rate. This can be overcome by using cooperative interparticle binding. The cooperativity is a well known feature of many biochemical processes, responsible, e.g., for signaling and regulations in living systems. Here we propose to utilize a similar strategy for high precision self-assembly, and show that DNA-mediated interactions provide a convenient platform for its implementation. In particular, we outline a specific design of a DNA-based complex which we call "DNA spider," that acts as a smart interparticle linker and provides a built-in cooperativity of binding. We demonstrate versatility of the sequential self-assembly based on spider-functionalized particles by designing several mesostructures of increasing complexity and simulating their assembly process. This includes a number of finite and repeating structures, in particular, the so-called tetrahelix and its several derivatives. Due to its generality, this approach allows one to design and successfully self-assemble virtually any structure made of a "GEOMAG" magnetic construction toy, out of nanoparticles. According to our results, once the binding cooperativity is strong enough, the sequential self-assembly becomes essentially error-free.

  20. Sequential programmable self-assembly: Role of cooperative interactions.

    PubMed

    Halverson, Jonathan D; Tkachenko, Alexei V

    2016-03-01

    We propose a general strategy of "sequential programmable self-assembly" that enables a bottom-up design of arbitrary multi-particle architectures on nano- and microscales. We show that a naive realization of this scheme, based on the pairwise additive interactions between particles, has fundamental limitations that lead to a relatively high error rate. This can be overcome by using cooperative interparticle binding. The cooperativity is a well known feature of many biochemical processes, responsible, e.g., for signaling and regulations in living systems. Here we propose to utilize a similar strategy for high precision self-assembly, and show that DNA-mediated interactions provide a convenient platform for its implementation. In particular, we outline a specific design of a DNA-based complex which we call "DNA spider," that acts as a smart interparticle linker and provides a built-in cooperativity of binding. We demonstrate versatility of the sequential self-assembly based on spider-functionalized particles by designing several mesostructures of increasing complexity and simulating their assembly process. This includes a number of finite and repeating structures, in particular, the so-called tetrahelix and its several derivatives. Due to its generality, this approach allows one to design and successfully self-assemble virtually any structure made of a "GEOMAG" magnetic construction toy, out of nanoparticles. According to our results, once the binding cooperativity is strong enough, the sequential self-assembly becomes essentially error-free. PMID:26957179

  1. Versatile bisethynyl[60]fulleropyrrolidine scaffolds for mimicking artificial light-harvesting photoreaction centers.

    PubMed

    Kremer, Adrian; Bietlot, Emerance; Zanelli, Alberto; Malicka, Joanna M; Armaroli, Nicola; Bonifazi, Davide

    2015-01-12

    Fullerene-based tetrads, triads, and dyads are presented in which [60]fulleropyrrolidine synthons are linked to an oligo(p-phenyleneethynylene) antenna at the nitrogen atom and to electron-donor phenothiazine (PTZ) and/or ferrocene (Fc) moieties at the α carbon of the pyrrolidine cycle through an acetylene spacer. Cyclic voltammetry and UV/ Vis absorption spectra evidence negligible ground-state electronic interactions among the subunits. By contrast, strong excited-state interactions are detected upon selective light irradiation of the antenna (UV) or of the fullerene scaffold (Vis). When only PTZ is present as electron donor, photoinduced electron transfer to the fullerene unit is unambiguously detected in benzonitrile, but this is not the case when Fc is part of the multicomponent system. These results suggest that Fc is a formidable energy transfer quencher and caution should be used in choosing it as electron donor to promote efficient charge separation in multicomponent arrays. PMID:25418041

  2. Self-assembly of size-controlled liposomes on DNA nanotemplates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Yang; Wang, Jing; Shigematsu, Hideki; Xu, Weiming; Shih, William M.; Rothman, James E.; Lin, Chenxiang

    2016-05-01

    Artificial lipid-bilayer membranes are valuable tools for the study of membrane structure and dynamics. For applications such as the study of vesicular transport and drug delivery, there is a pressing need for artificial vesicles with controlled size. However, controlling vesicle size and shape with nanometre precision is challenging, and approaches to achieve this can be heavily affected by lipid composition. Here, we present a bio-inspired templating method to generate highly monodispersed sub-100-nm unilamellar vesicles, where liposome self-assembly was nucleated and confined inside rigid DNA nanotemplates. Using this method, we produce homogeneous liposomes with four distinct predefined sizes. We also show that the method can be used with a variety of lipid compositions and probe the mechanism of templated liposome formation by capturing key intermediates during membrane self-assembly. The DNA nanotemplating strategy represents a conceptually novel way to guide lipid bilayer formation and could be generalized to engineer complex membrane/protein structures with nanoscale precision.

  3. Self-assembly of size-controlled liposomes on DNA nanotemplates.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yang; Wang, Jing; Shigematsu, Hideki; Xu, Weiming; Shih, William M; Rothman, James E; Lin, Chenxiang

    2016-05-01

    Artificial lipid-bilayer membranes are valuable tools for the study of membrane structure and dynamics. For applications such as the study of vesicular transport and drug delivery, there is a pressing need for artificial vesicles with controlled size. However, controlling vesicle size and shape with nanometre precision is challenging, and approaches to achieve this can be heavily affected by lipid composition. Here, we present a bio-inspired templating method to generate highly monodispersed sub-100-nm unilamellar vesicles, where liposome self-assembly was nucleated and confined inside rigid DNA nanotemplates. Using this method, we produce homogeneous liposomes with four distinct predefined sizes. We also show that the method can be used with a variety of lipid compositions and probe the mechanism of templated liposome formation by capturing key intermediates during membrane self-assembly. The DNA nanotemplating strategy represents a conceptually novel way to guide lipid bilayer formation and could be generalized to engineer complex membrane/protein structures with nanoscale precision. PMID:27102682

  4. Structural and Chemical Control of Supramolecular Coordination Self-Assembly Confined on Metal Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Ziliang

    This thesis is concerned with the structural and chemical control of two-dimensional (2D) supramolecular self-assemblies through judiciously manipulating bonding motifs at various intrinsic and external conditions. The self-selection and the self-recognition of the noncovalent interactions among organic and/or metallic building blocks govern the structural and chemical properties of the resultant self-assembled two-dimensional nanostructures, accompanying with the thermodynamic and kinetic process as well. In this thesis, we have investigated the supramolecular self-assembly achieved via coordination bonds assisted by transition metals and functional ligands on metal surfaces. The self-assembled nanostructures were studied by ultra-high vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy working at room temperatures. The structural transition processes were also inspected via the low energy electron diffraction. Further, artificial "quantum dots" represented by the cavities of the self-assembled networks were investigated. The modulation of surface electrons by these "quantum dots" was characterized by the local density of states detected by low-temperature scanning tunneling spectroscopy. The major contributions of this thesis are outlined as below: (1) Through modifying the chemical states of organic ligands, a unique coordination Kagome network structure was obtained for the first time by two distinct methods. TPyP (5, 10, 15, 20-tetra(4-pyridyl)porphyrin) species on Au(111) surfaces form the TPyP-Au coordination Kagome network achieved by a novel treatment that was suggested to modify the chemical state of the TPyP. In a condition that the TPyP coexists with Cu on a Au(111), Cu adatoms play two roles in the self-assembly---the coordination with pyridyl end-groups and the reaction with TPyP macrocycles, which control the chemical and structural phase of the self-assembly. Following a high temperature annealing, the same Kagome structure emerged from a precursor rhombus network structure. We proposed a new mechanism which provides a consistent explanation to both assembly methods. ZnTPyP (zinc 5, 10, 15, 20-tetra(4- pyridyl)porphyrin) molecules show chemical stability at high annealing temperature, which allows for preparing chemically pure ZnTPyP-Cu bimetallic networks. Furthermore, a reversible structural transformation between a hydrogen-bonded network and a coordination network was realized by either adding Cu atoms or annealing samples at certain temperatures. (2) The influence of the thermodynamic and kinetic effects on the selection of binding modes was studied by a combined STM and LEED investigation which offered spatial as well as temporal insights. The molecules of TPyB (1,3,5-trispyridylbenzene) coordinate with Cu or Fe respectively, forming two distinct polymorphism network structures. Two coordination binding modes show different binding energies. By the kinetic and thermodynamic control, either of binding modes was selected. LEED patterns revealed the dynamic process of structural transition from that of low binding-energy mode to that of high binding-energy mode. In the latter section the structural phase transition induced by two-dimensional compression is introduced. Pyridyl-Cu coordination bond is of certain liability, allowing for the alternation of bonds under various environments. Through increasing the coverage of molecules, distinctive polygraphic networks presented via different pyridyl-Cu binding modes. (3) The self-assembly of multiple components represent a much more complicated assembly system, where the elaborate balance of interactions among all components and substrates comprises greater challenging. To study such a system, the third part deals with the multiple-ligand self-assembly. Achieved by TPyP and PBTP 4',4"-(1,4- phenylene)bis(2,2':6',2"-terpyridine)) molecules and Fe, two types of network structure formed on Au(111) surfaces. Both networks coexisted due to similar bonding configurations and free energies. However, the entropy is presumably suggested to promote the selection of the lower-complexity network structure, and the guest-inclusion effect dominates the exclusive emergence of the other network structure. Again, a chemically pure network was fabricated by displacing TPyP to chemical stable ZnTPyP species. The co-evaporation of TPyP, TPyB and Cu led to the coexistence of three structural phases---one of them was a hybrid phase involving both organic ligands. Tuning the ratio of organic reactants resulted to the hybrid network emerging exclusively. The mechanism of the amplification was still unknown, while some assumptions based on the experimental observations were proposed. (4) We have examined the modulation of the surface-state electrons by the artificial "quantum dots" provided by the self-assembled porous networks on a surface. The technique of low temperature tunneling spectroscopy was employed to detect the local density of states inside a cavity of the self-assembled coordination network. The experimental results were compared and discussed in comparison with calculations. The distinctive effective potentials of molecules and metal centers were discovered to modulate the local density of states at the center of the cavities.

  5. Self-assembly and structural-functional flexibility of oxygenic photosynthetic machineries: personal perspectives.

    PubMed

    Garab, Győző

    2016-01-01

    This short review, with a bit of historical aspect and a strong personal bias and emphases on open questions, is focusing on the (macro-)organization and structural-functional flexibilities of the photosynthetic apparatus of oxygenic photosynthetic organisms at different levels of the structural complexity-selected problems that have attracted most my attention in the past years and decades. These include (i) the anisotropic organization of the pigment-protein complexes and photosynthetic membranes-a basic organizing principle of living matter, which can, and probably should be adopted to intelligent materials; (ii) the organization of protein complexes into chiral macrodomains, large self-assembling highly organized but structurally flexible entities with unique spectroscopic fingerprints-structures, where, important, high-level regulatory functions appear to 'reside'; (iii) a novel, dissipation-assisted mechanism of structural changes, based on a thermo-optic effect: ultrafast thermal transients in the close vicinity of dissipation of unused excitation energy, which is capable of inducing elementary structural changes; it makes plants capable of responding to excess excitation with reaction rates proportional to the overexcitation above the light-saturation of photosynthesis; (iv) the 3D ultrastructure of the granum-stroma thylakoid membrane assembly and other multilamellar membrane systems, and their remodelings-associated with regulatory mechanisms; (v) the molecular organization and structural-functional plasticity of the main light-harvesting complex of plants, in relation to their crystal structure and different in vivo and in vitro states; and (vi) the enigmatic role of non-bilayer lipids and lipid phases in the bilayer thylakoid membrane-warranting its high protein content and contributing to its structural flexibility. PMID:26494196

  6. Self-Assemblies of Acicular Hollow Fe/C Nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Li, Wangchang; Qiao, Xiaojing; Li, Mingyu; Zheng, Qiuyu; Ren, Qingguo; Zhu, Y Q; Peng, H X

    2015-08-01

    Self-assemblies of acicular hollow Fe/C structures were synthesized using D-glucose monohydrate and ferric chloride as precursors by a simple hydrothermal process followed by carbonization at 800 °C. The self-assembled structures with an overall diameter of 15~20 µm composed of radially formed hollow needles from a central core with an average diameter of ca. 1 µm and a length up to 10 µm. The end of the needles was revealed to be a awl shape with a hollow structure formed during the self-assembly process and the subsequent heat treatment. The hollow structure was probably caused by the Kirkendall effect at 800 °C. The materials exhibit ferromagnetic characteristic with saturation magnetization (Ms), remanent magnetization (Mr), and coercivity (Hc) of 22.2 emu/g, 3 emu/g, and 151.22 Oe, respectively, with Ms much lower than that of Fe3O4. PMID:26369160

  7. Bioprinting synthetic self-assembling peptide hydrogels for biomedical applications.

    PubMed

    Loo, Yihua; Hauser, Charlotte A E

    2016-02-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is a disruptive technology for creating organotypic constructs for high-throughput screening and regenerative medicine. One major challenge is the lack of suitable bioinks. Short synthetic self-assembling peptides are ideal candidates. Several classes of peptides self-assemble into nanofibrous hydrogels resembling the native extracellular matrix. This is a conducive microenvironment for maintaining cell survival and physiological function. Many peptides also demonstrate stimuli-responsive gelation and tuneable mechanical properties, which facilitates extrusion before dispensing and maintains the shape fidelity of the printed construct in aqueous media. The inherent biocompatibility and biodegradability bodes well for in vivo applications as implantable tissues and drug delivery matrices, while their short length and ease of functionalization facilitates synthesis and customization. By applying self-assembling peptide inks to bioprinting, the dynamic complexity of biological tissue can be recreated, thereby advancing current biomedical applications of peptide hydrogel scaffolds. PMID:26694103

  8. Guided and magnetic self-assembly of tunable magnetoceptive gels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tasoglu, S.; Yu, C. H.; Gungordu, H. I.; Guven, S.; Vural, T.; Demirci, U.

    2014-09-01

    Self-assembly of components into complex functional patterns at microscale is common in nature, and used increasingly in numerous disciplines such as optoelectronics, microfabrication, sensors, tissue engineering and computation. Here, we describe the use of stable radicals to guide the self-assembly of magnetically tunable gels, which we call ‘magnetoceptive’ materials at the scale of hundreds of microns to a millimeter, each can be programmed by shape and composition, into heterogeneous complex structures. Using paramagnetism of free radicals as a driving mechanism, complex heterogeneous structures are built in the magnetic field generated by permanent magnets. The overall magnetic signature of final structure is erased via an antioxidant vitamin E, subsequent to guided self-assembly. We demonstrate unique capabilities of radicals and antioxidants in fabrication of soft systems with heterogeneity in material properties, such as porosity, elastic modulus and mass density; then in bottom-up tissue engineering and finally, levitational and selective assembly of microcomponents.

  9. Guided and magnetic self-assembly of tunable magnetoceptive gels.

    PubMed

    Tasoglu, S; Yu, C H; Gungordu, H I; Guven, S; Vural, T; Demirci, U

    2014-01-01

    Self-assembly of components into complex functional patterns at microscale is common in nature, and used increasingly in numerous disciplines such as optoelectronics, microfabrication, sensors, tissue engineering and computation. Here, we describe the use of stable radicals to guide the self-assembly of magnetically tunable gels, which we call 'magnetoceptive' materials at the scale of hundreds of microns to a millimeter, each can be programmed by shape and composition, into heterogeneous complex structures. Using paramagnetism of free radicals as a driving mechanism, complex heterogeneous structures are built in the magnetic field generated by permanent magnets. The overall magnetic signature of final structure is erased via an antioxidant vitamin E, subsequent to guided self-assembly. We demonstrate unique capabilities of radicals and antioxidants in fabrication of soft systems with heterogeneity in material properties, such as porosity, elastic modulus and mass density; then in bottom-up tissue engineering and finally, levitational and selective assembly of microcomponents. PMID:25175148

  10. Self-assembled liposomal nanoparticles in photodynamic therapy

    PubMed Central

    Sadasivam, Magesh; Avci, Pinar; Gupta, Gaurav K.; Lakshmanan, Shanmugamurthy; Chandran, Rakkiyappan; Huang, Ying-Ying; Kumar, Raj; Hamblin, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) employs the combination of non-toxic photosensitizers (PS) together with harmless visible light of the appropriate wavelength to produce reactive oxygen species that kill unwanted cells. Because many PS are hydrophobic molecules prone to aggregation, numerous drug delivery vehicles have been tested to solubilize these molecules, render them biocompatible and enhance the ease of administration after intravenous injection. The recent rise in nanotechnology has markedly expanded the range of these nanoparticulate delivery vehicles beyond the well-established liposomes and micelles. Self-assembled nanoparticles are formed by judicious choice of monomer building blocks that spontaneously form a well-oriented 3-dimensional structure that incorporates the PS when subjected to the appropriate conditions. This self-assembly process is governed by a subtle interplay of forces on the molecular level. This review will cover the state of the art in the preparation and use of self-assembled liposomal nanoparticles within the context of PDT. PMID:24348377

  11. Actinide Sequestration Using Self-Assembled Monolayers on Mesoporous Supports

    SciTech Connect

    Fryxell, Glen E.; Lin, Yuehe; Fiskum, Sandra K.; Birnbaum, Jerome C.; Wu, Hong; Kemner, K. M.; Kelly, Shelley

    2005-03-01

    Surfactant templated synthesis of mesoporous ceramics provides a versatile foundation upon which to create high efficiency environmental sorbents. These nanoporous ceramic oxides condense a huge amount of surface area into a very small volume. The ceramic oxide interface is receptive to surface functionalization through molecular self-assembly. The marriage of mesoporous ceramics with self-assembled monolayer chemistry creates a powerful new class of environmental sorbent materials called self-assembled monolayers on mesoporous supports (SAMMS). These SAMMS materials are highly efficient sorbents, whose interfacial chemistry can be fine-tuned to selectively sequester a specific target species, such as heavy metals, tetrahedral oxometallate anions and radionuclides. Details addressing the design, synthesis and characterization of SAMMS materials specifically designed to sequester actinides, of central importance to the environmental clean-up necessary after 40 years of weapons grade plutonium production, as well as evaluation of their binding affinities and kinetics are presented.

  12. Investigating collagen self-assembly with optical tweezers microrheology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forde, Nancy; Shayegan, Marjan; Altindal, Tuba

    Collagen is the fundamental structural protein in vertebrates. Assembled from individual triple-helical proteins to make strong fibres, collagen is a beautiful example of a hierarchical self-assembling system. Using optical tweezers to perform microrheology measurements, we explore the dynamics of interactions between collagens responsible for their self-assembly and examine the development of heterogeneous mechanics during assembly into fibrillar gels. Telopeptides, short non-helical regions that flank the triple helix, have long been known to facilitate fibril self-assembly. We find that their removal not only slows down fibril nucleation but also results in a significant frequency-dependent reduction in the elastic modulus of collagens in solution. We interpret these results in terms of a model in which telopeptides facilitate transient intermolecular interactions, which enhance network connectivity in solution and lead to more rapid assembly in fibril-forming conditions. Current address: Department of Physics, McGill University.

  13. Biomedical exploitation of self assembled peptide based nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Roy, Anupam; Franco, Octavio L; Mandal, Santi M

    2013-11-01

    Nowadays, peptide based disease prevention is an important topic in biomedical science, which may radically change the traditional use of biomaterials and improve the life quality. Self-assembled nanostructured peptides have been receiving extreme attention in the drug delivery field due their high biocompatibility levels, better loading capacity, extended circulation and localization in required target site. This article focuses on the composition and synthesis of different forms of self-assembled peptide nanostructures as nanotubes, nanofibers, nanoparticles, nanotapes and nanogels. The most important properties for their self assembled mechanism and their biomedical applications are also discussed. Various potential applications of nanostructures peptide could be developed designed for therapeutic agent's delivery, biosensors, anticancerous and antimicrobial activities. PMID:23968344

  14. Functional self-assembled lipidic systems derived from renewable resources

    PubMed Central

    Silverman, Julian R.; Samateh, Malick; John, George

    2015-01-01

    Self-assembled lipidic amphiphile systems can create a variety of multi-functional soft materials with value-added properties. When employing natural reagents and following biocatalytic syntheses, self-assembling monomers may be inherently designed for degradation, making them potential alternatives to conventional and persistent polymers. By using non-covalent forces, self-assembled amphiphiles can form nanotubes, fibers, and other stimuli responsive architectures prime for further applied research and incorporation into commercial products. By viewing these lipid derivatives under a lens of green principles, there is the hope that in developing a structure–function relationship and functional smart materials that research may remain safe, economic, and efficient. PMID:26766923

  15. Guided and magnetic self-assembly of tunable magnetoceptive gels

    PubMed Central

    Tasoglu, S.; Yu, C.H.; Gungordu, H.I.; Guven, S.; Vural, T.; Demirci, U.

    2014-01-01

    Self-assembly of components into complex functional patterns at microscale is common in nature, and used increasingly in numerous disciplines such as optoelectronics, microfabrication, sensors, tissue engineering and computation. Here, we describe the use of stable radicals to guide the self-assembly of magnetically tunable gels, which we call ‘magnetoceptive’ materials at the scale of hundreds of microns to a millimeter, each can be programmed by shape and composition, into heterogeneous complex structures. Using paramagnetism of free radicals as a driving mechanism, complex heterogeneous structures are built in the magnetic field generated by permanent magnets. The overall magnetic signature of final structure is erased via an antioxidant vitamin E, subsequent to guided self-assembly. We demonstrate unique capabilities of radicals and antioxidants in fabrication of soft systems with heterogeneity in material properties, such as porosity, elastic modulus and mass density; then in bottom-up tissue engineering and finally, levitational and selective assembly of microcomponents. PMID:25175148

  16. Multivalent Protein Assembly Using Monovalent Self-Assembling Building Blocks

    PubMed Central

    Petkau-Milroy, Katja; Sonntag, Michael H.; Colditz, Alexander; Brunsveld, Luc

    2013-01-01

    Discotic molecules, which self-assemble in water into columnar supramolecular polymers, emerged as an alternative platform for the organization of proteins. Here, a monovalent discotic decorated with one single biotin was synthesized to study the self-assembling multivalency of this system in regard to streptavidin. Next to tetravalent streptavidin, monovalent streptavidin was used to study the protein assembly along the supramolecular polymer in detail without the interference of cross-linking. Upon self-assembly of the monovalent biotinylated discotics, multivalent proteins can be assembled along the supramolecular polymer. The concentration of discotics, which influences the length of the final polymers at the same time dictates the amount of assembled proteins. PMID:24152447

  17. Hierarchical self-assembly of chiral fibres from achiral particles

    PubMed Central

    Prybytak, P.; Frith, W. J.; Cleaver, D. J.

    2012-01-01

    We investigate, by molecular dynamics simulation, the behaviour of discotic particles in a solvent of Lennard-Jones spheres. When chromonic disc–sphere interactions are imposed on these systems, three regimes of self-assembly are observed. At moderate temperatures, numerous short threads of discs develop, but these threads remain isolated from one another. Quenching to low temperatures, alternatively, causes all of the discs to floc into a single extended aggregate which typically comprises several distinct sections and contains numerous packing defects. For a narrow temperature range between these regimes, however, defect-free chiral fibres are found to freely self-assemble. The spontaneous chirality of these fibres results from frustration between the hexagonal packing and interdigitation of neighbouring threads, the pitch being set by the particle shape. This demonstration of aggregate-wide chirality emerging owing to packing alone is pertinent to many biological and synthetic hierarchically self-assembling systems. PMID:24098850

  18. Equation of State for Phospholipid Self-Assembly.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Derek

    2016-01-01

    Phospholipid self-assembly is the basis of biomembrane stability. The entropy of transfer from water to self-assembled micelles of lysophosphatidylcholines and diacyl phosphatidylcholines with different chain lengths converges to a common value at a temperature of 44°C. The corresponding enthalpies of transfer converge at ∼-18°C. An equation of state for the free energy of self-assembly formulated from this thermodynamic data depends on the heat capacity of transfer as the sole parameter needed to specify a particular lipid. For lipids lacking calorimetric data, measurement of the critical micelle concentration at a single temperature suffices to define an effective heat capacity according to the model. Agreement with the experimental temperature dependence of the critical micelle concentration is then good. The predictive powers should extend also to amphiphile partitioning and the kinetics of lipid-monomer transfer. PMID:26745421

  19. Interfacial and mechanical properties of self-assembling systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carvajal, Daniel

    Self-assembly is a fascinating phenomena where interactions between small subunits allow them to aggregate and form complex structures that can span many length scales. These self-assembled structures are especially important in biology where they are necessary for life as we know it. This dissertation is a study of three very different self-assembling systems, all of which have important connections to biology and biological systems. Drop shape analysis was used to study the interfacial assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers at the oil/water interface. When biologically functionalyzed copolymers are used, this system can serve as a model for receptor-ligand interactions that are used by cells to perform many activities, such as interact with their surroundings. The physical properties of a self-assembling membrane system were quantified using membrane inflation and swelling experiments. These types of membranes may have important applications in medicine such as drug eluting (growth factor eluting) scaffolds to aid in wound healing. The factors affecting the properties of bis(leucine) oxalamide gels were also explored. We believe that this particular system will serve as an appropriate model for biological gels that are made up of fiber-like and/or rod-like structures. During the course of the research presented in this dissertation, many new techniques were developed specifically to allow/aid the study of these distinct self-assembling systems. For example, numerical methods were used to predict drop stability for drop shape analysis experiments and the methods used to create reproducibly create self-assembling membranes were developed specifically for this purpose. The development of these new techniques is an integral part of the thesis and should aid future students who work on these projects. A number ongoing projects and interesting research directions for each one of the projects is also presented.

  20. Nano-engineering by optically directed self-assembly.

    SciTech Connect

    Furst, Eric; Dunn, Elissa; Park, Jin-Gyu; Brinker, C. Jeffrey; Sainis, Sunil; Merrill, Jason; Dufresne, Eric; Reichert, Matthew D.; Brotherton, Christopher M.; Bogart, Katherine Huderle Andersen; Molecke, Ryan A.; Koehler, Timothy P.; Bell, Nelson Simmons; Grillet, Anne Mary; Gorby, Allen D.; Singh, John; Lele, Pushkar; Mittal, Manish

    2009-09-01

    Lack of robust manufacturing capabilities have limited our ability to make tailored materials with useful optical and thermal properties. For example, traditional methods such as spontaneous self-assembly of spheres cannot generate the complex structures required to produce a full bandgap photonic crystals. The goal of this work was to develop and demonstrate novel methods of directed self-assembly of nanomaterials using optical and electric fields. To achieve this aim, our work employed laser tweezers, a technology that enables non-invasive optical manipulation of particles, from glass microspheres to gold nanoparticles. Laser tweezers were used to create ordered materials with either complex crystal structures or using aspherical building blocks.

  1. Theoretical approaches to self-assembly and biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arkus, Natalie

    This thesis is concerned with two separate subjects; (i) self-assembly, and (ii) model reduction in biology; it is divided into these parts accordingly. The underlying question addressed in the first part is can we direct naturally occurring self-assembly such that a desired structure is the only one that forms? This problem is broken up into two parts: (i) the enumeration of all structures that can be self-assembled, and (ii) the derivation of a mechanism under which any one of those structures becomes the only one that forms. In the second part, approximation techniques are applied to models of biological systems, yielding reduced models that are quantitatively accurate. The reduced models offer the following advantages over the originals: (i) they can be analyzed analytically, (ii) they contain many fewer effective parameters, and (iii) they are directly testable, falsifiable, and predictive. Self-assembly. The overarching question of self-assembly is, can we harness the natural assembly process so that 'human-made objects' are made spontaneously? As a model system, the self-assembly of nano- and micro-meter sized colloidal particles is considered. Graph theory and geometry is used to derive a method capable of enumerating a provably complete set of self-assemblable colloidal structures, which corresponds to all sphere packings. A method for directing the self-assembly of nearly any one of those structures is then derived. Model reduction in biology. Biological systems have many components. Because of this, it has become common to model such networks using large systems of coupled ordinary differential equations. However, there is as yet no simple way of determining how solutions to large systems of equations depend on their parameters or components. Here, it is shown that large biological signaling networks can be reduced to systems involving a few equations and effective parameters using the method of dominant balance, which was developed and refined within fluid mechanics. The effective parameters lump the system's many components together, yielding a simplified system that contains within it information on all of the many components. The reduced system quantitatively agrees with the original, and demonstrates which features of the signaling network are essential.

  2. Controlled self-assembly of biomolecular rods on structured substrates.

    PubMed

    Moghimian, Pouya; Harnau, Ludger; Srot, Vesna; de la Peña, Francisco; Farahmand Bafi, Nima; Facey, Sandra J; van Aken, Peter A

    2016-04-01

    We report on the evaporative self-assembly and orientational ordering of semi-flexible spherocylindrical M13 phages on asymmetric stranded webs of thin amorphous carbon films. Although the phages were dispersed with a low concentration in the isotropic phase, the substrate edges induced nematic ordering and bending of the phages. As revealed by transmission electron microscopy, phages were aligned parallel to the curved substrate edges. This two-dimensional self-assembly on structured substrates opens a new route to the design of structures of orientationally ordered semi-flexible biomacromolecules. PMID:26917247

  3. Advanced molecular self-assemblies facilitated by simple molecules.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zheng; Yan, Yun; Huang, Jianbin

    2014-12-01

    Advanced materials are often based on smart molecular self-assemblies that either respond to external stimuli or have hierarchical structures. Approaches to this goal usually stem from complicated molecular design and difficult organic synthesis. In this invited feature article, we demonstrate that desired molecular self-assemblies can be made conveniently by introducing simple functional molecules into amphiphilic systems. We show that upon introducing specific small molecules which serve as responders, modulators, or even building blocks, smart supramolecular architectures can be achieved which avoid complicated organic synthesis. We expect that this could be a general and economical way to produce advanced materials in the near future. PMID:24870151

  4. Self-Assembled Organic Nanocrystals with Strong Nonlinear Optical Response.

    PubMed

    Rosenne, Shaked; Grinvald, Eran; Shirman, Elijah; Neeman, Lior; Dutta, Sounak; Bar-Elli, Omri; Ben-Zvi, Regev; Oksenberg, Eitan; Milko, Petr; Kalchenko, Vyacheslav; Weissman, Haim; Oron, Dan; Rybtchinski, Boris

    2015-11-11

    Facile molecular self-assembly affords a new family of organic nanocrystals that, unintuitively, exhibit a significant nonlinear optical response (second harmonic generation, SHG) despite the relatively small molecular dipole moment of the constituent molecules. The nanocrystals are self-assembled in aqueous media from simple monosubstituted perylenediimide (PDI) molecular building blocks. Control over the crystal dimensions can be achieved via modification of the assembly conditions. The combination of a simple fabrication process with the ability to generate soluble SHG nanocrystals with tunable sizes may open new avenues in the area of organic SHG materials. PMID:26447786

  5. Backfilled, self-assembled monolayers and methods of making same

    DOEpatents

    Fryxell, Glen E.; Zemanian, Thomas S.; Addleman, R. Shane; Aardahl, Christopher L.; Zheng, Feng; Busche, Brad; Egorov, Oleg B.

    2009-06-30

    Backfilled, self-assembled monolayers and methods of making the same are disclosed. The self-assembled monolayer comprises at least one functional organosilane species and a substantially random dispersion of at least one backfilling organosilane species among the functional organosilane species, wherein the functional and backfilling organosilane species have been sequentially deposited on a substrate. The method comprises depositing sequentially a first organosilane species followed by a backfilling organosilane species, and employing a relaxation agent before or during deposition of the backfilling organosilane species, wherein the first and backfilling organosilane species are substantially randomly dispersed on a substrate.

  6. Structural simulations of nanomaterials self-assembled from ionic macrocycles.

    SciTech Connect

    van Swol, Frank B.; Medforth, Craig John

    2010-10-01

    Recent research at Sandia has discovered a new class of organic binary ionic solids with tunable optical, electronic, and photochemical properties. These nanomaterials, consisting of a novel class of organic binary ionic solids, are currently being developed at Sandia for applications in batteries, supercapacitors, and solar energy technologies. They are composed of self-assembled oligomeric arrays of very large anions and large cations, but their crucial internal arrangement is thus far unknown. This report describes (a) the development of a relevant model of nonconvex particles decorated with ions interacting through short-ranged Yukawa potentials, and (b) the results of initial Monte Carlo simulations of the self-assembly binary ionic solids.

  7. Anti-Correlated Pigment Fluctuations of Allophycocyanin for Highly Efficient Photosynthetic Light Harvesting in Cyanobacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moran, Andrew; Nome, Rene; Scherer, Norbert

    2008-03-01

    The phycobiliprotein, allophycocyanin (APC), is an excellent model system for the study of light harvesting pigment interactions with a protein bath. This work investigates the relaxation of electronic excitations in APC with electric field-resolved transient grating and photon echo spectroscopies. Transient grating experiments observe a 35 fs internal conversion process between single exciton levels. Most importantly, our analysis shows that anti-correlated phycocyanobilin pigment energy level fluctuations cause the anti-diagonal orientation of the node in the measured dispersive photon echo spectrum. We believe this novel observation to reflect concerted protein bath fluctuations over the 2 nm length scale that separates the pigments. Consideration of the Forster energy transfer rate theory suggests that APC has evolved with this property to enhance its photosynthetic light harvesting efficiency.

  8. Quantitative investigations of quantum coherence for a light-harvesting protein at conditions simulating photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Turner, Daniel B; Dinshaw, Rayomond; Lee, Kyung-Koo; Belsley, Michael S; Wilk, Krystyna E; Curmi, Paul M G; Scholes, Gregory D

    2012-04-14

    Recent measurements using two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy (2D ES) have shown that the initial dynamic response of photosynthetic proteins can involve quantum coherence. We show how electronic coherence can be differentiated from vibrational coherence in 2D ES. On that basis we conclude that both electronic and vibrational coherences are observed in the phycobiliprotein light-harvesting complex PC645 from Chroomonas sp. CCMP270 at ambient temperature. These light-harvesting antenna proteins of the cryptophyte algae are suspended in the lumen, where the pH drops significantly under sustained illumination by sunlight. Here we measured 2D ES of PC645 at increasing levels of acidity to determine if the change in pH affects the quantum coherence; quantitative analysis reveals that the dynamics are insensitive to the pH change. PMID:22374579

  9. Modeling of fluorescence quenching by lutein in the plant light-harvesting complex LHCII.

    PubMed

    Duffy, C D P; Chmeliov, J; Macernis, M; Sulskus, J; Valkunas, L; Ruban, A V

    2013-09-26

    Photoprotective non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) in higher plants is the result of the formation of energy quenching traps in the light-harvesting antenna of photosystem II (PSII). It has been proposed that this quenching trap is a lutein molecule closely associated with the chlorophyll terminal emitter of the major light-harvesting complex LHCII. We have used a combination of time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) and the semiempirical MNDO-CAS-CI method to model the chlorophyll-lutein energy transfer dynamics of the highly quenched crystal structure of LHCII. Our calculations reveal that the incoherent "hopping" of energy from Chla612 to the short-lived, dipole forbidden 2(1)A(g)(-) state of lutein620 accounts for the strong fluorescence quenching observed in these crystals. This adds weight to the argument that the same dissipative pathway is responsible for in vivo NPQ. PMID:23234311

  10. Synthesis and Functional Reconstitution of Light-Harvesting Complex II into Polymeric Membrane Architectures.

    PubMed

    Zapf, Thomas; Tan, Cherng-Wen Darren; Reinelt, Tobias; Huber, Christoph; Shaohua, Ding; Geifman-Shochat, Susana; Paulsen, Harald; Sinner, Eva-Kathrin

    2015-12-01

    One of most important processes in nature is the harvesting and dissipation of solar energy with the help of light-harvesting complex II (LHCII). This protein, along with its associated pigments, is the main solar-energy collector in higher plants. We aimed to generate stable, highly controllable, and sustainable polymer-based membrane systems containing LHCII-pigment complexes ready for light harvesting. LHCII was produced by cell-free protein synthesis based on wheat-germ extract, and the successful integration of LHCII and its pigments into different membrane architectures was monitored. The unidirectionality of LHCII insertion was investigated by protease digestion assays. Fluorescence measurements indicated chlorophyll integration in the presence of LHCII in spherical as well as planar bilayer architectures. Surface plasmon enhanced fluorescence spectroscopy (SPFS) was used to reveal energy transfer from chlorophyll b to chlorophyll a, which indicates native folding of the LHCII proteins. PMID:26473750

  11. DNA-directed spatial assembly of photosynthetic light-harvesting proteins.

    PubMed

    Henry, Sarah L; Withers, Jamie M; Singh, Ishwar; Cooper, Jonathan M; Clark, Alasdair W; Burley, Glenn A; Cogdell, Richard J

    2016-01-28

    This manuscript describes the surface immobilization of a light-harvesting complex to prescribed locations directed by the sequence-selective recognition of duplex DNA. An engineered light-harvesting complex (RC-LH1) derived from Rhodopseudomonas (Rps.) palustris containing the zinc finger (ZF) domain zif268 was prepared. The zif268 domain directed the binding of zfRC-LH1 to target double-stranded DNA sequences both in solution and when immobilized on lithographically defined micro-patterns. Excitation energy transfer from the carotenoids to the bacteriochlorophyll pigments within zfRC-LH1 confirmed that the functional and structural integrity of the complex is retained after surface immobilization. PMID:26660647

  12. ARCHITECTURE OF A CHARGE-TRANSFER STATE REGULATING LIGHT HARVESTING IN A PLANT ANTENNA PROTEIN

    SciTech Connect

    Fleming, Graham; Ahn, Tae Kyu; Avenson, Thomas J.; Ballottari, Matteo; Cheng, Yuan-Chung; Niyogi, Krishna K.; Bassi, Roberto; Fleming, Graham R.

    2008-04-02

    Energy-dependent quenching of excess absorbed light energy (qE) is a vital mechanism for regulating photosynthetic light harvesting in higher plants. All of the physiological characteristics of qE have been positively correlated with charge-transfer between coupled chlorophyll and zeaxanthin molecules in the light-harvesting antenna of photosystem II (PSII). In this work, we present evidence for charge-transfer quenching in all three of the individual minor antenna complexes of PSII (CP29, CP26, and CP24), and we conclude that charge-transfer quenching in CP29 involves a de-localized state of an excitonically coupled chlorophyll dimer. We propose that reversible conformational changes in CP29 can `tune? the electronic coupling between the chlorophylls in this dimer, thereby modulating the energy of the chlorophylls-zeaxanthin charge-transfer state and switching on and off the charge-transfer quenching during qE.

  13. Two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy and photosynthesis: Fundamentals and applications to photosynthetic light-harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlau-Cohen, Gabriela S.; Ishizaki, Akihito; Fleming, Graham R.

    2011-07-01

    In natural light harvesting systems, pigment-protein complexes are able to harvest sunlight with near unity quantum efficiency. These complexes exhibit emergent properties that cannot be simply extrapolated from knowledge of their component parts. In this perspective, we focus on how two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy (2DES) can provide an incisive tool to probe the electronic, energetic, and spatial landscapes that must be understood to describe photosynthetic light-harvesting. We review the theoretical and experimental principles of 2DES, and demonstrate its application to the study of the Photosystem II supercomplex of green plants. We illustrate several capabilities of 2DES, including monitoring energy transfer pathways, observing excitonic coherence, determining excitonic geometry, and informing on the atomic structure.

  14. Quantum coherent energy transfer over varying pathways in single light-harvesting complexes.

    PubMed

    Hildner, Richard; Brinks, Daan; Nieder, Jana B; Cogdell, Richard J; van Hulst, Niek F

    2013-06-21

    The initial steps of photosynthesis comprise the absorption of sunlight by pigment-protein antenna complexes followed by rapid and highly efficient funneling of excitation energy to a reaction center. In these transport processes, signatures of unexpectedly long-lived coherences have emerged in two-dimensional ensemble spectra of various light-harvesting complexes. Here, we demonstrate ultrafast quantum coherent energy transfer within individual antenna complexes of a purple bacterium under physiological conditions. We find that quantum coherences between electronically coupled energy eigenstates persist at least 400 femtoseconds and that distinct energy-transfer pathways that change with time can be identified in each complex. Our data suggest that long-lived quantum coherence renders energy transfer in photosynthetic systems robust in the presence of disorder, which is a prerequisite for efficient light harvesting. PMID:23788794

  15. Excited state coherent dynamics in light-harvesting complexes from photosynthetic marine algae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richards, G. H.; Wilk, K. E.; Curmi, P. M. G.; Quiney, H. M.; Davis, J. A.

    2012-08-01

    We explore coherence dynamics in light-harvesting complexes and their interactions with other electronic states and vibrational modes. This is achieved by utilizing a two-colour four-wave mixing spectroscopy to excite and analyse a specific coherence pathway in the phycocyanin-645 (PC645) light-harvesting complex. We observe the dephasing rate increase as a function of temperature and oscillations in the signal intensity as a function of waiting time which reveals coherent excitation of pathways not directly resonant with the laser pulses. This coherent excitation of non-resonant electronic states implies strong coupling to phonon modes, which is necessary if coherent energy transfer between non-resonant states is to play any role in photosynthetic energy transfer.

  16. A thioredoxin-like/β-propeller protein maintains the efficiency of light harvesting in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Brooks, Matthew D.; Sylak-Glassman, Emily J.; Fleming, Graham R.; Niyogi, Krishna K.

    2013-01-01

    The light-harvesting complexes of plants have evolved the ability to switch between efficient light harvesting and quenching forms to optimize photosynthesis in response to the environment. Several distinct mechanisms, collectively termed “nonphotochemical quenching” (NPQ), provide flexibility in this response. Here we report the isolation and characterization of a mutant, suppressor of quenching 1 (soq1), that has high NPQ even in the absence of photosystem II subunit S (PsbS), a protein that is necessary for the rapidly reversible component of NPQ. The formation of NPQ in soq1 was light intensity-dependent, and it exhibited slow relaxation kinetics and other characteristics that distinguish it from known NPQ components. Treatment with chemical inhibitors or an uncoupler, as well as crosses to mutants known to affect other NPQ components, showed that the NPQ in soq1 does not require a transthylakoid pH gradient, zeaxanthin formation, or the phosphorylation of light-harvesting complexes, and it appears to be unrelated to the photosystem II damage-and-repair cycle. Measurements of pigments and chlorophyll fluorescence lifetimes indicated that the additional NPQ in soq1 is the result of a decrease in chlorophyll excited-state lifetime and not pigment bleaching. The SOQ1 gene was isolated by map-based cloning, and it encodes a previously uncharacterized thylakoid membrane protein with thioredoxin-like and β-propeller domains located in the lumen and a haloacid-dehalogenase domain exposed to the chloroplast stroma. We propose that the role of SOQ1 is to prevent formation of a slowly reversible form of antenna quenching, thereby maintaining the efficiency of light harvesting. PMID:23818601

  17. Revealing Linear Aggregates of Light Harvesting Antenna Proteins in Photosynthetic Membranes

    PubMed Central

    He, Yufan; Zeng, Xiaohua; Mukherjee, Saptarshi; Rajapaksha, Suneth; Kaplan, Samuel; Lu, H. Peter

    2010-01-01

    How light energy is harvested in a natural photosynthetic membrane through energy transfer is closely related to the stoichiometry and arrangement of light harvesting antenna proteins in the membrane. The specific photosynthetic architecture facilitates a rapid and efficient energy transfer among the light harvesting proteins (LH2 and LH1) and to the reaction center. Here we report the identification of linear aggregates of light harvesting proteins, LH2, in the photosynthetic membranes under ambient conditions by using atomic force microscopy (AFM) imaging and spectroscopic analysis. Our results suggest that the light harvesting protein, LH2, can exist as linear aggregates of 4±2 proteins in the photosynthetic membranes and that the protein distributions are highly heterogeneous. In the photosynthetic membranes examined in our measurements, the ratio of the aggregated to the non-aggregated LH2 proteins is about 3:1 to 5:1 depending on the intensity of the illumination used during sample incubation and on the bacterial species. AFM images further identify that the LH2 proteins in the linear aggregates are monotonically tilted at an angle 4°±2° from the plane of the photosynthetic membranes. The aggregates result in red-shifted absorption and emission spectra that are measured using various mutant membranes, including an LH2 knock-out, LH1 knock-out, and LH2 at different population densities. Measuring the fluorescence lifetimes of purified LH2 and LH2 in membranes, we have observed that the LH2 proteins in membranes exhibit biexponential lifetime decays whereas the purified LH2 proteins gave single exponential lifetime decays. We attribute that the two lifetime components originate from the existence of both aggregated and non-aggregated LH2 proteins in the photosynthetic membranes. PMID:19572507

  18. Dark excited states of carotenoid in light harvesting complex probing with femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshimatsu, O.; Abe, K.; Sakai, S.; Horibe, T.; Fujii, R.; Nango, M.; Hashimoto, H.; Yoshizawa, M.

    2013-03-01

    Vibrational dynamics of dark excited states in carotenoids have been investigated using tunable Raman pump pulses. The S1 state has same vibrational dynamics in light-harvesting complex (LH1) and solution. The S* state in LH1 has similar vibrational modes with the triplet state of carotenoid. However, the so-called S* state in solution does not have the modes and is concluded to be different from the S* state in LH1.

  19. Revealing linear aggregates of light harvesting antenna proteins in photosynthetic membranes.

    PubMed

    He, Yufan; Zeng, Xiaohua; Mukherjee, Saptarshi; Rajapaksha, Suneth; Kaplan, Samuel; Lu, H Peter

    2010-01-01

    How light energy is harvested in a natural photosynthetic membrane through energy transfer is closely related to the stoichiometry and arrangement of light harvesting antenna proteins in the membrane. The specific photosynthetic architecture facilitates a rapid and efficient energy transfer among the light harvesting proteins (LH2 and LH1) and to the reaction center. Here we report the identification of linear aggregates of light harvesting proteins, LH2, in the photosynthetic membranes under ambient conditions by using atomic force microscopy (AFM) imaging and spectroscopic analysis. Our results suggest that the light harvesting protein, LH2, can exist as linear aggregates of 4 +/- 2 proteins in the photosynthetic membranes and that the protein distributions are highly heterogeneous. In the photosynthetic membranes examined in our measurements, the ratio of the aggregated to the nonaggregated LH2 proteins is about 3:1 to 5:1 depending on the intensity of the illumination used during sample incubation and on the bacterial species. AFM images further identify that the LH2 proteins in the linear aggregates are monotonically tilted at an angle 4 +/- 2 degrees from the plane of the photosynthetic membranes. The aggregates result in red-shifted absorption and emission spectra that are measured using various mutant membranes, including an LH2 knockout, LH1 knockout, and LH2 at different population densities. Measuring the fluorescence lifetimes of purified LH2 and LH2 in membranes, we have observed that the LH2 proteins in membranes exhibit biexponential lifetime decays whereas the purified LH2 proteins gave single exponential lifetime decays. We attribute that the two lifetime components originate from the existence of both aggregated and nonaggregated LH2 proteins in the photosynthetic membranes. PMID:19572507

  20. Single-molecule exploration of photoprotective mechanisms in light-harvesting complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Hsiang-Yu; Schlau-Cohen, Gabriela S.; Gwizdala, Michal; Krüger, Tjaart; Xu, Pengqi; Croce, Roberta; van Grondelle, Rienk; Moerner, W. E.

    2015-03-01

    Plants harvest sunlight by converting light energy to electron flow through the primary events in photosynthesis. One important question is how the light harvesting machinery adapts to fluctuating sunlight intensity. As a result of various regulatory processes, efficient light harvesting and photoprotection are balanced. Some of the biological steps in the photoprotective processes have been extensively studied and physiological regulatory factors have been identified. For example, the effect of lumen pH in changing carotenoid composition has been explored. However, the importance of photophysical dynamics in the initial light-harvesting steps and its relation to photoprotection remain poorly understood. Conformational and excited-state dynamics of multi-chromophore pigment-protein complexes are often difficult to study and limited information can be extracted from ensemble-averaged measurements. To address the problem, we use the Anti-Brownian ELectrokinetic (ABEL) trap to investigate the fluorescence from individual copies of light-harvesting complex II (LHCII), the primary antenna protein in higher plants, in a solution-phase environment. Perturbative surface immobilization or encapsulation schemes are avoided, and therefore the intrinsic dynamics and heterogeneity in the fluorescence of individual proteins are revealed. We perform simultaneous measurements of fluorescence intensity (brightness), excited-state lifetime, and emission spectrum of single trapped proteins. By analyzing the correlated changes between these observables, we identify forms of LHCII with different fluorescence intensities and excited-state lifetimes. The distinct forms may be associated with different energy dissipation mechanisms in the energy transfer chain. Changes of relative populations in response to pH and carotenoid composition are observed, which may extend our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of photoprotection.

  1. Differential Self-Assembly of Novel Redox Crown Ethers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merithew, Andrew William

    Retinal prosthesis relies on the stimulation of living nerve tissue behind the rods and cones of the eye. The current state of the art relies on electrodes controlled by cameras which directly stimulate the nerve tissue to elicit a response to an image. These types of retinal implants have allowed for short-term crude vision in patients but have had limited long term success due to external battery packs and electroplating of the implanted electrodes. Ionic stimulation is one of the principle mechanisms that sensory neurons utilize in the generation of an action potential. In a complex transduction pathway, ionic gradients are constantly altered inside the neuron by voltage sensors or mechanically controlled gates embedded in the neuronal cell membrane; responsible for the open and close state of these ion channels. It has been demonstrated that local concentration increases of K + by direct injection proximal to the nerve can elicit nerve firing at a concentration of 15-20 mM (3-4X normal concentration) increase in K + concentration. As part of a larger concept of integrating biotechnology with nanofabrication, the materials for the development of potassium selective sequestration/storage and delivery were developed in the form of a redox-gated K+ selective crown ether. The structure of the anthraquinone-based crown was deduced by computational simulation and stoichiometry of the complex confirmed by mass spec. along with 2D diffusion NMR techniques. In this instance, the stoichiometry could be controlled by the addition of different salts to give a 1:1 complex with large, aromatic anions and a 2:1 complex with smaller anions such as triflate. The synthesis of the molecule was optimized by computational modeling and simulations of transport through an artificial membrane. The selectivity of the architecture developed was specific for K+ over Na+, the other major ionic species present in the blood. The mechanism influencing the self-assembly of this class of compounds has much to do with the breakage of intramolecular pi-stacking interactions and the formation of stronger intermolecular pi-stacking interactions. Finally, the transport of K+ through nanoporous membranes and single nanopores with novel PEG-type polymeric dispersions is demonstrated. This thesis concludes with future work toward developing more advanced transporters and proposes novel uses for anthraquinone-appended polymers as proton exchange membranes and DNA-base pair interchelators.

  2. Efficient energy transfer in light-harvesting systems, I: optimal temperature, reorganization energy and spatial-temporal correlations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Jianlan; Liu, Fan; Shen, Young; Cao, Jianshu; Silbey, Robert J.

    2010-10-01

    Understanding the mechanisms of efficient and robust energy transfer in light-harvesting systems provides new insights for the optimal design of artificial systems. In this paper, we use the Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) protein complex and phycocyanin 645 (PC 645) to explore the general dependence on physical parameters that help maximize the efficiency and maintain its stability. With the Haken-Strobl model, the maximal energy transfer efficiency (ETE) is achieved under an intermediate optimal value of dephasing rate. To avoid the infinite temperature assumption in the Haken-Strobl model and the failure of the Redfield equation in predicting the Forster rate behavior, we use the generalized Bloch-Redfield (GBR) equation approach to correctly describe dissipative exciton dynamics, and we find that maximal ETE can be achieved under various physical conditions, including temperature, reorganization energy and spatial-temporal correlations in noise. We also identify regimes of reorganization energy where the ETE changes monotonically with temperature or spatial correlation and therefore cannot be optimized with respect to these two variables.

  3. Dark States in the Light-Harvesting complex 2 Revealed by Two-dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Ferretti, Marco; Hendrikx, Ruud; Romero, Elisabet; Southall, June; Cogdell, Richard J.; Novoderezhkin, Vladimir I.; Scholes, Gregory D.; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-01-01

    Energy transfer and trapping in the light harvesting antennae of purple photosynthetic bacteria is an ultrafast process, which occurs with a quantum efficiency close to unity. However the mechanisms behind this process have not yet been fully understood. Recently it was proposed that low-lying energy dark states, such as charge transfer states and polaron pairs, play an important role in the dynamics and directionality of energy transfer. However, it is difficult to directly detect those states because of their small transition dipole moment and overlap with the B850/B870 exciton bands. Here we present a new experimental approach, which combines the selectivity of two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy with the availability of genetically modified light harvesting complexes, to reveal the presence of those dark states in both the genetically modified and the wild-type light harvesting 2 complexes of Rhodopseudomonas palustris. We suggest that Nature has used the unavoidable charge transfer processes that occur when LH pigments are concentrated to enhance and direct the flow of energy. PMID:26857477

  4. Directed assembly of hierarchical light-harvesting complexes using virus capsid scaffolds and DNA origami tiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Debin; Capehart, Stacy; Pal, Suchetan; Liu, Minghui; Lau, Jolene; Yan, Hao; Francis, Matthew; Deyoreo, Jim; LBNL Team; UCB Team; ASU Team

    2013-03-01

    Directed assembly of nanostructures with molecular precision is of great importance to develop an insightful understanding of assembly pathways and dynamics as well as to derive new functionalities. In this work, we explore the use of virus capsids and DNA origami tiles as 3D scaffolds and 2D templates for directed assembly of light-harvesting molecules and plasmonic gold nanoparticles to achieve tunable photoemission. Bacteriophage MS2 virus capsids with well-defined spherical macromolecular structures are genetically modified to provide predictable steric arrangements of light-harvesting molecules. DNA origami tiles act as programmable planar templates to provide higher-order organization of oligonucleotide-functionalized light-harvesting capsids and plasmonic gold nanoparticles. The direct observation of distance dependent photoluminescence emission is carried out by our correlative approach combining atomic force microscopy and confocal fluorescence microscopy, which is in good agreement with our numerical simulation and theoretical calculation. This work will facilitate the construction of multicomponent biological-metal hybrid plasmonic nanostructures for nanophotonics and biosensing applications.

  5. Dark States in the Light-Harvesting complex 2 Revealed by Two-dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Ferretti, Marco; Hendrikx, Ruud; Romero, Elisabet; Southall, June; Cogdell, Richard J; Novoderezhkin, Vladimir I; Scholes, Gregory D; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-01-01

    Energy transfer and trapping in the light harvesting antennae of purple photosynthetic bacteria is an ultrafast process, which occurs with a quantum efficiency close to unity. However the mechanisms behind this process have not yet been fully understood. Recently it was proposed that low-lying energy dark states, such as charge transfer states and polaron pairs, play an important role in the dynamics and directionality of energy transfer. However, it is difficult to directly detect those states because of their small transition dipole moment and overlap with the B850/B870 exciton bands. Here we present a new experimental approach, which combines the selectivity of two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy with the availability of genetically modified light harvesting complexes, to reveal the presence of those dark states in both the genetically modified and the wild-type light harvesting 2 complexes of Rhodopseudomonas palustris. We suggest that Nature has used the unavoidable charge transfer processes that occur when LH pigments are concentrated to enhance and direct the flow of energy. PMID:26857477

  6. Dark States in the Light-Harvesting complex 2 Revealed by Two-dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferretti, Marco; Hendrikx, Ruud; Romero, Elisabet; Southall, June; Cogdell, Richard J.; Novoderezhkin, Vladimir I.; Scholes, Gregory D.; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-02-01

    Energy transfer and trapping in the light harvesting antennae of purple photosynthetic bacteria is an ultrafast process, which occurs with a quantum efficiency close to unity. However the mechanisms behind this process have not yet been fully understood. Recently it was proposed that low-lying energy dark states, such as charge transfer states and polaron pairs, play an important role in the dynamics and directionality of energy transfer. However, it is difficult to directly detect those states because of their small transition dipole moment and overlap with the B850/B870 exciton bands. Here we present a new experimental approach, which combines the selectivity of two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy with the availability of genetically modified light harvesting complexes, to reveal the presence of those dark states in both the genetically modified and the wild-type light harvesting 2 complexes of Rhodopseudomonas palustris. We suggest that Nature has used the unavoidable charge transfer processes that occur when LH pigments are concentrated to enhance and direct the flow of energy.

  7. Light harvesting in photonic crystals revisited: why do slow photons at the blue edge enhance absorption?

    PubMed

    Deparis, O; Mouchet, S R; Su, B-L

    2015-11-11

    Light harvesting enhancement by slow photons in photonic crystal catalysts or dye-sensitized solar cells is a promising approach for increasing the efficiency of photoreactions. This structural effect is exploited in inverse opal TiO2 photocatalysts by tuning the red edge of the photonic band gap to the TiO2 electronic excitation band edge. In spite of many experimental demonstrations, the slow photon effect is not fully understood yet. In particular, observed enhancement by tuning the blue edge has remained unexplained. Based on rigorous couple wave analysis simulations, we quantify light harvesting enhancement in terms of absorption increase at a specific wavelength (monochromatic UV illumination) or photocurrent increase (solar light illumination), with respect to homogeneous flat slab of equivalent material thickness. We show that the commonly accepted explanation relying on light intensity confinement in high (low) dielectric constant regions at the red (blue) edge is challenged in the case of TiO2 inverse opals because of the sub-wavelength size of the material skeleton. The reason why slow photons at the blue edge are also able to enhance light harvesting is the loose confinement of the field, which leads to significant resonantly enhanced field intensity overlap with the skeleton in both red and blue edge tuning cases, yet with different intensity patterns. PMID:26517229

  8. Phycobilisome Mobility and Its Role in the Regulation of Light Harvesting in Red Algae1[W

    PubMed Central

    Kaňa, Radek; Kotabová, Eva; Lukeš, Martin; Papáček, Štěpán; Matonoha, Ctirad; Liu, Lu-Ning; Prášil, Ondřej; Mullineaux, Conrad W.

    2014-01-01

    Red algae represent an evolutionarily important group that gave rise to the whole red clade of photosynthetic organisms. They contain a unique combination of light-harvesting systems represented by a membrane-bound antenna and by phycobilisomes situated on thylakoid membrane surfaces. So far, very little has been revealed about the mobility of their phycobilisomes and the regulation of their light-harvesting system in general. Therefore, we carried out a detailed analysis of phycobilisome dynamics in several red alga strains and compared these results with the presence (or absence) of photoprotective mechanisms. Our data conclusively prove phycobilisome mobility in two model mesophilic red alga strains, Porphyridium cruentum and Rhodella violacea. In contrast, there was almost no phycobilisome mobility in the thermophilic red alga Cyanidium caldarium that was not caused by a decrease in lipid desaturation in this extremophile. Experimental data attributed this immobility to the strong phycobilisome-photosystem interaction that highly restricted phycobilisome movement. Variations in phycobilisome mobility reflect the different ways in which light-harvesting antennae can be regulated in mesophilic and thermophilic red algae. Fluorescence changes attributed in cyanobacteria to state transitions were observed only in mesophilic P. cruentum with mobile phycobilisomes, and they were absent in the extremophilic C. caldarium with immobile phycobilisomes. We suggest that state transitions have an important regulatory function in mesophilic red algae; however, in thermophilic red algae, this process is replaced by nonphotochemical quenching. PMID:24948833

  9. Circular dichroism of carotenoids in bacterial light-harvesting complexes: experiments and modeling.

    PubMed

    Georgakopoulou, S; van Grondelle, R; van der Zwan, G

    2004-11-01

    In this work we investigate the origin and characteristics of the circular dichroism (CD) spectrum of rhodopin glucoside and lycopene in the light-harvesting 2 complex of Rhodopseudomonas acidophila and Rhodospirillum molischianum, respectively. We successfully model their absorption and CD spectra based on the high-resolution structures. We assume that these spectra originate from seven interacting transition dipole moments: the first corresponds to the 0-0 transition of the carotenoid, whereas the remaining six represent higher vibronic components of the S2 state. From the absorption spectra we get an estimate of the Franck-Condon factors of these transitions. Furthermore, we investigate the broadening mechanisms that lead to the final shape of the spectra and get an insight into the interaction energy between carotenoids. Finally, we examine the consequences of rotations of the carotenoid transition dipole moment and of deformations in the light-harvesting 2 complex rings. Comparison of the modeled carotenoid spectra with modeled spectra of the bacteriochlorophyll QY region leads to a refinement of the modeling procedure and an improvement of all calculated results. We therefore propose that the combined carotenoid and bacteriochlorophyll CD can be used as an accurate reflection of the overall structure of the light-harvesting complexes. PMID:15326029

  10. Design principles of natural light-harvesting as revealed by single molecule spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krüger, T. P. J.; van Grondelle, R.

    2016-01-01

    Biology offers a boundless source of adaptation, innovation, and inspiration. A wide range of photosynthetic organisms exist that are capable of harvesting solar light in an exceptionally efficient way, using abundant and low-cost materials. These natural light-harvesting complexes consist of proteins that strongly bind a high density of chromophores to capture solar photons and rapidly transfer the excitation energy to the photochemical reaction centre. The amount of harvested light is also delicately tuned to the level of solar radiation to maintain a constant energy throughput at the reaction centre and avoid the accumulation of the products of charge separation. In this Review, recent developments in the understanding of light-harvesting by plants will be discussed, based on results obtained from single molecule spectroscopy studies. Three design principles of the main light-harvesting antenna of plants will be highlighted: (a) fine, photoactive control over the intrinsic protein disorder to efficiently use intrinsically available thermal energy dissipation mechanisms; (b) the design of the protein microenvironment of a low-energy chromophore dimer to control the amount of shade absorption; (c) the design of the exciton manifold to ensure efficient funneling of the harvested light to the terminal emitter cluster.

  11. Phycobilisome Mobility and Its Role in the Regulation of Light Harvesting in Red Algae.

    PubMed

    Kaňa, Radek; Kotabová, Eva; Lukeš, Martin; Papáček, Stěpán; Matonoha, Ctirad; Liu, Lu-Ning; Prášil, Ondřej; Mullineaux, Conrad W

    2014-06-19

    Red algae represent an evolutionarily important group that gave rise to the whole red clade of photosynthetic organisms. They contain a unique combination of light-harvesting systems represented by a membrane-bound antenna and by phycobilisomes situated on thylakoid membrane surfaces. So far, very little has been revealed about the mobility of their phycobilisomes and the regulation of their light-harvesting system in general. Therefore, we carried out a detailed analysis of phycobilisome dynamics in several red alga strains and compared these results with the presence (or absence) of photoprotective mechanisms. Our data conclusively prove phycobilisome mobility in two model mesophilic red alga strains, Porphyridium cruentum and Rhodella violacea. In contrast, there was almost no phycobilisome mobility in the thermophilic red alga Cyanidium caldarium that was not caused by a decrease in lipid desaturation in this extremophile. Experimental data attributed this immobility to the strong phycobilisome-photosystem interaction that highly restricted phycobilisome movement. Variations in phycobilisome mobility reflect the different ways in which light-harvesting antennae can be regulated in mesophilic and thermophilic red algae. Fluorescence changes attributed in cyanobacteria to state transitions were observed only in mesophilic P. cruentum with mobile phycobilisomes, and they were absent in the extremophilic C. caldarium with immobile phycobilisomes. We suggest that state transitions have an important regulatory function in mesophilic red algae; however, in thermophilic red algae, this process is replaced by nonphotochemical quenching. PMID:24948833

  12. Design principles and fundamental trade-offs in biomimetic light harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarovar, Mohan; Whaley, K. Birgitta

    2013-01-01

    Recent developments in synthetic and supramolecular chemistry have created opportunities to design organic systems with tailored nanoscale structure for various technological applications. A key application area is the capture of light energy and its conversion into electrochemical or chemical forms for photovoltaic or sensing applications. In this work we consider cylindrical assemblies of chromophores that model structures produced by several supramolecular techniques. Our study is especially guided by the versatile structures produced by virus-templated assembly. We use a multi-objective optimization framework to determine design principles and limitations in light harvesting performance for such assemblies, both in the presence and absence of disorder. We identify a fundamental trade-off in cylindrical assemblies that is encountered when attempting to maximize both efficiency of energy transfer and absorption bandwidth. We also rationalize the optimal design strategies and provide explanations for why various structures provide optimal performance. Most importantly, we find that the optimal design strategies depend on the amount of energetic and structural disorder in the system. The aim of these studies is to develop a program of quantum-informed rational design for construction of organic assemblies that have the same degree of tailored nanoscale structure as biological photosynthetic light harvesting complexes, and consequently have the potential to reproduce their remarkable light harvesting performance.

  13. Dark States in the Light-Harvesting complex 2 Revealed by Two-dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Ferretti, Marco; Hendrikx, Ruud; Romero, Elisabet; Southall, June; Cogdell, Richard J.; Novoderezhkin, Vladimir I.; Scholes, Gregory D.; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-02-09

    Energy transfer and trapping in the light harvesting antennae of purple photosynthetic bacteria is an ultrafast process, which occurs with a quantum efficiency close to unity. However the mechanisms behind this process have not yet been fully understood. Recently it was proposed that low-lying energy dark states, such as charge transfer states and polaron pairs, play an important role in the dynamics and directionality of energy transfer. However, it is difficult to directly detect those states because of their small transition dipole moment and overlap with the B850/B870 exciton bands. Here we present a new experimental approach, which combines themore » selectivity of two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy with the availability of genetically modified light harvesting complexes, to reveal the presence of those dark states in both the genetically modified and the wild-type light harvesting 2 complexes of Rhodopseudomonas palustris. In conclusion, we suggest that Nature has used the unavoidable charge transfer processes that occur when LH pigments are concentrated to enhance and direct the flow of energy.« less

  14. Two Cyanobacterial Photoreceptors Regulate Photosynthetic Light Harvesting by Sensing Teal, Green, Yellow, and Red Light

    PubMed Central

    Wiltbank, Lisa B.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The genomes of many photosynthetic and nonphotosynthetic bacteria encode numerous phytochrome superfamily photoreceptors whose functions and interactions are largely unknown. Cyanobacterial genomes encode particularly large numbers of phytochrome superfamily members called cyanobacteriochromes. These have diverse light color-sensing abilities, and their functions and interactions are just beginning to be understood. One of the best characterized of these functions is the regulation of photosynthetic light-harvesting antenna composition in the cyanobacterium Fremyella diplosiphon by the cyanobacteriochrome RcaE in response to red and green light, a process known as chromatic acclimation. We have identified a new cyanobacteriochrome named DpxA that maximally senses teal (absorption maximum, 494 nm) and yellow (absorption maximum, 568 nm) light and represses the accumulation of a key light-harvesting protein called phycoerythrin, which is also regulated by RcaE during chromatic acclimation. Like RcaE, DpxA is a two-component system kinase, although these two photoreceptors can influence phycoerythrin expression through different signaling pathways. The peak responsiveness of DpxA to teal and yellow light provides highly refined color discrimination in the green spectral region, which provides important wavelengths for photosynthetic light harvesting in cyanobacteria. These results redefine chromatic acclimation in cyanobacteria and demonstrate that cyanobacteriochromes can coordinately impart sophisticated light color sensing across the visible spectrum to regulate important photosynthetic acclimation processes. PMID:26861023

  15. Antheraxanthin, a light harvesting carotenoid found in a chromophyte alga. [Chrysophaera magna Becher, Phaeodactylum tricornutum

    SciTech Connect

    Alberte, R.S.; Andersen, R.A.

    1986-02-01

    The pigments of the chromophyte freshwater alga, Chrysophaera magna Belcher were analyzed by thin layer chromatography (TLC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to reveal the presence of chlorophylls a and c, ..beta..-carotene, fucoxanthin, and antheraxanthin. The presence of antheraxanthin was verified by comparison of TLC R/sub F/ values, HPLC retention times, and absorption features to those of authentic, synthetic antheraxanthin. Antheraxanthin accounted for about 15% of the total carotenoid content of C. magna. The molar ratio of the major carotenoids was antheraxanthin:fucoxanthin:..beta..-carotene, 1:2.3:3.3. The whole-cell absorption spectrum revealed a broad band between 470 and 520 nanometers which was attributed to fucoxanthin and antheraxanthin in vivo. Upon extraction in hydrocarbon, this broad absorption region was lost. The in vivo fluorescence excitation spectrum for 680 nm emission revealed the energy transfer activities and light harvesting roles of chlorophylls a and c, and fucoxanthin. In addition, an excitation band was resolved at 487 nanometers which could be attributed only to antheraxanthin. Comparison of whole-cell fluorescence excitation spectra of C. magna with the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, which possesses fucoxanthin but not antheraxanthin, supports the assignment of the 487 nm band to antheraxanthin. This is the first report of a photosynthetic light harvesting function of the xanthophyll, antheraxanthin. This carotenoid broadens the absorption cross-section for photosynthesis in C. magna and extends light harvesting into the green portion of the spectrum.

  16. Functional quantum dot-protein nano bio-assembly for superior light harvesting applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mutlugun, Evren; Ozgur Safak Seker, Urartu; Hernandez-Martinez, Pedro Ludwig; Sharma, Vijay Kumar; Lesnyak, Vladimir; Gaponik, Nikolai; Eychmuller, Alexander; Demir, Hilmi Volkan

    2013-03-01

    The formation of functional bio-assemblies is crucial for the advanced biophotonic applications. In this work, we formed a nano bio-assembly, consisting of green fluorescent protein (GFP) and inorganic quantum dots (QDs), to employ as an excitonic biofunctional composite to use for light harvesting and biosensing applications. Using QDs as donor molecules with the acceptor GFP in the formed bio-assembly, we observed up-to 15-fold enhancement on the GFP emission, mediated by the strong nonradiative energy transfer. The lifetime modifications of the donor-acceptor pair were studied as a function of the number of proteins per quantum dot, and in good agreement with the proposed theoretical model based on the excitonic interaction among the species. Apart from the light harvesting system, a biosensing medium was also established, facilitated by the enzymatic activity destructing the light harvesting complex. The energy transferring QD-GFP complex was controllably modified by the addition of trypsin, by destroying the bond in between the QD-GFP complex, as verified by the observation of lifetime modifications. In summary, we developed functional excitonic nano-bio-assemblies, which we believe will open up new possibilities for advanced biophotonic applications. The author contributed equally to this work

  17. Synthesis of perylene-porphyrin building blocks and polymers thereof for the production of light-harvesting arrays

    DOEpatents

    Loewe, Robert S.; Tomizaki, Kin-ya; Lindsey, Jonathan S.

    2005-07-12

    The present invention provides methods, compounds, and compositions for the synthesis of light harvesting arrays, such arrays comprising: (a) a first substrate comprising a first electrode; and (b) a layer of light harvesting rods electrically coupled to said first electrode, each of said light harvesting rods comprising a polymer of Formula I: wherein m is at least 1; X.sup.1 is a charge separation group, and X.sup.2 through X.sup.m+1 are chromophores. At least one of X.sup.2 through X.sup.m+1 has at least one perylene group coupled thereto.

  18. Self-assembling biomolecular catalysts for hydrogen production.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Paul C; Patterson, Dustin P; Saboda, Kendall N; Edwards, Ethan J; Miettinen, Heini M; Basu, Gautam; Thielges, Megan C; Douglas, Trevor

    2016-02-01

    The chemistry of highly evolved protein-based compartments has inspired the design of new catalytically active materials that self-assemble from biological components. A frontier of this biodesign is the potential to contribute new catalytic systems for the production of sustainable fuels, such as hydrogen. Here, we show the encapsulation and protection of an active hydrogen-producing and oxygen-tolerant [NiFe]-hydrogenase, sequestered within the capsid of the bacteriophage P22 through directed self-assembly. We co-opted Escherichia coli for biomolecular synthesis and assembly of this nanomaterial by expressing and maturing the EcHyd-1 hydrogenase prior to expression of the P22 coat protein, which subsequently self assembles. By probing the infrared spectroscopic signatures and catalytic activity of the engineered material, we demonstrate that the capsid provides stability and protection to the hydrogenase cargo. These results illustrate how combining biological function with directed supramolecular self-assembly can be used to create new materials for sustainable catalysis. PMID:26791902

  19. Self-assembling biomolecular catalysts for hydrogen production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, Paul C.; Patterson, Dustin P.; Saboda, Kendall N.; Edwards, Ethan J.; Miettinen, Heini M.; Basu, Gautam; Thielges, Megan C.; Douglas, Trevor

    2016-02-01

    The chemistry of highly evolved protein-based compartments has inspired the design of new catalytically active materials that self-assemble from biological components. A frontier of this biodesign is the potential to contribute new catalytic systems for the production of sustainable fuels, such as hydrogen. Here, we show the encapsulation and protection of an active hydrogen-producing and oxygen-tolerant [NiFe]-hydrogenase, sequestered within the capsid of the bacteriophage P22 through directed self-assembly. We co-opted Escherichia coli for biomolecular synthesis and assembly of this nanomaterial by expressing and maturing the EcHyd-1 hydrogenase prior to expression of the P22 coat protein, which subsequently self assembles. By probing the infrared spectroscopic signatures and catalytic activity of the engineered material, we demonstrate that the capsid provides stability and protection to the hydrogenase cargo. These results illustrate how combining biological function with directed supramolecular self-assembly can be used to create new materials for sustainable catalysis.

  20. Self-assembling multidomain peptide fibers with aromatic cores

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Self-assembling multidomain peptides have been shown to have desirable properties, such as the ability to form hydrogels that rapidly recover following shear-thinning and the potential to be tailored by amino acid selection to vary their elasticity and encapsulate and deliver proteins and cells. Her...

  1. Surface chemistry: Self-assembling Sierpi?ski triangles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tait, Steven L.

    2015-05-01

    Defect-free Sierpi?ski triangles can be self-assembled on a silver surface through a combination of molecular design and thermal annealing. Three-fold halogen-bonding arrays and precise surface epitaxy preclude structural errors, thus enabling the high-level complexity of these supramolecular fractal patterns.

  2. Nano-imaging enabled via self-assembly

    PubMed Central

    McLeod, Euan; Ozcan, Aydogan

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Imaging object details with length scales below approximately 200 nm has been historically difficult for conventional microscope objective lenses because of their inability to resolve features smaller than one-half the optical wavelength. Here we review some of the recent approaches to surpass this limit by harnessing self-assembly as a fabrication mechanism. Self-assembly can be used to form individual nano- and micro-lenses, as well as to form extended arrays of such lenses. These lenses have been shown to enable imaging with resolutions as small as 50 nm half-pitch using visible light, which is well below the Abbe diffraction limit. Furthermore, self-assembled nano-lenses can be used to boost contrast and signal levels from small nano-particles, enabling them to be detected relative to background noise. Finally, alternative nano-imaging applications of self-assembly are discussed, including three-dimensional imaging, enhanced coupling from light-emitting diodes, and the fabrication of contrast agents such as quantum dots and nanoparticles. PMID:25506387

  3. Structure, function, self-assembly, and applications of bottlebrush copolymers.

    PubMed

    Verduzco, Rafael; Li, Xianyu; Pesek, Stacy L; Stein, Gila E

    2015-04-21

    Bottlebrush polymers are a type of branched or graft polymer with polymeric side-chains attached to a linear backbone, and the unusual architectures of bottlebrushes provide a number of unique and potentially useful properties. These include a high entanglement molecular weight, enabling rapid self-assembly of bottlebrush block copolymers into large domain structures, the self-assembly of bottlebrush block copolymer micelles in a selective solvent even at very low dilutions, and the functionalization of bottlebrush side-chains for recognition, imaging, or drug delivery in aqueous environments. This review article focuses on recent developments in the field of bottlebrush polymers with an emphasis on applications of bottlebrush copolymers. Bottlebrush copolymers contain two (or more) different types of polymeric side-chains. Recent work has explored the diverse properties and functions of bottlebrush polymers and copolymers in solutions, films, and melts, and applications explored include photonic materials, bottlebrush films for lithographic patterning, drug delivery, and tumor detection and imaging. We provide a brief introduction to bottlebrush synthesis and physical properties and then discuss work related to: (i) bottlebrush self-assembly in melts and bulk thin films, (ii) bottlebrushes for photonics and lithography, (iii) bottlebrushes for small molecule encapsulation and delivery in solution, and (iv) bottlebrush micelles and assemblies in solution. We briefly discuss three potential areas for future research, including developing a more quantitative model of bottlebrush self-assembly in the bulk, studying the properties of bottlebrushes at interfaces, and investigating the solution assembly of bottlebrush copolymers. PMID:25688538

  4. Soft self-assembled nanoparticles with temperature-dependent properties.

    PubMed

    Rovigatti, Lorenzo; Capone, Barbara; Likos, Christos N

    2016-02-14

    The fabrication of versatile building blocks that reliably self-assemble into desired ordered and disordered phases is amongst the hottest topics in contemporary materials science. To this end, microscopic units of varying complexity, aimed at assembling the target phases, have been thought, designed, investigated and built. Such a path usually requires laborious fabrication techniques, especially when specific functionalisation of the building blocks is required. Telechelic star polymers, i.e., star polymers made of a number of f di-block copolymers consisting of solvophobic and solvophilic monomers grafted on a central anchoring point, spontaneously self-assemble into soft patchy particles featuring attractive spots (patches) on the surface. Here we show that the tunability of such a system can be widely extended by controlling the physical and chemical parameters of the solution. Indeed, under fixed external conditions the self-assembly behaviour depends only on the number of arms and on the ratio of solvophobic to solvophilic monomers. However, changes in temperature and/or solvent quality make it possible to reliably change the number and size of the attractive patches. This allows the steering of the mesoscopic self-assembly behaviour without modifying the microscopic constituents. Interestingly, we also demonstrate that diverse combinations of the parameters can generate stars with the same number of patches but different radial and angular stiffness. This mechanism could provide a neat way of further fine-tuning the elastic properties of the supramolecular network without changing its topology. PMID:26467391

  5. Self-assembly from milli- to nanoscales: methods and applications

    PubMed Central

    Mastrangeli, M; Abbasi, S; Varel, C; Van Hoof, C; Celis, J-P; Böhringer, K F

    2009-01-01

    The design and fabrication techniques for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and nanodevices are progressing rapidly. However, due to material and process flow incompatibilities in the fabrication of sensors, actuators and electronic circuitry, a final packaging step is often necessary to integrate all components of a heterogeneous microsystem on a common substrate. Robotic pick-and-place, although accurate and reliable at larger scales, is a serial process that downscales unfavorably due to stiction problems, fragility and sheer number of components. Self-assembly, on the other hand, is parallel and can be used for device sizes ranging from millimeters to nanometers. In this review, the state-of-the-art in methods and applications for self-assembly is reviewed. Methods for assembling three-dimensional (3D) MEMS structures out of two-dimensional (2D) ones are described. The use of capillary forces for folding 2D plates into 3D structures, as well as assembling parts onto a common substrate or aggregating parts to each other into 2D or 3D structures, is discussed. Shape matching and guided assembly by magnetic forces and electric fields are also reviewed. Finally, colloidal self-assembly and DNA-based self-assembly, mainly used at the nanoscale, are surveyed, and aspects of theoretical modeling of stochastic assembly processes are discussed. PMID:20209016

  6. Hierarchical self-assembly of complex polyhedral microcontainers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filipiak, David J.; Azam, Anum; Leong, Timothy G.; Gracias, David H.

    2009-07-01

    The concept of self-assembly of a two-dimensional (2D) template to a three-dimensional (3D) structure has been suggested as a strategy to enable highly parallel fabrication of complex, patterned microstructures. We have previously studied the surface-tension-based self-assembly of patterned, microscale polyhedral containers (cubes, square pyramids and tetrahedral frusta). In this paper, we describe the observed hierarchical self-assembly of more complex, patterned polyhedral containers in the form of regular dodecahedra and octahedra. The hierarchical design methodology, combined with the use of self-correction mechanisms, was found to greatly reduce the propagation of self-assembly error that occurs in these more complex systems. It is a highly effective way to mass-produce patterned, complex 3D structures on the microscale and could also facilitate encapsulation of cargo in a parallel and cost-effective manner. Furthermore, the behavior that we have observed may be useful in the assembly of complex systems with large numbers of components.

  7. Soft self-assembled nanoparticles with temperature-dependent properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rovigatti, Lorenzo; Capone, Barbara; Likos, Christos N.

    2016-02-01

    The fabrication of versatile building blocks that reliably self-assemble into desired ordered and disordered phases is amongst the hottest topics in contemporary materials science. To this end, microscopic units of varying complexity, aimed at assembling the target phases, have been thought, designed, investigated and built. Such a path usually requires laborious fabrication techniques, especially when specific functionalisation of the building blocks is required. Telechelic star polymers, i.e., star polymers made of a number of f di-block copolymers consisting of solvophobic and solvophilic monomers grafted on a central anchoring point, spontaneously self-assemble into soft patchy particles featuring attractive spots (patches) on the surface. Here we show that the tunability of such a system can be widely extended by controlling the physical and chemical parameters of the solution. Indeed, under fixed external conditions the self-assembly behaviour depends only on the number of arms and on the ratio of solvophobic to solvophilic monomers. However, changes in temperature and/or solvent quality make it possible to reliably change the number and size of the attractive patches. This allows the steering of the mesoscopic self-assembly behaviour without modifying the microscopic constituents. Interestingly, we also demonstrate that diverse combinations of the parameters can generate stars with the same number of patches but different radial and angular stiffness. This mechanism could provide a neat way of further fine-tuning the elastic properties of the supramolecular network without changing its topology.

  8. Real-time tracking of superparamagnetic nanoparticle self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Siffalovic, P; Majkova, E; Chitu, L; Jergel, M; Luby, S; Capek, I; Satka, A; Timmann, A; Roth, S V

    2008-12-01

    The spontaneous self-assembly process of superparamagnetic nanoparticles in a fast-drying colloidal drop is observed in real time. The grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS) technique is employed for an in situ tracking of the reciprocal space, with a 3 ms delay time between subsequent frames delivered by a new generation of X-ray cameras. A focused synchrotron beam and sophisticated sample oscillations make it possible to relate the dynamic reciprocal to direct space features and to localize the self-assembly. In particular, no nanoparticle ordering is found inside the evaporating drop and near-surface region down to a drop thickness of 90 microm. Scanning through the shrinking drop-contact line indicates the start of self-assembly near the drop three-phase interface, in accord with theoretical predictions. The results obtained have direct implications for establishing the self-assembly process as a routine technological step in the preparation of new nanostructures. PMID:19003821

  9. Multistep hierarchical self-assembly of chiral nanopore arrays

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hanim; Lee, Sunhee; Shin, Tae Joo; Korblova, Eva; Walba, David M.; Clark, Noel A.; Lee, Sang Bok; Yoon, Dong Ki

    2014-01-01

    A series of simple hierarchical self-assembly steps achieve self-organization from the centimeter to the subnanometer-length scales in the form of square-centimeter arrays of linear nanopores, each one having a single chiral helical nanofilament of large internal surface area and interfacial interactions based on chiral crystalline molecular arrangements. PMID:25246585

  10. Electronic functionalization of organic semiconductors with self-assembled monolayers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podzorov, Vitaly

    2008-03-01

    Self-assembled monolayers (SAM) are widely used in a variety of emerging applications for surface modification of metals and oxides. Here, we demonstrate a new type of molecular self-assembly: the growth of organosilane SAMs at the surface of organic semiconductors. Remarkably, SAM growth results in a pronounced increase of surface conductivity of organic materials, which can be very large for SAMs with a strong electron withdrawing ability. For example, the conductivity induced by perfluorinated alkyl silanes in organic molecular crystals approaches 10̂-5 S per square, two orders of magnitude greater than the maximum conductivity typically achieved in organic field-effect transistors (OFETs). The observed large electronic effect opens new opportunities for nanoscale surface functionalization of organic semiconductors with molecular self-assembly. In particular, SAM-induced conductivity exhibits sensitivity to different molecular species present in the environment, which makes this system very attractive for chemical sensing applications [1]. [1]. M. F. Calhoun, J. Sanchez, D. Olaya, M. E. Gershenson and V. Podzorov, ``Electronic functionalization of the surface of organic semiconductors with self-assembled monolayers'', Nature Materials, Nov. 18, (2007).

  11. Self-assembled domain structures: From micro- to nanoscale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shur, Vladimir; Akhmatkhanov, Andrey; Lobov, Alexey; Turygin, Anton

    2015-06-01

    The recent achievements in studying the self-assembled evolution of micro- and nanoscale domain structures in uniaxial single crystalline ferroelectrics lithium niobate and lithium tantalate have been reviewed. The results obtained by visualization of static domain patterns and kinetics of the domain structure by different methods from common optical microscopy to more sophisticated scanning probe microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and confocal Raman microscopy, have been discussed. The kinetic approach based on various nucleation processes similar to the first-order phase transition was used for explanation of the domain structure evolution scenarios. The main mechanisms of self-assembling for nonequilibrium switching conditions caused by screening ineffectiveness including correlated nucleation, domain growth anisotropy, and domain-domain interaction have been considered. The formation of variety of self-assembled domain patterns such as fractal-type, finger and web structures, broad domain boundaries, and dendrites have been revealed at each of all five stages of domain structure evolution during polarization reversal. The possible applications of self-assembling for micro- and nanodomain engineering were reviewed briefly. The review covers mostly the results published by our research group.

  12. pH-directed self-assembling helical peptide conformation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The beta-sheet and alpha-helix peptide conformation are two of the most fundamentally ordered secondary structures found in proteins and peptides. They also give rise to self-assembling motifs that form macromolecular channels and nanostructures. Through design these conformations can yield enhance...

  13. Nanoparticle self-assembly: A loop of two rods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeom, Bongjun; Kotov, Nicholas A.

    2014-03-01

    The spontaneous organization of semiconductor nanoparticles into uniform pairs of parallel nanorods bridged at their ends illustrates the potential of hierarchical self-assembly processes for the formation of inorganic superstructures with complexity comparable to that of small self-organized biological aggregates.

  14. Microfluidic magnetic self-assembly at liquid-liquid interfaces.

    PubMed

    Jones, Steven G; Abbasi, Niki; Moon, Byeong-Ui; Tsai, Scott S H

    2016-03-14

    We present a microfluidic method that controllably self-assembles microparticles into clusters at an aqueous two-phase liquid-liquid interface. The liquid-liquid interface is formed between converging flows of aqueous dextran and polyethylene glycol, in a microfluidic cross-slot device. We control the size of the self-assembled particle clusters as they pass through the liquid-liquid interface, by systematically varying the applied magnetic field gradient, and the interfacial tension of the liquid-liquid interface. We find that upon penetration through the interface, the number of particles within a cluster increases with increasing interfacial tension, and decreasing magnetic field gradient. We also develop a scaling model of the number of particles within a cluster, and observe an inverse scaling of the number of particles within a cluster with the dimensionless magnetic Bond number. Upon cluster penetration across the liquid-liquid interface, we find magnetic Bond number regimes where the fluid coating drains away from the surface of the cluster, and where the clusters are encapsulated inside a thin film coating layer. This self-assembly technique may find application in controlling the size of microscale self-assemblies, and coating such assemblies; for example, in clustering and coating of cells for immunoisolated cell transplants. PMID:26854215

  15. TectoRNA and 'kissing-loop' RNA: atomic force microscopy of self-assembling RNA structures.

    PubMed

    Hansma, H G; Oroudjev, E; Baudrey, S; Jaeger, L

    2003-12-01

    RNA molecules have been much less studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM) than have DNA molecules. In this paper, AFM imaging is presented for two different RNA molecules able to self-assemble into complex supramolecular architectures. The first one is a molecular dimer of a 230-nt RNA fragment coming from the RNA genome of a murine leukaemia virus. The monomeric RNA fragment, which appears by AFM as an elongated structure with a mean aspect ratio of 1.4, assembles into a dimer of elongated structures through the formation of a 'kissing-loop' RNA interaction. The second one is a large supramolecular fibre formed of artificial self-assembling RNA molecular units called tectoRNA. The fibre lengths by AFM suggest that there are 50-70 tectoRNA units per fibre. Some methods and limitations are presented for measuring molecular volumes from AFM images. PMID:14629553

  16. Probabilistic Analysis of Pattern Formation in Monotonic Self-Assembly.

    PubMed

    Moore, Tyler G; Garzon, Max H; Deaton, Russell J

    2015-01-01

    Inspired by biological systems, self-assembly aims to construct complex structures. It functions through piece-wise, local interactions among component parts and has the potential to produce novel materials and devices at the nanoscale. Algorithmic self-assembly models the product of self-assembly as the output of some computational process, and attempts to control the process of assembly algorithmically. Though providing fundamental insights, these computational models have yet to fully account for the randomness that is inherent in experimental realizations, which tend to be based on trial and error methods. In order to develop a method of analysis that addresses experimental parameters, such as error and yield, this work focuses on the capability of assembly systems to produce a pre-determined set of target patterns, either accurately or perhaps only approximately. Self-assembly systems that assemble patterns that are similar to the targets in a significant percentage are "strong" assemblers. In addition, assemblers should predominantly produce target patterns, with a small percentage of errors or junk. These definitions approximate notions of yield and purity in chemistry and manufacturing. By combining these definitions, a criterion for efficient assembly is developed that can be used to compare the ability of different assembly systems to produce a given target set. Efficiency is a composite measure of the accuracy and purity of an assembler. Typical examples in algorithmic assembly are assessed in the context of these metrics. In addition to validating the method, they also provide some insight that might be used to guide experimentation. Finally, some general results are established that, for efficient assembly, imply that every target pattern is guaranteed to be assembled with a minimum common positive probability, regardless of its size, and that a trichotomy exists to characterize the global behavior of typical efficient, monotonic self-assembly systems in the literature. PMID:26421616

  17. Staging the self-assembly process: inspiration from biological development.

    PubMed

    Bhalla, Navneet; Bentley, Peter J; Vize, Peter D; Jacob, Christian

    2014-01-01

    One of the practical challenges facing the creation of self-assembling systems is being able to exploit a limited set of fixed components and their bonding mechanisms. The method of staging divides the self-assembly process into time intervals, during which components can be added to, or removed from, an environment at each interval. Staging addresses the challenge of using components that lack plasticity by encoding the construction of a target structure in the staging algorithm itself and not exclusively in the design of the components. Previous staging strategies do not consider the interplay between component physical features (morphological information). In this work we use morphological information to stage the self-assembly process, during which components can only be added to their environment at each time interval, to demonstrate our concept. Four experiments are presented, which use heterogeneous, passive, mechanical components that are fabricated using 3D printing. Two orbital shaking environments are used to provide energy to the components and to investigate the role of morphological information with component movement in either two or three spatial dimensions. The benefit of our staging strategy is shown by reducing assembly errors and exploiting bonding mechanisms with rotational properties. As well, a doglike target structure is used to demonstrate in theory how component information used at an earlier time interval can be reused at a later time interval, inspired by the use of a body plan in biological development. We propose that a staged body plan is one method toward scaling self-assembling systems with many interacting components. The experiments and body plan example demonstrate, as proof of concept, that staging enables the self-assembly of more complex morphologies not otherwise possible. PMID:23373983

  18. Probabilistic Analysis of Pattern Formation in Monotonic Self-Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Tyler G.; Garzon, Max H.; Deaton, Russell J.

    2015-01-01

    Inspired by biological systems, self-assembly aims to construct complex structures. It functions through piece-wise, local interactions among component parts and has the potential to produce novel materials and devices at the nanoscale. Algorithmic self-assembly models the product of self-assembly as the output of some computational process, and attempts to control the process of assembly algorithmically. Though providing fundamental insights, these computational models have yet to fully account for the randomness that is inherent in experimental realizations, which tend to be based on trial and error methods. In order to develop a method of analysis that addresses experimental parameters, such as error and yield, this work focuses on the capability of assembly systems to produce a pre-determined set of target patterns, either accurately or perhaps only approximately. Self-assembly systems that assemble patterns that are similar to the targets in a significant percentage are “strong” assemblers. In addition, assemblers should predominantly produce target patterns, with a small percentage of errors or junk. These definitions approximate notions of yield and purity in chemistry and manufacturing. By combining these definitions, a criterion for efficient assembly is developed that can be used to compare the ability of different assembly systems to produce a given target set. Efficiency is a composite measure of the accuracy and purity of an assembler. Typical examples in algorithmic assembly are assessed in the context of these metrics. In addition to validating the method, they also provide some insight that might be used to guide experimentation. Finally, some general results are established that, for efficient assembly, imply that every target pattern is guaranteed to be assembled with a minimum common positive probability, regardless of its size, and that a trichotomy exists to characterize the global behavior of typical efficient, monotonic self-assembly systems in the literature. PMID:26421616

  19. The Self-Made Puzzle: Integrating Self-Assembly and Pattern Formation Under Non-Random Genetic Regulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doursat, René

    On the one hand, research in self-assembling systems, whether natural or artificial, has traditionally focused on pre-existing components endowed with fixed shapes. Biological development, by contrast, dynamically creates new cells that acquire selective adhesion properties through differentiation induced by their neighborhood. On the other hand, pattern formation phenomena are generally construed as orderly states of activity on top of a continuous 2-D or 3-D substrate. Yet, again, the spontaneous patterning of an organism into domains of gene expression arises within a multicellular medium in perpetual expansion and reshaping. Finally, both phenomena are often thought in terms of stochastic events, whether mixed components that randomly collide in self-assembly, or spots and stripes that occur unpredictably from instabilities in pattern formation. Here too, these notions need significant revision if they are to be extended and applied to embryogenesis. Cells are not randomly mixed but pre-positioned where cell division occurs. Genetic identity domains are not randomly distributed but highly regulated in number and position. In this work, I present a computational model of program-mable and reproducible artificial morphogenesis that integrates self-assembly and pattern formation under the control of a nonrandom gene regulatory network. The specialized properties of cells (division, adhesion, migration) are determined by the gene expression domains to which they belong, while at the same time these domains further expand and segment into subdomains due to the self-assembly of specialized cells. Through this model, I also promote a new discipline, embryomorphic engineering to solve the paradox of "meta-designing" decentralized, autonomous systems.

  20. Hierarchical self-assembly: Self-organized nanostructures in a nematically ordered matrix of self-assembled polymeric chains.

    PubMed

    Mubeena, Shaikh; Chatterji, Apratim

    2015-03-01

    We report many different nanostructures which are formed when model nanoparticles of different sizes (diameter σn) are allowed to aggregate in a background matrix of semiflexible self-assembled polymeric wormlike micellar chains. The different nanostructures are formed by the dynamical arrest of phase-separating mixtures of micellar monomers and nanoparticles. The different morphologies obtained are the result of an interplay of the available free volume, the elastic energy of deformation of polymers, the density (chemical potential) of the nanoparticles in the polymer matrix, and, of course, the ratio of the size of self-assembling nanoparticles and self-avoidance diameter of polymeric chains. We have used a hybrid semi-grand-canonical Monte Carlo simulation scheme to obtain the (nonequilibrium) phase diagram of the self-assembled nanostructures. We observe rodlike structures of nanoparticles which get self-assembled in the gaps between the nematically ordered chains, as well as percolating gel-like network of conjoined nanotubes. We also find a totally unexpected interlocked crystalline phase of nanoparticles and monomers, in which each crystal plane of nanoparticles is separated by planes of perfectly organized polymer chains. We identified the condition which leads to such interlocked crystal structure. We suggest experimental possibilities of how the results presented in this paper could be used to obtain different nanostructures in the laboratory. PMID:25871136

  1. Tissue engineering by self-assembly and bio-printing of living cells

    PubMed Central

    Jakab, Karoly; Marga, Francoise; Norotte, Cyrille; Murphy, Keith; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana; Forgacs, Gabor

    2013-01-01

    Biofabrication of living structures with desired topology and functionality requires the interdisciplinary effort of practitioners of the physical, life, medical and engineering sciences. Such efforts are being undertaken in many laboratories around the world. Numerous approaches are being pursued, such as those based on the use of natural or artificial scaffolds, decellularized cadaveric extracellular matrices and lately bioprinting. To be successful in this endeavor it is crucial to provide in vitro micro-environmental clues for the cells resembling those in the organism. Therefore scaffolds populated with differentiated cells or stem cells of increasing complexity and sophistication are being fabricated. However, scaffolds, no matter how sophisticated they are, can cause problems stemming from their degradation, eliciting immunogenic reactions and other a priori unforeseen complications. It is also being realized that ultimately the best approach is to rely on the self-assembly and self-organizing properties of cells and tissues and the innate regenerative capability of the organism itself, not just simply prepare tissue and organ structures in vitro followed by their implantation. Here we briefly review the different strategies for the fabrication of three-dimensional biological structures, in particular bioprinting. We detail a fully biological, scaffoldless, print-based engineering approach that uses self-assembling multicellular units as bioink particles and employs early developmental morphogenetic principles, such as cell sorting and tissue fusion. PMID:20811127

  2. Nanometric self-assembling peptide layers maintain adult hepatocyte phenotype in sandwich cultures

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Isolated hepatocytes removed from their microenvironment soon lose their hepatospecific functions when cultured. Normally hepatocytes are commonly maintained under limited culture medium supply as well as scaffold thickness. Thus, the cells are forced into metabolic stress that degenerate liver specific functions. This study aims to improve hepatospecific activity by creating a platform based on classical collagen sandwich cultures. Results The modified sandwich cultures replace collagen with self-assembling peptide, RAD16-I, combined with functional peptide motifs such as the integrin-binding sequence RGD and the laminin receptor binding sequence YIG to create a cell-instructive scaffold. In this work, we show that a plasma-deposited coating can be used to obtain a peptide layer thickness in the nanometric range, which in combination with the incorporation of functional peptide motifs have a positive effect on the expression of adult hepatocyte markers including albumin, CYP3A2 and HNF4-alpha. Conclusions This study demonstrates the capacity of sandwich cultures with modified instructive self-assembling peptides to promote cell-matrix interaction and the importance of thinner scaffold layers to overcome mass transfer problems. We believe that this bioengineered platform improves the existing hepatocyte culture methods to be used for predictive toxicology and eventually for hepatic assist technologies and future artificial organs. PMID:21143997

  3. Branched peptide-amphiphiles as self-assembling coatings for tissue engineering scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Harrington, Daniel A; Cheng, Earl Y; Guler, Mustafa O; Lee, Leslie K; Donovan, Jena L; Claussen, Randal C; Stupp, Samuel I

    2006-07-01

    An important challenge in regenerative medicine is the design of suitable bioactive scaffold materials that can act as artificial extracellular matrices. We reported previously on a family of peptide-amphiphile (PA) molecules that self-assemble into high-aspect ratio nanofibers under physiological conditions, and can display bioactive peptide epitopes along each nanofiber's periphery. One type of PA displays its epitope at a branched site using a lysine dendron, a molecular feature that improves epitope availability on the nanofiber surface. In this work, we describe the application of these branched PA (b-PA) systems as self-assembling coatings for fiber-bonded poly(glycolic acid) scaffolds. b-PAs bearing variations of the RGDS adhesion epitope from fibronectin were shown by elemental analysis to coat repeatably onto fiber scaffolds. The retention of supramolecular organization after coating on the scaffold was demonstrated through spectroscopic identification of beta-sheet structures and the close association of hydrophobic tails in a model pyrene-containing PA system. Primary human bladder smooth muscle cells demonstrated greater initial adhesion to b-PA-functionalized scaffolds than to bare scaffolds or to those coated with linear PAs. This strategy of molecular design and coating may have potential application in bladder tissue regeneration. PMID:16619254

  4. Smart gating membranes with in situ self-assembled responsive nanogels as functional gates

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Feng; Xie, Rui; Liu, Zhuang; Ju, Xiao-Jie; Wang, Wei; Lin, Shuo; Chu, Liang-Yin

    2015-01-01

    Smart gating membranes, inspired by the gating function of ion channels across cell membranes, are artificial membranes composed of non-responsive porous membrane substrates and responsive gates in the membrane pores that are able to dramatically regulate the trans-membrane transport of substances in response to environmental stimuli. Easy fabrication, high flux, significant response and strong mechanical strength are critical for the versatility of such smart gating membranes. Here we show a novel and simple strategy for one-step fabrication of smart gating membranes with three-dimensionally interconnected networks of functional gates, by self-assembling responsive nanogels on membrane pore surfaces in situ during a vapor-induced phase separation process for membrane formation. The smart gating membranes with in situ self-assembled responsive nanogels as functional gates show large flux, significant response and excellent mechanical property simultaneously. Because of the easy fabrication method as well as the concurrent enhancement of flux, response and mechanical property, the proposed smart gating membranes will expand the scope of membrane applications, and provide ever better performances in their applications. PMID:26434387

  5. Smart gating membranes with in situ self-assembled responsive nanogels as functional gates.

    PubMed

    Luo, Feng; Xie, Rui; Liu, Zhuang; Ju, Xiao-Jie; Wang, Wei; Lin, Shuo; Chu, Liang-Yin

    2015-01-01

    Smart gating membranes, inspired by the gating function of ion channels across cell membranes, are artificial membranes composed of non-responsive porous membrane substrates and responsive gates in the membrane pores that are able to dramatically regulate the trans-membrane transport of substances in response to environmental stimuli. Easy fabrication, high flux, significant response and strong mechanical strength are critical for the versatility of such smart gating membranes. Here we show a novel and simple strategy for one-step fabrication of smart gating membranes with three-dimensionally interconnected networks of functional gates, by self-assembling responsive nanogels on membrane pore surfaces in situ during a vapor-induced phase separation process for membrane formation. The smart gating membranes with in situ self-assembled responsive nanogels as functional gates show large flux, significant response and excellent mechanical property simultaneously. Because of the easy fabrication method as well as the concurrent enhancement of flux, response and mechanical property, the proposed smart gating membranes will expand the scope of membrane applications, and provide ever better performances in their applications. PMID:26434387

  6. Stimuli-Responsive Codelivery of Oligonucleotides and Drugs by Self-Assembled Peptide Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Sigg, Severin J; Postupalenko, Viktoriia; Duskey, Jason T; Palivan, Cornelia G; Meier, Wolfgang

    2016-03-14

    Ever more emerging combined treatments exploiting synergistic effects of drug combinations demand smart, responsive codelivery carriers to reveal their full potential. In this study, a multifunctional stimuli-responsive amphiphilic peptide was designed and synthesized to self-assemble into nanoparticles capable of co-bearing and -releasing hydrophobic drugs and antisense oligonucleotides for combined therapies. The rational design was based on a hydrophobic l-tryptophan-d-leucine repeating unit derived from a truncated sequence of gramicidin A (gT), to entrap hydrophobic cargo, which is combined with a hydrophilic moiety of histidines to provide electrostatic affinity to nucleotides. Stimuli-responsiveness was implemented by linking the hydrophobic and hydrophilic sequence through an artificial amino acid bearing a disulfide functional group (H3SSgT). Stimuli-responsive peptides self-assembled in spherical nanoparticles in sizes (100-200 nm) generally considered as preferable for drug delivery applications. Responsive peptide nanoparticles revealed notable nucleotide condensing abilities while maintaining the ability to load hydrophobic cargo. The disulfide cleavage site introduced in the peptide sequence induced responsiveness to physiological concentrations of reducing agent, serving to release the incorporated molecules. Furthermore, the peptide nanoparticles, singly loaded or coloaded with boron-dipyrromethene (BODIPY) and/or antisense oligonucleotides, were efficiently taken up by cells. Such amphiphilic peptides that led to noncytotoxic, reduction-responsive nanoparticles capable of codelivering hydrophobic and nucleic acid payloads simultaneously provide potential toward combined treatment strategies to exploit synergistic effects. PMID:26871486

  7. Smart gating membranes with in situ self-assembled responsive nanogels as functional gates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Feng; Xie, Rui; Liu, Zhuang; Ju, Xiao-Jie; Wang, Wei; Lin, Shuo; Chu, Liang-Yin

    2015-10-01

    Smart gating membranes, inspired by the gating function of ion channels across cell membranes, are artificial membranes composed of non-responsive porous membrane substrates and responsive gates in the membrane pores that are able to dramatically regulate the trans-membrane transport of substances in response to environmental stimuli. Easy fabrication, high flux, significant response and strong mechanical strength are critical for the versatility of such smart gating membranes. Here we show a novel and simple strategy for one-step fabrication of smart gating membranes with three-dimensionally interconnected networks of functional gates, by self-assembling responsive nanogels on membrane pore surfaces in situ during a vapor-induced phase separation process for membrane formation. The smart gating membranes with in situ self-assembled responsive nanogels as functional gates show large flux, significant response and excellent mechanical property simultaneously. Because of the easy fabrication method as well as the concurrent enhancement of flux, response and mechanical property, the proposed smart gating membranes will expand the scope of membrane applications, and provide ever better performances in their applications.

  8. A Case Study of the Likes and Dislikes of DNA and RNA in Self-Assembly.

    PubMed

    Zuo, Hua; Wu, Siyu; Li, Mo; Li, Yulin; Jiang, Wen; Mao, Chengde

    2015-12-01

    Programmed self-assembly of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) is an active research area as it promises a general approach for nanoconstruction. Whereas DNA self-assembly has been extensively studied, RNA self-assembly lags much behind. One strategy to boost RNA self-assembly is to adapt the methods of DNA self-assembly for RNA self-assembly because of the chemical and structural similarities of DNA and RNA. However, these two types of molecules are still significantly different. To enable the rational design of RNA self-assembly, a thorough examination of their likes and dislikes in programmed self-assembly is needed. The current work begins to address this task. It was found that similar, two-stranded motifs of RNA and DNA lead to similar, but clearly different nanostructures. PMID:26457993

  9. Self-assembled photosystem-I biophotovoltaics on nanostructured TiO(2 )and ZnO.

    PubMed

    Mershin, Andreas; Matsumoto, Kazuya; Kaiser, Liselotte; Yu, Daoyong; Vaughn, Michael; Nazeeruddin, Md K; Bruce, Barry D; Graetzel, Michael; Zhang, Shuguang

    2012-01-01

    The abundant pigment-protein membrane complex photosystem-I (PS-I) is at the heart of the Earth's energy cycle. It is the central molecule in the "Z-scheme" of photosynthesis, converting sunlight into the chemical energy of life. Commandeering this intricately organized photosynthetic nanocircuitry and re-wiring it to produce electricity carries the promise of inexpensive and environmentally friendly solar power. We here report that dry PS-I stabilized by surfactant peptides functioned as both the light-harvester and charge separator in solar cells self-assembled on nanostructured semiconductors. Contrary to previous attempts at biophotovoltaics requiring elaborate surface chemistries, thin film deposition, and illumination concentrated into narrow wavelength ranges the devices described here are straightforward and inexpensive to fabricate and perform well under standard sunlight yielding open circuit photovoltage of 0.5 V, fill factor of 71%, electrical power density of 81 µW/cm(2) and photocurrent density of 362 µA/cm(2), over four orders of magnitude higher than any photosystem-based biophotovoltaic to date. PMID:22355747

  10. Self-assembled photosystem-I biophotovoltaics on nanostructured TiO2 and ZnO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mershin, Andreas; Matsumoto, Kazuya; Kaiser, Liselotte; Yu, Daoyong; Vaughn, Michael; Nazeeruddin, Md. K.; Bruce, Barry D.; Graetzel, Michael; Zhang, Shuguang

    2012-02-01

    The abundant pigment-protein membrane complex photosystem-I (PS-I) is at the heart of the Earth's energy cycle. It is the central molecule in the ``Z-scheme'' of photosynthesis, converting sunlight into the chemical energy of life. Commandeering this intricately organized photosynthetic nanocircuitry and re-wiring it to produce electricity carries the promise of inexpensive and environmentally friendly solar power. We here report that dry PS-I stabilized by surfactant peptides functioned as both the light-harvester and charge separator in solar cells self-assembled on nanostructured semiconductors. Contrary to previous attempts at biophotovoltaics requiring elaborate surface chemistries, thin film deposition, and illumination concentrated into narrow wavelength ranges the devices described here are straightforward and inexpensive to fabricate and perform well under standard sunlight yielding open circuit photovoltage of 0.5 V, fill factor of 71%, electrical power density of 81 µW/cm2 and photocurrent density of 362 µA/cm2, over four orders of magnitude higher than any photosystem-based biophotovoltaic to date.

  11. Self-assembled photosystem-I biophotovoltaics on nanostructured TiO2 and ZnO

    PubMed Central

    Mershin, Andreas; Matsumoto, Kazuya; Kaiser, Liselotte; Yu, Daoyong; Vaughn, Michael; Nazeeruddin, Md. K.; Bruce, Barry D.; Graetzel, Michael; Zhang, Shuguang

    2012-01-01

    The abundant pigment-protein membrane complex photosystem-I (PS-I) is at the heart of the Earth’s energy cycle. It is the central molecule in the “Z-scheme” of photosynthesis, converting sunlight into the chemical energy of life. Commandeering this intricately organized photosynthetic nanocircuitry and re-wiring it to produce electricity carries the promise of inexpensive and environmentally friendly solar power. We here report that dry PS-I stabilized by surfactant peptides functioned as both the light-harvester and charge separator in solar cells self-assembled on nanostructured semiconductors. Contrary to previous attempts at biophotovoltaics requiring elaborate surface chemistries, thin film deposition, and illumination concentrated into narrow wavelength ranges the devices described here are straightforward and inexpensive to fabricate and perform well under standard sunlight yielding open circuit photovoltage of 0.5 V, fill factor of 71%, electrical power density of 81 µW/cm2 and photocurrent density of 362 µA/cm2, over four orders of magnitude higher than any photosystem-based biophotovoltaic to date. PMID:22355747

  12. Anion-dipole interactions make the homopolymers self-assemble into multiple nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Wang, Long-Hai; Zhang, Zi-Dan; Hong, Chun-Yan; He, Xue-Hao; You, Wei; You, Ye-Zi

    2015-05-27

    Anion-dipole interactions can make homopolymers self-assemble like an amphiphilic block copolymer. Generally, common homopolymers cannot self-assemble into multiple nanostructures. Here, it is reported that anion-dipole interactions can enable a number of homopolymers to achieve a variety of self-assembly behaviors in aqueous solution. Such interactions and self-assembly features have been exclusively reserved for amphiphilic (block) polymers until now. PMID:25873566

  13. Predicting supramolecular self-assembly on reconstructed metal surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roussel, Thomas J.; Barrena, Esther; Ocal, Carmen; Faraudo, Jordi

    2014-06-01

    The prediction of supramolecular self-assembly onto solid surfaces is still challenging in many situations of interest for nanoscience. In particular, no previous simulation approach has been capable to simulate large self-assembly patterns of organic molecules over reconstructed surfaces (which have periodicities over large distances) due to the large number of surface atoms and adsorbing molecules involved. Using a novel simulation technique, we report here large scale simulations of the self-assembly patterns of an organic molecule (DIP) over different reconstructions of the Au(111) surface. We show that on particular reconstructions, the molecule-molecule interactions are enhanced in a way that long-range order is promoted. Also, the presence of a distortion in a reconstructed surface pattern not only induces the presence of long-range order but also is able to drive the organization of DIP into two coexisting homochiral domains, in quantitative agreement with STM experiments. On the other hand, only short range order is obtained in other reconstructions of the Au(111) surface. The simulation strategy opens interesting perspectives to tune the supramolecular structure by simulation design and surface engineering if choosing the right molecular building blocks and stabilising the chosen reconstruction pattern.The prediction of supramolecular self-assembly onto solid surfaces is still challenging in many situations of interest for nanoscience. In particular, no previous simulation approach has been capable to simulate large self-assembly patterns of organic molecules over reconstructed surfaces (which have periodicities over large distances) due to the large number of surface atoms and adsorbing molecules involved. Using a novel simulation technique, we report here large scale simulations of the self-assembly patterns of an organic molecule (DIP) over different reconstructions of the Au(111) surface. We show that on particular reconstructions, the molecule-molecule interactions are enhanced in a way that long-range order is promoted. Also, the presence of a distortion in a reconstructed surface pattern not only induces the presence of long-range order but also is able to drive the organization of DIP into two coexisting homochiral domains, in quantitative agreement with STM experiments. On the other hand, only short range order is obtained in other reconstructions of the Au(111) surface. The simulation strategy opens interesting perspectives to tune the supramolecular structure by simulation design and surface engineering if choosing the right molecular building blocks and stabilising the chosen reconstruction pattern. GA image adapted from refs: (a) Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2001, 3, 3399-3404, with permission from the PCCP Owner Societies, and (b) J. Phys. Chem. C, 2008, 112 (18), 7168-7172, reprinted with permission from the American Chemical Society, copyright © 2008.

  14. Ultrathin efficient perovskite solar cells employing a periodic structure of a composite hole conductor for elevated plasmonic light harvesting and hole collection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Mingzhu; Chen, Zefeng; Zhang, Tiankai; Xiao, Yubin; Zeng, Xiaoliang; Chen, Jian; Yan, Keyou; Xu, Jianbin

    2016-03-01

    We developed a molecule/polymer composite hole transporting material (HTM) with a periodic microstructure for morphology replication of a corrugated Au electrode, which in combination plays a dual role in the optical and electronic enhancement of high performance perovskite solar cells (PSCs). The electro-optics revealed that perovskite couldn't readily extinct the red light even though the thickness increased to 370 nm, but we found that the quasi periodic microstructure composite (PMC) HTM in combination with the conformal Au electrode could promote the absorption through the enhanced cavity effects, leading to comparable absorption even using much thinner perovskite (240 nm). We identified that the cavity was the combination of Fabry-Pérot interferometer and surface plasmonic resonance, with light harvesting enhancement through surface plasmon polariton or waveguide modes that propagate in the plane of the perovskite layer. On the other hand, the PMC HTM increased hole conductivity by one order of magnitude with respect to standard spiro-OMeTAD HTM due to molecular packing and self-assembly, embodying traceable hole mobility and density elevation up to 3 times, and thus the hysteresis was greatly avoided. Owing to dual optical and electronic enhancement, the PMC PSC afforded high efficiency PSC using as thin as 240 nm perovskite layer, delivering a Voc of 1.05 V, Jsc of 22.9 mA cm-2, FF of 0.736, and efficiency amounting to 17.7% PCE, the highest efficiency with ultrathin perovskite layer.We developed a molecule/polymer composite hole transporting material (HTM) with a periodic microstructure for morphology replication of a corrugated Au electrode, which in combination plays a dual role in the optical and electronic enhancement of high performance perovskite solar cells (PSCs). The electro-optics revealed that perovskite couldn't readily extinct the red light even though the thickness increased to 370 nm, but we found that the quasi periodic microstructure composite (PMC) HTM in combination with the conformal Au electrode could promote the absorption through the enhanced cavity effects, leading to comparable absorption even using much thinner perovskite (240 nm). We identified that the cavity was the combination of Fabry-Pérot interferometer and surface plasmonic resonance, with light harvesting enhancement through surface plasmon polariton or waveguide modes that propagate in the plane of the perovskite layer. On the other hand, the PMC HTM increased hole conductivity by one order of magnitude with respect to standard spiro-OMeTAD HTM due to molecular packing and self-assembly, embodying traceable hole mobility and density elevation up to 3 times, and thus the hysteresis was greatly avoided. Owing to dual optical and electronic enhancement, the PMC PSC afforded high efficiency PSC using as thin as 240 nm perovskite layer, delivering a Voc of 1.05 V, Jsc of 22.9 mA cm-2, FF of 0.736, and efficiency amounting to 17.7% PCE, the highest efficiency with ultrathin perovskite layer. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: XRD patterns corresponding to the perovskite; AFM images of 3D PMC HTM perovskite solar cells; performance statistics for 3D PMC HTM; ultraviolet photoelectron spectra (UPS) of HTMs on FTO. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr05042a

  15. J-aggregation of cyanine dyes by self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Steiger, Rolf; Pugin, Raphaël; Heier, Jakob

    2009-12-01

    The importance of highly ordered surfaces, containing adsorptive surface states, is discussed for J-aggregation by self-assembly. Such nucleating surfaces are nanometer-sized edges and corners of cubic AgBr microcrystals, or surface iodide-clusters located along edges and corners of AgBr:I microcrystals. Of particular interest are dendrimers, monoatomic steps on terraced silver halide microcrystals and fullerene derivatives as nucleating surfaces. Molecular organisation into J-aggregates by self-assembly was realized using aprotic, apolar solvents for fullerenes, and polar solvents for dendrimers and monoatomic surface steps. By using dendrimers as nucleating agents in mesopores of metal oxide nanoparticle coatings, size-controlled and stable J-aggregates with high optical densities and strong fluorescence were obtained reproducibly. Such films may be useful for sensors, opto-electronics, lighting and photovoltaics. PMID:19748236

  16. Self-assembled arrays of peptide nanotubes by vapour deposition.

    PubMed

    Adler-Abramovich, Lihi; Aronov, Daniel; Beker, Peter; Yevnin, Maya; Stempler, Shiri; Buzhansky, Ludmila; Rosenman, Gil; Gazit, Ehud

    2009-12-01

    The use of bionanostructures in real-world applications will require precise control over biomolecular self-assembly and the ability to scale up production of these materials. A significant challenge is to control the formation of large, homogeneous arrays of bionanostructures on macroscopic surfaces. Previously, bionanostructure formation has been based on the spontaneous growth of heterogenic populations in bulk solution. Here, we demonstrate the self-assembly of large arrays of aromatic peptide nanotubes using vapour deposition methods. This approach allows the length and density of the nanotubes to be fine-tuned by carefully controlling the supply of the building blocks from the gas phase. Furthermore, we show that the nanotube arrays can be used to develop high-surface-area electrodes for energy storage applications, highly hydrophobic self-cleaning surfaces and microfluidic chips. PMID:19893524

  17. Calixarene-encapsulated nanoparticles: self-assembly into functional nanomaterials†

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Alexander

    2007-01-01

    Calixarenes are excellent surfactants for enhancing the dispersion and self-assembly of metal nanoparticles into well-defined structures, particularly those with unit length scales in the 10–100 nm size range. Particles within these ensembles are strongly coupled, giving rise to unique collective optical or magnetic properties. The self-assembled nanostructures described in this feature article include 2D arrays of colloidal Au nanoparticles with size-dependent plasmonic responses, and sub-100 nm Co nanoparticle rings with chiral magnetic states. These nanoparticle assemblies may be further developed for applications in chemical sensing based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and as binary elements for nonvolatile memory, respectively. PMID:16582988

  18. Multidimensional hierarchical self-assembly of amphiphilic cylindrical block comicelles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Huibin; Hudson, Zachary M.; Winnik, Mitchell A.; Manners, Ian

    2015-03-01

    Self-assembly of molecular and block copolymer amphiphiles represents a well-established route to micelles with a wide variety of shapes and gel-like phases. We demonstrate an analogous process, but on a longer length scale, in which amphiphilic P-H-P and H-P-H cylindrical triblock comicelles with hydrophobic (H) or polar (P) segments that are monodisperse in length are able to self-assemble side by side or end to end in nonsolvents for the central or terminal segments, respectively. This allows the formation of cylindrical supermicelles and one-dimensional (1D) or 3D superstructures that persist in both solution and the solid state. These assemblies possess multiple levels of structural hierarchy in combination with existence on a multimicrometer-length scale, features that are generally only found in natural materials.

  19. Self-assembly of nanomaterials at fluid interfaces.

    PubMed

    Toor, Anju; Feng, Tao; Russell, Thomas P

    2016-05-01

    Recent developments in the field of the self-assembly of nanoscale materials such as nanoparticles, nanorods and nanosheets at liquid/liquid interfaces are reviewed. Self-assembly behavior of both biological and synthetic particles is discussed. For biological nanoparticles, the nanoparticle assembly at fluid interfaces provides a simple route for directing nanoparticles into 2D or 3D constructs with hierarchical ordering. The interfacial assembly of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) at liquid interfaces would play a key role in applications such as nanotube fractionation, flexible electronic thin-film fabrication and synthesis of porous SWCNT/polymer composites foams. Liquids can be structured by the jamming of nanoparticle surfactants at fluid interfaces. By controlling the interfacial packing of nanoparticle surfactants using external triggers, a new class of materials can be generated that combines the desirable characteristics of fluids such as rapid transport of energy carriers with the structural stability of a solid. PMID:27233643

  20. Using Markov State Models to Study Self-Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perkett, Matthew; Hagan, Michael

    2014-03-01

    In recent years, a number of algorithms have been developed to study rare events, which has resulted in paradigm shift from running a few long trajectories to gathering statistics from many shorter trajectories. Running many simulations in parallel to build a Markov State Model (MSM) is one such technique, which has been applied to protein folding with great success. We present an adaptation to the MSM framework that enables its application to a wide range of systems undergoing self-assembly. The feasibility of this approach is demonstrated on two different coarse-grained models for virus self-assembly. We find good agreement between the MSM calculations and brute force long simulations, with up to several orders of magnitude reduction in simulation time.

  1. Prospects for using self-assembled nucleic acid structures.

    PubMed

    Rudchenko, M N; Zamyatnin, A A

    2015-04-01

    According to the central dogma in molecular biology, nucleic acids are assigned with key functions on storing and executing genetic information in any living cell. However, features of nucleic acids are not limited only with properties providing template-dependent biosynthetic processes. Studies of DNA and RNA unveiled unique features of these polymers able to make various self-assembled three-dimensional structures that, among other things, use the complementarity principle. Here, we review various self-assembled nucleic acid structures as well as application of DNA and RNA to develop nanomaterials, molecular automata, and nanodevices. It can be expected that in the near future results of these developments will allow designing novel next-generation diagnostic systems and medicinal drugs. PMID:25869355

  2. Environmental and Sensing Applications of Molecular Self-Assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Fryxell, Glen E.; Addleman, Raymond S.; Mattigod, Shas V.; Lin, Yuehe; Zemanian, Thomas S.; Wu, Hong; Birnbaum, Jerome C.; Liu, J.; Feng, X.

    2004-03-31

    In the last decade we have witnessed many exciting new discoveries in the ability to manipulate and measure matter at the nanometer scale. Honeycombed pores structures, spheres, icosahedra, nanotubes and nanorods, self-assembled structural hierarchies; the esthetics of the nanometer regime offers Nature’s elegance in its purest form. Understanding the driving forces behind these shapes and the self-assembly processes provides key understanding for this chemistry to be exploited for positive impact on our daily lives. For this to take place, we must not only understand how the nanoscopic structures impact the structural and chemical properties of these novel new materials, but we must also understand the critical problems that we face today and how these nanoscopic properties can be tailored to address these specific needs and critical problems.

  3. Self-assembly of amorphous calcium carbonate microlens arrays

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Kyubock; Wagermaier, Wolfgang; Masic, Admir; Kommareddy, Krishna P.; Bennet, Mathieu; Manjubala, Inderchand; Lee, Seung-Woo; Park, Seung B.; Cölfen, Helmut; Fratzl, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Biological materials are often based on simple constituents and grown by the principle of self-assembly under ambient conditions. In particular, biomineralization approaches exploit efficient pathways of inorganic material synthesis. There is still a large gap between the complexity of natural systems and the practical utilization of bioinspired formation mechanisms. Here we describe a simple self-assembly route leading to a CaCO3 microlens array, somewhat reminiscent of the brittlestars' microlenses, with uniform size and focal length, by using a minimum number of components and equipment at ambient conditions. The formation mechanism of the amorphous CaCO3 microlens arrays was elucidated by confocal Raman spectroscopic imaging to be a two-step growth process mediated by the organic surfactant. CaCO3 microlens arrays are easy to fabricate, biocompatible and functional in amorphous or more stable crystalline forms. This shows that advanced optical materials can be generated by a simple mineral precipitation. PMID:22395616

  4. Self-assembled arrays of peptide nanotubes by vapour deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adler-Abramovich, Lihi; Aronov, Daniel; Beker, Peter; Yevnin, Maya; Stempler, Shiri; Buzhansky, Ludmila; Rosenman, Gil; Gazit, Ehud

    2009-12-01

    The use of bionanostructures in real-world applications will require precise control over biomolecular self-assembly and the ability to scale up production of these materials. A significant challenge is to control the formation of large, homogeneous arrays of bionanostructures on macroscopic surfaces. Previously, bionanostructure formation has been based on the spontaneous growth of heterogenic populations in bulk solution. Here, we demonstrate the self-assembly of large arrays of aromatic peptide nanotubes using vapour deposition methods. This approach allows the length and density of the nanotubes to be fine-tuned by carefully controlling the supply of the building blocks from the gas phase. Furthermore, we show that the nanotube arrays can be used to develop high-surface-area electrodes for energy storage applications, highly hydrophobic self-cleaning surfaces and microfluidic chips.

  5. Biomolecular decision-making process for self assembly.

    SciTech Connect

    Osbourn, Gordon Cecil

    2005-01-01

    The brain is often identified with decision-making processes in the biological world. In fact, single cells, single macromolecules (proteins) and populations of molecules also make simple decisions. These decision processes are essential to survival and to the biological self-assembly and self-repair processes that we seek to emulate. How do these tiny systems make effective decisions? How do they make decisions in concert with a cooperative network of other molecules or cells? How can we emulate the decision-making behaviors of small-scale biological systems to program and self-assemble microsystems? This LDRD supported research to answer these questions. Our work included modeling and simulation of protein populations to help us understand, mimic, and categorize molecular decision-making mechanisms that nonequilibrium systems can exhibit. This work is an early step towards mimicking such nanoscale and microscale biomolecular decision-making processes in inorganic systems.

  6. Chemical optimization of self-assembled carbon nanotube transistors.

    PubMed

    Auvray, Stéphane; Derycke, Vincent; Goffman, Marcelo; Filoramo, Arianna; Jost, Oliver; Bourgoin, Jean-Philippe

    2005-03-01

    We present the improvement of carbon nanotube field effects transistors (CNTFETs) performances by chemical tuning of the nanotube/substrate and nanotube/electrode interfaces. Our work is based on a method of selective placement of individual single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) by patterned aminosilane monolayer and its use for the fabrication of self-assembled nanotube transistors. This method brings a relevant solution to the problem of systematic connection of self-organized nanotubes. The aminosilane monolayer reactivity can be used to improve carrier injection and doping level of the SWNT. We show that the Schottky barrier height at the nanotube/metal interface can be diminished in a continuous fashion down to an almost ohmic contact through these chemical treatments. Moreover, sensitivity to 20 ppb of triethylamine is demonstrated for self-assembled CNTFETs, thus opening new prospects for gas sensors taking advantages of the chemical functionality of the aminosilane used for assembling the CNTFETs. PMID:15755093

  7. Stoichiometric Control of DNA-Grafted Colloid Self-Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vo, Thi; Venkatasubramanian, Venkat; Kumar, Sanat; Srinivasan, Babji; Pal, Suchetan; Zhang, Yugang; Gang, Oleg

    There have been recent surges of interest in understanding the self-assembly of DNA-grafted colloids into different crystallographic lattices, namely CsCl, AlB2, Cr3Si, and Cs6C60. Conventional approaches view the number of grafted linkers and effective size of each colloid as the major governing design parameters. It is generally assumed that the mixed stoichiometries need to match those defined by the target structures in order to obtain the desired lattice. Thus, contributions from stoichiometry are considered secondary and its exact effects on lattice formation remains an open question. Theoretical extensions to the popular complementary contact model show that the equilibrium lattice structure can be tuned through direct control of stoichiometry. Our results are also validated through experimental observations of the equilibrium crystal morphologies at differing stoichiometric ratios. These findings strongly suggest that stoichiometry is a new handle that can be used to control DNA-grafted colloidal self-assembly.

  8. Self assembled nanoparticle aggregates from line focused femtosecond laser ablation.

    PubMed

    Zuhlke, Craig A; Alexander, Dennis R; Bruce, John C; Ianno, Natale J; Kamler, Chad A; Yang, Weiqing

    2010-03-01

    In this paper we present the use of a line focused femtosecond laser beam that is rastered across a 2024 T3 aluminum surface to produce nanoparticles that self assemble into 5-60 micron diameter domed and in some cases sphere-shaped aggregate structures. Each time the laser is rastered over initial aggregates their diameter increases as new layers of nanoparticles self assemble on the surface. The aggregates are thus composed of layers of particles forming discrete layered shells inside of them. When micron size aggregates are removed, using an ultrasonic bath, rings are revealed that have been permanently formed in the sample surface. These rings appear underneath, and extend beyond the physical boundary of the aggregates. The surface is blackened by the formation of these structures and exhibits high light absorption. PMID:20389444

  9. Electromechanical limits of self-assembled membranes: Thickness dependences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aranda-Espinoza, Helim; Bermudez, Harry; Discher, Dennis; Bates, Frank

    2001-03-01

    Nature's membranes - self-assembled from lipids in water - invariably have a hydrophobic core that is only 3 - 5 nm thick. Among the implications of this is that the maximum sustainable voltage drop, Vc, across a natural membrane is typically 1 volt. Thicker walled vesicles self-assembled from block copolymers have now been probed in terms of their electromechanical limits. At zero applied tension, Vc scales linearly with unstressed core thickness, d. Likewise, at zero applied voltage, the breakdown tension Tc scales linearly with d. Thermodynamic analyses of the coupling between breakdown voltage and tension allow a prediction of the critical specific capacitance, which decreases non-trivially with d. However, the critical surface charge density remains a constant of order 0.01 C/m^2.

  10. Self Assembled Structures by Directional Solidification of Eutectics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dynys, Frederick W.; Sayir, Ali

    2004-01-01

    Interest in ordered porous structures has grown because of there unique properties such as photonic bandgaps, high backing packing density and high surface to volume ratio. Inspired by nature, biometric strategies using self assembled organic molecules dominate the development of hierarchical inorganic structures. Directional solidification of eutectics (DSE) also exhibit self assembly characteristics to form hierarchical metallic and inorganic structures. Crystallization of diphasic materials by DSE can produce two dimensional ordered structures consisting of rods or lamella. By selective removal of phases, DSE is capable to fabricate ordered pore arrays or ordered pin arrays. Criteria and limitations to fabricate hierarchical structures will be presented. Porous structures in silicon base alloys and ceramic systems will be reported.

  11. Self-assembly does not account for the hydrophobic effect.

    PubMed

    Abraham, Michael H; Blandamer, Michael J

    2002-07-01

    Marmur has claimed that large values of activity coefficients for nonelectrolytes, particularly in the context of hydrophobic interactions between solutes in aqueous solution at ambient temperature and pressure, cannot be accounted for by thermodynamics, and has suggested that association (self-assembly) of solute molecules in solution solves this dilemma. We show that the analysis of Marmur is incorrect, specifically because the equilibrium in solution between monomeric solute molecules and associated solute molecules is entirely ignored. We show further that activity coefficients such as that for nitromethane solute in hexane solvent, 39.7, and that for solute hexane in solvent water, 4.48 x 10(5), can be calculated as 31.9 and 4.71 x 10(5), respectively, by methods based on well-known molecule-molecule interactions. No assumption of self-assembly is required. PMID:12083940

  12. Directed self-assembly of nanoparticles for nanomotors.

    PubMed

    Dong, Bin; Zhou, Tian; Zhang, Hui; Li, Christopher Y

    2013-06-25

    We report, for the first time, the design and fabrication of a nanoparticle-based nanomotor system by directly self-assembling nanoparticles onto functional, nanometer-thin lamellae, such as polymer single crystals. Tens of thousands of judiciously selected nanoparticles (gold, iron oxide, and platinum nanoparticles) with sizes ranging from <5 to a few tens of nanometers have been introduced into a single nanomotor via directed self-assembly. The resulting nanomotor realizes functions such as autonomous movement, remote control, and cargo transportation by utilizing the advantages offered by nanoparticles, such as the small size, surface plasmon resonance, catalytic and magnetic properties. Because of the structural and functional versatility of nanoparticles, the facile fabricating procedure, and the potential for mass production, our strategy shows a key step toward the development of next generation multifunctional nanomotors. PMID:23647410

  13. Stable doping of carbon nanotubes via molecular self assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, B.; Chen, Y.; Podzorov, V.; Cook, A.; Zakhidov, A.

    2014-10-14

    We report a novel method for stable doping of carbon nanotubes (CNT) based on methods of molecular self assembly. A conformal growth of a self-assembled monolayer of fluoroalkyl trichloro-silane (FTS) at CNT surfaces results in a strong increase of the sheet conductivity of CNT electrodes by 60–300%, depending on the CNT chirality and composition. The charge carrier mobility of undoped partially aligned CNT films was independently estimated in a field-effect transistor geometry (~100 cm²V⁻¹s⁻¹). The hole density induced by the FTS monolayer in CNT sheets is estimated to be ~1.8 ×10¹⁴cm⁻². We also show that FTS doping of CNT anodes greatly improves the performance of organic solar cells. This large and stable doping effect, easily achieved in large-area samples, makes this approach very attractive for applications of CNTs in transparent and flexible electronics.

  14. Electrostatically Directed Self-Assembly of Ultrathin Supramolecular Polymer Microcapsules

    PubMed Central

    Parker, Richard M; Zhang, Jing; Zheng, Yu; Coulston, Roger J; Smith, Clive A; Salmon, Andrew R; Yu, Ziyi; Scherman, Oren A; Abell, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Supramolecular self-assembly offers routes to challenging architectures on the molecular and macroscopic scale. Coupled with microfluidics it has been used to make microcapsules—where a 2D sheet is shaped in 3D, encapsulating the volume within. In this paper, a versatile methodology to direct the accumulation of capsule-forming components to the droplet interface using electrostatic interactions is described. In this approach, charged copolymers are selectively partitioned to the microdroplet interface by a complementary charged surfactant for subsequent supramolecular cross-linking via cucurbit[8]uril. This dynamic assembly process is employed to selectively form both hollow, ultrathin microcapsules and solid microparticles from a single solution. The ability to dictate the distribution of a mixture of charged copolymers within the microdroplet, as demonstrated by the single-step fabrication of distinct core–shell microcapsules, gives access to a new generation of innovative self-assembled constructs. PMID:26213532

  15. Self-Assembly of Graphene on Carbon Nanotube Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Li, Kaiyuan; Eres, Gyula; Howe, Jane; Chuang, Yen-Jun; Li, Xufan; Gu, Zhanjun; Zhang, Litong; Xie, Sishen; Pan, Zhengwei

    2013-01-01

    The rolling up of a graphene sheet into a tube is a standard visualization tool for illustrating carbon nanotube (CNT) formation. However, the actual processes of rolling up graphene sheets into CNTs in laboratory syntheses have never been demonstrated. Here we report conformal growth of graphene by carbon self-assembly on single-wall and multi-wall CNTs using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of methane without the presence of metal catalysts. The new graphene layers roll up into seamless coaxial cylinders encapsulating the existing CNTs, but their adhesion to the primary CNTs is weak due to the existence of lattice misorientation. Our study shows that graphene nucleation and growth by self-assembly of carbon on the inactive carbon basal plane of CNTs occurs by a new mechanism that is markedly different from epitaxial growth on metal surfaces, opening up the possibility of graphene growth on many other non-metal substrates by simple methane CVD. PMID:23912638

  16. A Bioactive Self-assembled Membrane to Promote Angiogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Chow, Lesley W.; Bitton, Ronit; Webber, Matthew J.; Carvajal, Daniel; Shull, Kenneth R.; Sharma, Arun K.; Stupp, Samuel I.

    2011-01-01

    We report here on the formation of a bioactive hierarchically structured membrane by self-assembly. The membrane is formed with hyaluronic acid and peptide amphiphiles with binding affinity for heparin, and its hierarchical structure contains both an amorphous zone and a layer of fibrils oriented perpendicular to the membrane plane. The design of bioactivity is based on the potential ability to bind and slowly release heparin-binding growth factors. Human mesenchymal stem cells seeded on these membranes attached and remained viable. Basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were incorporated within the membrane structure prior to self-assembly and released into media over a prolonged period of time (14 days). Using the chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay, we also found that these membranes induced a significant and rapid enhancement of angiogenesis relative to controls. PMID:21093042

  17. Electrostatic Control of Structure in Self-Assembled Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Bitton, Ronit; Chow, Lesley W.; Zha, R. Helen; Velichko, Yuri S.; Pashuck, E. Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Self-assembling peptide amphiphiles (PAs) can form hierarchically ordered membranes when brought in contact with aqueous polyelectrolytes of the opposite charge by rapidly creating a diffusion barrier composed of filamentous nanostructures parallel to the plane of the incipient membrane. Following this event, osmotic forces and charge complexation template nanofiber growth perpendicular to the plane of the membrane in a dynamic self-assembly process. In this work, we show that this hierarchical structure requires strong interactions between PA molecules and polyelectrolyte molecules, suggesting the importance of rapid diffusion barrier formation. Strong interactions are introduced here through the use of heparin-binding PAs with heparin and also with polyelectrolytes of varying charge density. Small angle x-ray scattering shows that in the case of weak PA-polyelectrolyte interaction, membranes formed display a cubic phase ordering on the nanoscale that likely results from clusters of PA nanostructures surrounded by polyelectrolyte chains. PMID:24022896

  18. In Vitro Reconstitution of Light-harvesting Complexes of Plants and Green Algae

    PubMed Central

    Natali, Alberto; Roy, Laura M.; Croce, Roberta

    2014-01-01

    In plants and green algae, light is captured by the light-harvesting complexes (LHCs), a family of integral membrane proteins that coordinate chlorophylls and carotenoids. In vivo, these proteins are folded with pigments to form complexes which are inserted in the thylakoid membrane of the chloroplast. The high similarity in the chemical and physical properties of the members of the family, together with the fact that they can easily lose pigments during isolation, makes their purification in a native state challenging. An alternative approach to obtain homogeneous preparations of LHCs was developed by Plumley and Schmidt in 19871, who showed that it was possible to reconstitute these complexes in vitro starting from purified pigments and unfolded apoproteins, resulting in complexes with properties very similar to that of native complexes. This opened the way to the use of bacterial expressed recombinant proteins for in vitro reconstitution. The reconstitution method is powerful for various reasons: (1) pure preparations of individual complexes can be obtained, (2) pigment composition can be controlled to assess their contribution to structure and function, (3) recombinant proteins can be mutated to study the functional role of the individual residues (e.g., pigment binding sites) or protein domain (e.g., protein-protein interaction, folding). This method has been optimized in several laboratories and applied to most of the light-harvesting complexes. The protocol described here details the method of reconstituting light-harvesting complexes in vitro currently used in our laboratory,and examples describing applications of the method are provided. PMID:25350712

  19. In vitro reconstitution of light-harvesting complexes of plants and green algae.

    PubMed

    Natali, Alberto; Roy, Laura M; Croce, Roberta

    2014-01-01

    In plants and green algae, light is captured by the light-harvesting complexes (LHCs), a family of integral membrane proteins that coordinate chlorophylls and carotenoids. In vivo, these proteins are folded with pigments to form complexes which are inserted in the thylakoid membrane of the chloroplast. The high similarity in the chemical and physical properties of the members of the family, together with the fact that they can easily lose pigments during isolation, makes their purification in a native state challenging. An alternative approach to obtain homogeneous preparations of LHCs was developed by Plumley and Schmidt in 1987(1), who showed that it was possible to reconstitute these complexes in vitro starting from purified pigments and unfolded apoproteins, resulting in complexes with properties very similar to that of native complexes. This opened the way to the use of bacterial expressed recombinant proteins for in vitro reconstitution. The reconstitution method is powerful for various reasons: (1) pure preparations of individual complexes can be obtained, (2) pigment composition can be controlled to assess their contribution to structure and function, (3) recombinant proteins can be mutated to study the functional role of the individual residues (e.g., pigment binding sites) or protein domain (e.g., protein-protein interaction, folding). This method has been optimized in several laboratories and applied to most of the light-harvesting complexes. The protocol described here details the method of reconstituting light-harvesting complexes in vitro currently used in our laboratory, and examples describing applications of the method are provided. PMID:25350712

  20. Self-assembly of a 5-fluorouracil-dipeptide hydrogel.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yuan; Kaplan, Jonah A; Shieh, Aileen; Sun, Hui-Lung; Croce, Carlo M; Grinstaff, Mark W; Parquette, Jon R

    2016-04-18

    The self-assembly of 5-fluorouracil dilysine conjugates into self-supporting hydrogels, comprised of entangled nanofibers or rigid nanotubes with diameters of 10 and 16 nm, respectively, is reported. The rate of release of 5-Fu from the conjugates was highly dependent on concentration in solution, whereas, release from the fully formed hydrogels was significantly slower. The 5-Fu conjugate also exhibited promising in vitro cytotoxicity against human tumor cell lines A549, H460 and H23. PMID:26996124

  1. Customizing mesoscale self-assembly with 3D printing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vandewalle, Nicolas; Poty, Martin; Lumay, Geoffroy

    2013-11-01

    Self-assembly due to capillary forces is a common method for generating 2D mesoscale structures from identical floating particles at the liquid-air interface. Designing building blocks to obtain a desired mesoscopic structure is still a challenge. We show herein that it is possible to shape the particles with a low cost 3D printer, for composing specific mesoscopic structures. Since capillary interactions can be downscaled, our method, for producing capillary multipoles, opens new ways to low cost microfabrication.

  2. Controlling guest-host interactions in self-assembled materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinbeck, Christian Alexander

    Aqueous solutions of self-assembling macromolecules can be found in many industrial formulations, as well as in many living organisms. Regardless of the specific system, the self-assembling macromolecules are rarely found in the absence of other solutes or guest species. Such components may include fragrance molecules incorporated into block-copolymer micelles for use in detergents, dyes included in micellar precursor solutions for the synthesis of mesostructured silica-block copolymer composites, or specifically designed additives for controlling protein folding and activity. A detailed understanding of the structures and dynamic molecular interactions among the various species in solution and their influences on macromolecule aggregation and phase behaviors is of paramount importance for designing systems with improved properties and performance. Unambiguous measurements of the loci of interaction and solubilization of small molecule species (e.g., dyes or surfactants) within self-assembling block-copolymer species or proteins in aqueous solutions have been established. This has been achieved by exploiting powerful correlative multidimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy techniques, including pulsed-field-gradient diffusion measurements, which provide detailed molecular insights into a variety of heterogeneous self-assembled systems. Furthermore, these insights and measurements enable the solution conditions to be established that permit the control and release of such guest molecules from association with macromolecular carrier species into the surrounding solution. Specifically, the use of temperature to control the distribution of porphyrin guest-species in a block-copolymer host and the light-dependent folding and unfolding of bovine serum albumin through varying interactions with an azo-benzene functionalized surfactant are demonstrated. In the absence of long-range order in these complex systems, advanced NMR spectroscopy methods provide crucial and highly selective means for characterizing component structures, dynamics and interactions at a molecular level. The analytical approach and the resulting insights developed here are general and anticipated to be of broad applicability to systems of interest in medicine, biology, and industry.

  3. Single-domain spectroscopy of self-assembled photonic crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vlasov, Yu. A.; Deutsch, M.; Norris, D. J.

    2000-03-01

    We show how optical microscopy can be used to study the optical properties of a single crystalline domain in a self-assembled photonic crystal. By measuring spatially resolved reflection and emission spectra from a synthetic opal, inhomogeneities due to averaging over inherent disorder can be avoided. From "defect-free" reflection and emission spectra, the intrinsic photonic band structure can be extracted and inhibition of spontaneous emission can be verified.

  4. Self-assembled containers based on extended tetrathiafulvalene.

    PubMed

    Bivaud, Sébastien; Goeb, Sébastien; Croué, Vincent; Dron, Paul I; Allain, Magali; Sallé, Marc

    2013-07-10

    Two original self-assembled containers constituted each by six electroactive subunits are described. They are synthesized from a concave tetratopic π-extended tetrathiafulvalene ligand bearing four pyridyl units and cis-M(dppf)(OTf)2 (M = Pd or Pt; dppf = 1,1'-bis(diphenylphosphino)ferrocene; OTf = trifluoromethane-sulfonate) complexes. Both fully characterized assemblies present an oblate spheroidal cavity that can incorporate one perylene molecule. PMID:23795694

  5. Dispersion of nanoparticulate suspensions using self-assembled surfactant aggregates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Pankaj Kumar

    The dispersion of particles is critical for several industrial applications such as paints, inks, coatings, and cosmetics. Several emerging applications such as abrasives for precision polishing, and drug delivery systems are increasingly relying on nanoparticulates to achieve the desired performance. In the case of nanoparticles, the dispersion becomes more challenging because of the lack of fundamental understanding of dispersant adsorption and interparticle force prediction. Additionally, many of these processes use severe processing environments such as high normal forces (>100 mN/m), high shear forces (>10,000 s -1), and high ionic strengths (>0.1 M). Under such processing conditions, traditionally used dispersants based on electrostatics, and steric force repulsion mechanism may not be adequate. Hence, the development of optimally performing dispersants requires a fundamental understanding of the dispersion mechanism at the atomic/molecular scale. This study explores the use of self-assembled surfactant aggregates at the solid-liquid interface for dispersing nanoparticles in severe processing environments. Surfactant molecules can provide a feasible alternative to polymeric or inorganic dispersants for stabilizing ultrafine particles. The barrier to aggregation in the presence of surfactant molecules was measured using atomic force microscopy. The barrier heights correlated to suspension stability. To understand the mechanism for nanoparticulate suspension stability in the presence of surfactant films, the interface was characterized using zeta potential, contact angle, adsorption, and FT-IR (adsorbed surfactant film structure measurements). The effect of solution conditions such as pH and ionic strength on the suspension stability, and the self-assembled surfactant films was also investigated. It was determined that a transition from a random to an ordered orientation of the surfactant molecules at the interface was responsible for stability of nanoparticulates. Additionally, the role of the surface in surfactant self-assembly was investigated. Mechanical and thermodynamic properties of the self-assembled layer at the solid-liquid interface were calculated based on experimental results, and compared to the corresponding properties in the bulk solution.

  6. Self-assembly of double helical nanostructures inside carbon nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lv, Cheng; Xue, Qingzhong; Shan, Meixia; Jing, Nuannuan; Ling, Cuicui; Zhou, Xiaoyan; Jiao, Zhiyong; Xing, Wei; Yan, Zifeng

    2013-05-01

    We use molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to show that a DNA-like double helix of two poly(acetylene) (PA) chains can form inside single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). The computational results indicate that SWNTs can activate and guide the self-assembly of polymer chains, allowing them to adopt a helical configuration in a SWNT through the combined action of the van der Waals potential well and the π-π stacking interaction between the polymer and the inner surface of SWNTs. Meanwhile both the SWNT size and polymer chain stiffness determine the outcome of the nanostructure. Furthermore, we also found that water clusters encourage the self-assembly of PA helical structures in the tube. This molecular model may lead to a better understanding of the formation of a double helix biological molecule inside SWNTs. Alternatively, it could form the basis of a novel nanoscale material by utilizing the `empty' spaces of SWNTs.We use molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to show that a DNA-like double helix of two poly(acetylene) (PA) chains can form inside single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). The computational results indicate that SWNTs can activate and guide the self-assembly of polymer chains, allowing them to adopt a helical configuration in a SWNT through the combined action of the van der Waals potential well and the π-π stacking interaction between the polymer and the inner surface of SWNTs. Meanwhile both the SWNT size and polymer chain stiffness determine the outcome of the nanostructure. Furthermore, we also found that water clusters encourage the self-assembly of PA helical structures in the tube. This molecular model may lead to a better understanding of the formation of a double helix biological molecule inside SWNTs. Alternatively, it could form the basis of a novel nanoscale material by utilizing the `empty' spaces of SWNTs. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c2nr33157h

  7. Self-assembled monolayers formed on AZ31 Mg alloy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salman, S. A.; Okido, M.

    2012-07-01

    Self-assembled monolayer (SAM) was successfully adsorbed on the AZ31 Mg alloy surface using oleic acid and stearic acid with various organic solvents, such as acetone, ethanol, and hexane. The surface monolayers were characterized using contact angle measurements, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and anodic polarization test. It was shown that the higher contact angle and the best anti-corrosion property were obtained with treatment in oleic acid with ethanol solution.

  8. Propagating waves of self-assembly in organosilane monolayers

    PubMed Central

    Douglas, Jack F.; Efimenko, Kirill; Fischer, Daniel A.; Phelan, Fredrick R.; Genzer, Jan

    2007-01-01

    Wavefronts associated with reaction–diffusion and self-assembly processes are ubiquitous in the natural world. For example, propagating fronts arise in crystallization and diverse other thermodynamic ordering processes, in polymerization fronts involved in cell movement and division, as well as in the competitive social interactions and population dynamics of animals at much larger scales. Although it is often claimed that self-sustaining or autocatalytic front propagation is well described by mean-field “reaction–diffusion” or “phase field” ordering models, it has recently become appreciated from simulations and theoretical arguments that fluctuation effects in lower spatial dimensions can lead to appreciable deviations from the classical mean-field theory (MFT) of this type of front propagation. The present work explores these fluctuation effects in a real physical system. In particular, we consider a high-resolution near-edge x-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (NEXAFS) study of the spontaneous frontal self-assembly of organosilane (OS) molecules into self-assembled monolayer (SAM) surface-energy gradients on oxidized silicon wafers. We find that these layers organize from the wafer edge as propagating wavefronts having well defined velocities. In accordance with two-dimensional simulations of this type of front propagation that take fluctuation effects into account, we find that the interfacial widths w(t) of these SAM self-assembly fronts exhibit a power-law broadening in time, w(t) ≈ tβ, rather than the constant width predicted by MFT. Moreover, the observed exponent values accord rather well with previous simulation and theoretical estimates. These observations have significant implications for diverse types of ordering fronts that occur under confinement conditions in biological or materials-processing contexts. PMID:17566108

  9. Propagating Waves of Self-assembly in Organosilane Monolayers

    SciTech Connect

    Douglas,J.; Efimenko, K.; Fischer, D.; Phelan, F.; Genzer, J.

    2007-01-01

    Wavefronts associated with reaction-diffusion and self-assembly processes are ubiquitous in the natural world. For example, propagating fronts arise in crystallization and diverse other thermodynamic ordering processes, in polymerization fronts involved in cell movement and division, as well as in the competitive social interactions and population dynamics of animals at much larger scales. Although it is often claimed that self-sustaining or autocatalytic front propagation is well described by mean-field 'reaction-diffusion' or 'phase field' ordering models, it has recently become appreciated from simulations and theoretical arguments that fluctuation effects in lower spatial dimensions can lead to appreciable deviations from the classical mean-field theory (MFT) of this type of front propagation. The present work explores these fluctuation effects in a real physical system. In particular, we consider a high-resolution near-edge x-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (NEXAFS) study of the spontaneous frontal self-assembly of organosilane (OS) molecules into self-assembled monolayer (SAM) surface-energy gradients on oxidized silicon wafers. We find that these layers organize from the wafer edge as propagating wavefronts having well defined velocities. In accordance with two-dimensional simulations of this type of front propagation that take fluctuation effects into account, we find that the interfacial widths w(t) of these SAM self-assembly fronts exhibit a power-law broadening in time, w(t) {approx} t{sup {beta}}, rather than the constant width predicted by MFT. Moreover, the observed exponent values accord rather well with previous simulation and theoretical estimates. These observations have significant implications for diverse types of ordering fronts that occur under confinement conditions in biological or materials-processing contexts.

  10. Self-assembled carbon nanotube honeycomb networks using a butterfly wing template as a multifunctional nanobiohybrid.

    PubMed

    Miyako, Eijiro; Sugino, Takushi; Okazaki, Toshiya; Bianco, Alberto; Yudasaka, Masako; Iijima, Sumio

    2013-10-22

    Insect wings have many unique and complex nano/microstructures that are presently beyond the capabilities of any current technology to reproduce them artificially. In particular, Morpho butterflies are an attractive type of insect because their multifunctional wings are composed of nano/microstructures. In this paper, we show that carbon nanotube-containing composite adopts honeycomb-shaped networks when simply self-assembled on Morpho butterfly wings used as a template. The unique nano/microstructure of the composites exhibits multifunctionalities such as laser-triggered remote-heating, high electrical conductivity, and repetitive DNA amplification. Our present study highlights the important progress that has been made toward the development of smart nanobiomaterials for various applications such as digital diagnosis, soft wearable electronic devices, photosensors, and photovoltaic cells. PMID:23952240

  11. Mechanical Self-Assembly of a Strain-Engineered Flexible Layer: Wrinkling, Rolling, and Twisting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Zi; Huang, Gaoshan; Trase, Ian; Han, Xiaomin; Mei, Yongfeng

    2016-01-01

    Self-shaping of curved structures, especially those involving flexible thin layers, is attracting increasing attention because of their broad potential applications in, e.g., nanoelectromechanical andmicroelectromechanical systems, sensors, artificial skins, stretchable electronics, robotics, and drug delivery. Here, we provide an overview of recent experimental, theoretical, and computational studies on the mechanical self-assembly of strain-engineered thin layers, with an emphasis on systems in which the competition between bending and stretching energy gives rise to a variety of deformations, such as wrinkling, rolling, and twisting. We address the principle of mechanical instabilities, which is often manifested in wrinkling or multistability of strain-engineered thin layers. The principles of shape selection and transition in helical ribbons are also systematically examined. We hope that a more comprehensive understanding of the mechanical principles underlying these rich phenomena can foster the development of techniques for manufacturing functional three-dimensional structures on demand for a broad spectrum of engineering applications.

  12. Enhanced infrared light harvesting of inorganic nanocrystal photovoltaic and photodetector on graphene electrode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Chih-Cheng; Wang, Di-Yan; Tu, Kun-Hua; Jiang, You-Ting; Hsieh, Meng-Hsiang; Chen, Chia-Chun; Chen, Chun-Wei

    2011-06-01

    We demonstrate an enhancement of infrared light harvesting of inorganic PbS nanocrystal photovoltaic and photodetector devices based on the transparent graphene electrode. Due to high infrared transparency of the graphene electrode with respect to indium tin oxide (ITO), the infrared photoresponse of the graphene-based device is superior to the ITO-based counterpart, in spite of a higher sheet resistance of the graphene electrode. The outstanding infrared characteristics of the devices based on the graphene electrode make it a promising candidate for infrared optoelectronic applications such as solar cells, imaging and sensing, or optical communication.

  13. Energy transfer from conjugated polymer to bacterial light-harvesting complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buczynska, D.; Bujak, Ł.; Loi, M. A.; Brotosudarmo, T. H. P.; Cogdell, R.; Mackowski, S.

    2012-10-01

    Energy transfer from a conjugated polymer blend (poly(9,9-dioctylfluorenyl-2,7-diyl):poly (2-methoxy-5-(2-ethylhexyloxy)-1, 4-phenylenevinylene) to a light-harvesting complex 2 from purple bacteria has been demonstrated using time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy. For our hybrid nanostructure, we observe a 30% reduction of the fluorescence lifetime of the polymer emission as compared to the pure polymer layer. This result is an important step towards integrating naturally evolved biomolecules with synthetic materials into biohybrid organic electronic systems.

  14. Path induced coherent energy transfer in light-harvesting complexes in purple bacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Kewei; Ye, Jun; Zhao, Yang

    2014-09-01

    Features of path dependent energy transfer in a dual-ring light-harvesting (LH2) complexes (B850) system have been examined in detail systematically. The Frenkel-Dirac time dependent variational method with the Davydov D1 Ansatz is employed with detailed evolution of polaron dynamics in real space readily obtained. It is found that the phase of the transmission amplitude through the LH2 complexes plays an important role in constructing the coherent excitonic energy transfer. It is also found that the symmetry breaking caused by the dimerization of bacteriochlorophylls and coherence or correlation between two rings will be conducive in enhancing the exciton transfer efficiency.

  15. Fluorescence enhancement of light-harvesting complex 2 from purple bacteria coupled to spherical gold nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bujak, Ł.; Czechowski, N.; Piatkowski, D.; Litvin, R.; Mackowski, S.; Brotosudarmo, T. H. P.; Cogdell, R. J.; Pichler, S.; Heiss, W.

    2011-10-01

    The influence of plasmon excitations in spherical gold nanoparticles on the optical properties of a light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2) from the purple bacteria Rhodopseudomonas palustris has been studied. Systematic analysis is facilitated by controlling the thickness of a silica layer between Au nanoparticles and LH2 complexes. Fluorescence of LH2 complexes features substantial increase when these complexes are separated by 12 nm from the gold nanoparticles. At shorter distances, non-radiative quenching leads to a decrease of fluorescence emission. The enhancement of fluorescence originates predominantly from an increase of absorption of pigments comprising the LH2 complex.

  16. Ab initio calculation of excitonic Hamiltonian of light-harvesting complex LH1 of Thermochromatium tepidum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozlov, Maxim I.; Poddubnyy, Vladimir V.; Glebov, Ilya O.; Belov, Aleksandr S.; Khokhlov, Daniil V.

    2016-02-01

    The electronic properties of light-harvesting complexes determine the efficiency of energy transfer in photosynthetic antennae. Ab initio calculations of the electronic properties of bacteriochlorophylls (composing the LH1 complex of the purple bacteria Thermochromatium tepidum) were performed. Based on these calculations, the excitonic Hamiltonian of a native cyclic complex and the Hamiltonians of open complexes with several removed bacteriochlorophylls were constructed. Absorption spectra calculated based on these Hamiltonians agree well with the experimental data. We found that the parameters of interaction between the neighboring bacteriochlorophylls are significantly larger than the empirical parameters suggested previously.

  17. Up-converted fluorescence from photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes linearly dependent on excitation intensity.

    PubMed

    Leiger, Kristjan; Freiberg, Arvi

    2016-01-01

    Weak up-converted fluorescence related to bacteriochlorophyll a was recorded from various detergent-isolated and membrane-embedded light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes as well as from the functional membranes of photosynthetic purple bacteria under continuous-wave infrared laser excitation at 1064 nm, far outside the optically allowed singlet absorption bands of the chromophore. The fluorescence increases linearly with the excitation power, distinguishing it from the previously observed two-photon excited fluorescence upon femtosecond pulse excitation. Possible mechanisms of this excitation are discussed. PMID:25764015

  18. Toward understanding as photosynthetic biosignatures: light harvesting and energy transfer calculation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komatsu, Y.; Umemura, M.; Shoji, M.; Shiraishi, K.; Kayanuma, M.; Yabana, K.

    2014-03-01

    Among several proposed biosignatures, red edge is a direct evidence of photosynthetic life if it is detected (Kiang et al 2007). Red edge is a sharp change in reflectance spectra of vegetation in NIR region (about 700-750 nm). The sign of red edge is observed by Earthshine or remote sensing (Wolstencroft & Raven 2002, Woolf et al 2002). But, why around 700-750 nm? The photosynthetic organisms on Earth have evolved to optimize the sunlight condition. However, if we consider about photosynthetic organism on extrasolar planets, they should have developed to utilize the spectra of its principal star. Thus, it is not strange even if it shows different vegetation spectra. In this study, we focused on the light absorption mechanism of photosynthetic organisms on Earth and investigated the fundamental properties of the light harvesting mechanisms, which is the first stage for the light absorption. Light harvesting complexes contain photosynthetic pigments like chlorophylls. Effective light absorption and the energy transfer are accomplished by the electronic excitations of collective photosynthetic pigments. In order to investigate this mechanism, we constructed an energy transfer model by using a dipole-dipole approximation for the interactions between electronic excitations. Transition moments and transition energies of each pigment are calculated at the time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) level (Marques & Gross 2004). Quantum dynamics simulation for the excitation energy transfer was calculated by the Liouvelle's equation. We adopted the model to purple bacteria, which has been studied experimentally and known to absorb lower energy. It is meaningful to focus on the mechanism of this bacteria, since in the future mission, M planets will become a important target. We calculated the oscillator strengths in one light harvesting complex and confirmed the validity by comparing to the experimental data. This complex is made of an inner and an outer ring. The energy transfer from the outer to the inner ring can be reproduced. To deal with a realistic system, we calculated at a macro structural model. The energy transfer between light harvesting complexes is accomplished rapidly via inner rings. By exchange the original pigment to a pigment absorb lower energy, faster energy transfer occurs and the density was trapped in pigment having lower energy. We will compare the result of purple bacteria, which is considered to show longer red edge, cyanobacteria and plants.

  19. Neutron and light scattering studies of light-harvesting photosynthetic antenna complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Kuo-Hsiang; Blankenship, Robert E.

    2011-06-28

    Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) have been employed in studying the structural information of various biological systems, particularly in systems without high-resolution structural information available. In this report, we briefly present some principles and biological applications of neutron scattering and DLS, compare the differences in information that can be obtained with small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and then report recent studies of SANS and DLS, together with other biophysical approaches, for light-harvesting antenna complexes and reaction centers of purple and green phototrophic bacteria.

  20. Long-distance electronic energy transfer in light-harvesting supramolecular polymers.

    PubMed

    Winiger, Christian B; Li, Shaoguang; Kumar, Ganesh R; Langenegger, Simon M; Häner, Robert

    2014-12-01

    The efficient collection of solar energy relies on the design and construction of well-organized light-harvesting systems. Herein we report that supramolecular phenanthrene polymers doped with pyrene are effective collectors of light energy. The linear polymers are formed through the assembly of short amphiphilic oligomers in water. Absorption of light by phenanthrene residues is followed by electronic energy transfer along the polymer over long distances (>100 nm) to the accepting pyrene molecules. The high efficiency of the energy transfer, which is documented by large fluorescence quantum yields, suggests a quantum coherent process. PMID:25345576

  1. Fluorescence enhancement of light-harvesting complex 2 from purple bacteria coupled to spherical gold nanoparticles

    SciTech Connect

    Bujak, Ł.; Czechowski, N.; Piatkowski, D.; Litvin, R.; Mackowski, S.; Brotosudarmo, T. H. P.; Pichler, S.; Cogdell, R. J.; Heiss, W.

    2011-10-24

    The influence of plasmon excitations in spherical gold nanoparticles on the optical properties of a light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2) from the purple bacteria Rhodopseudomonas palustris has been studied. Systematic analysis is facilitated by controlling the thickness of a silica layer between Au nanoparticles and LH2 complexes. Fluorescence of LH2 complexes features substantial increase when these complexes are separated by 12 nm from the gold nanoparticles. At shorter distances, non-radiative quenching leads to a decrease of fluorescence emission. The enhancement of fluorescence originates predominantly from an increase of absorption of pigments comprising the LH2 complex.

  2. Light-harvesting effect in photoelectric conversion with dye multilayers on a semiconductor electrode

    SciTech Connect

    Sato, H.; Kawasaki, M.; Kasatani, K.; Higuchi Y.; Azuma, T.; Nishiyama, Y.

    1988-02-11

    A light-harvesting effect in the sensitized photocurrent of dye-containing multilayers on an Sb-doped SnO/sub 2/ optically transparent semiconductor electrode was studied. 2,8-Bis(dimethylamino)-10-dodecylacridinium bromide (BDA) was included as an antenna dye in the outer monolayer separated from the semiconductor surface with fatty acid monolayer(s), and dioctadecylthiacarbocyanine iodide (DTC) as a reaction center dye was incorporated in the monolayer in direct contact with the semiconductor. A remarkable enhancement of the photocurrent was observed as a result of efficient energy transfer from BDA to DTC.

  3. Coherence dynamics in light-harvesting complexes with two-colour spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richards, Gethin H.; Curmi, Paul M. G.; Wilk, Krystyna E.; Quiney, Harry M.; Davis, Jeffrey A.

    2013-03-01

    We investigate coherent dynamics in the cryptophyte light-harvesting complex Phycocyanin-645 (PC-645). A two-colour four-wave mixing experiment allows us to isolate a coherence pathway and observe its evolution in the absence of other signals. We measured a decoherence time of 540fs for the coherence [1]. Additionally oscillations in the signal pathway give evidence for the coherent excitation of states outside the bandwidth of the laser pulse. This suggests strong coupling between the excited states and phonon modes [1].

  4. Three dimensional self-assembly at the nanoscale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gracias, D. H.

    2013-05-01

    At the nanoscale, three dimensional manipulation and assembly becomes extremely challenging and also cost prohibitive. Self-assembly provides an attractive and possibly the only highly parallel methodology to structure truly three dimensional patterned materials and devices at this size scale for applications in electronics, optics, robotics and medicine. This is a concise review along with a perspective of an important and exciting field in nanotechnology and is related to a Nanoengineering Pioneer Award that I received at this SPIE symposium for my contributions to the 3D selfassembly of nanostructures. I detail a historical account of 3D self-assembly and outline important developments in this area which is put into context with the larger research areas of 3D nanofabrication, assembly and nanomanufacturing. A focus in this review is on our work as it relates to the self-assembly with lithographically patterned units; this approach provides a means for heterogeneous integration of periodic, curved and angled nanostructures with precisely defined three dimensional patterns.

  5. Molecular pathways for defect annihilation in directed self-assembly

    PubMed Central

    Hur, Su-Mi; Thapar, Vikram; Ramírez-Hernández, Abelardo; Khaira, Gurdaman; Segal-Peretz, Tamar; Rincon-Delgadillo, Paulina A.; Li, Weihua; Müller, Marcus; Nealey, Paul F.; de Pablo, Juan J.

    2015-01-01

    Over the last few years, the directed self-assembly of block copolymers by surface patterns has transitioned from academic curiosity to viable contender for commercial fabrication of next-generation nanocircuits by lithography. Recently, it has become apparent that kinetics, and not only thermodynamics, plays a key role for the ability of a polymeric material to self-assemble into a perfect, defect-free ordered state. Perfection, in this context, implies not more than one defect, with characteristic dimensions on the order of 5 nm, over a sample area as large as 100 cm2. In this work, we identify the key pathways and the corresponding free energy barriers for eliminating defects, and we demonstrate that an extraordinarily large thermodynamic driving force is not necessarily sufficient for their removal. By adopting a concerted computational and experimental approach, we explain the molecular origins of these barriers and how they depend on material characteristics, and we propose strategies designed to overcome them. The validity of our conclusions for industrially relevant patterning processes is established by relying on instruments and assembly lines that are only available at state-of-the-art fabrication facilities, and, through this confluence of fundamental and applied research, we are able to discern the evolution of morphology at the smallest relevant length scales—a handful of nanometers—and present a view of defect annihilation in directed self-assembly at an unprecedented level of detail. PMID:26515095

  6. Polymer adsorption-driven self-assembly of nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, A K; Golumbfskie, A J

    2001-01-01

    Driven by prospective applications, there is much interest in developing materials that can perform specific functions in response to external conditions. One way to design such materials is to create systems which, in response to external inputs, can self-assemble to form structures that are functionally useful. This review focuses on the principles that can be employed to design macromolecules that when presented with an appropriate two-dimensional surface, will self-assemble to form nanostructures that may be functionally useful. We discuss three specific examples: (a) biomimetic recognition between polymers and patterned surfaces. (b) control and manipulation of nanomechanical motion generated by biopolymer adsorption and binding, and (c) creation of patterned nanostructuctures by exposing molten diblock copolymers to patterned surfaces. The discussion serves to illustrate how polymer sequence can be manipulated to affect self-assembly characteristics near adsorbing surfaces. The focus of this review is on theoretical and computational work aimed toward elucidating the principles underlying the phenomena pertinent to the three topics noted above. However, synergistic experiments are also described in the appropriate context. PMID:11326074

  7. Self-assembled amyloid fibrils with controllable conformational heterogeneity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Gyudo; Lee, Wonseok; Lee, Hyungbeen; Lee, Chang Young; Eom, Kilho; Kwon, Taeyun

    2015-11-01

    Amyloid fibrils are a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases and exhibit a conformational diversity that governs their pathological functions. Despite recent findings concerning the pathological role of their conformational diversity, the way in which the heterogeneous conformations of amyloid fibrils can be formed has remained elusive. Here, we show that microwave-assisted chemistry affects the self-assembly process of amyloid fibril formation, which results in their conformational heterogeneity. In particular, microwave-assisted chemistry allows for delicate control of the thermodynamics of the self-assembly process, which enabled us to tune the molecular structure of β-lactoglobulin amyloid fibrils. The heterogeneous conformations of amyloid fibrils, which can be tuned with microwave-assisted chemistry, are attributed to the microwave-driven thermal energy affecting the electrostatic interaction during the self-assembly process. Our study demonstrates how microwave-assisted chemistry can be used to gain insight into the origin of conformational heterogeneity of amyloid fibrils as well as the design principles showing how the molecular structures of amyloid fibrils can be controlled.

  8. Self-assembled amyloid fibrils with controllable conformational heterogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Gyudo; Lee, Wonseok; Lee, Hyungbeen; Lee, Chang Young; Eom, Kilho; Kwon, Taeyun

    2015-01-01

    Amyloid fibrils are a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases and exhibit a conformational diversity that governs their pathological functions. Despite recent findings concerning the pathological role of their conformational diversity, the way in which the heterogeneous conformations of amyloid fibrils can be formed has remained elusive. Here, we show that microwave-assisted chemistry affects the self-assembly process of amyloid fibril formation, which results in their conformational heterogeneity. In particular, microwave-assisted chemistry allows for delicate control of the thermodynamics of the self-assembly process, which enabled us to tune the molecular structure of β-lactoglobulin amyloid fibrils. The heterogeneous conformations of amyloid fibrils, which can be tuned with microwave-assisted chemistry, are attributed to the microwave-driven thermal energy affecting the electrostatic interaction during the self-assembly process. Our study demonstrates how microwave-assisted chemistry can be used to gain insight into the origin of conformational heterogeneity of amyloid fibrils as well as the design principles showing how the molecular structures of amyloid fibrils can be controlled. PMID:26592772

  9. Self-assembled polymer nanocomposites and their networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patil, Nitin Vikas

    This dissertation describes new routes to synthesize polymer nanocomposite networks via self-assembly. Polymerizable structure directing agents (referred to as surfmers) obtained by end-group functionalization preserves the structure-directing capabilities of the surfactant for templating ordered mesoporous silica particle growth, while simultaneously generating a reactive matrix for polymer network formation through reactive end groups in the presence of intimately mixed mesoporous silicates. A combination of small angle X-ray scattering, surface area, and microscopy experiments on mesoporous silica indicated the structure directing capabilities of surfmers. Free-radical polymerization of the surfmer leads to novel crosslinked nanocomposites networks. Multiple experiments, including gel permeation chromatography, swelling, and solid state NMR experiments on polymer nanocomposites gave evidence of the polymerization of surfmer leading to formation of crosslink networks. Polymer nanocomposites with varied silica content were prepared. Effects of silica content on polymer nanocomposites were studied on rheometer. Results obtained from rheological experiments indicate that the storage (G') and loss modulus (G") increases with increase in the content of mesoporous silica. In this way, the nanocomposites networks obtained via self-assembly shows independent behavior with respect to frequency in rheological experiments. Additionally, this self-assembled route was extended to synthesize biodegradable and biocompatible polymer nanocomposites networks. The nanocomposite networks obtained with 15% of silica content showed the increase in storage modulus by two orders of magnitude in rheological experiments.

  10. Multilayer block copolymer meshes by orthogonal self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tavakkoli K. G., Amir; Nicaise, Samuel M.; Gadelrab, Karim R.; Alexander-Katz, Alfredo; Ross, Caroline A.; Berggren, Karl K.

    2016-01-01

    Continued scaling-down of lithographic-pattern feature sizes has brought templated self-assembly of block copolymers (BCPs) into the forefront of nanofabrication research. Technologies now exist that facilitate significant control over otherwise unorganized assembly of BCP microdomains to form both long-range and locally complex monolayer patterns. In contrast, the extension of this control into multilayers or 3D structures of BCP microdomains remains limited, despite the possible technological applications in next-generation devices. Here, we develop and analyse an orthogonal self-assembly method in which multiple layers of distinct-molecular-weight BCPs naturally produce nanomesh structures of cylindrical microdomains without requiring layer-by-layer alignment or high-resolution lithographic templating. The mechanisms for orthogonal self-assembly are investigated with both experiment and simulation, and we determine that the control over height and chemical preference of templates are critical process parameters. The method is employed to produce nanomeshes with the shapes of circles and Y-intersections, and is extended to produce three layers of orthogonally oriented cylinders.

  11. Self-assembly in sugar-oil complex glasses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dave, Hiteshkumar; Gao, Feng; Lee, Jing-Huei; Liberatore, Matthew; Ho, Chia-Chi; Co, Carlos C.

    2007-04-01

    In aqueous systems, the hydrophobic effect drives the self-assembly of amphiphiles into a broad range of micellar, rod-like, bicontinuous and liquid-crystalline complex fluids. Many of these are relevant to biological matter or technological applications. However, amphiphilic self-assembly is not limited to aqueous systems. Replacement of water with supercritical carbon dioxide, for example, results in complex fluids that combine the properties of gases and liquids. Along this vein, we explore the self-assembly of surfactants in anhydrous sugars. Our study reveals that anhydrous powders of sugars and surfactants suspended in oil spontaneously form molten glasses with nanometre-size domains of sugar and liquid oil without mixing. The low cost, water solubility, low toxicity and stabilizing properties of glassy sugars make them ideal water replacements for many pharmaceutical, food and materials synthesis applications. The optical clarity and solid appearance of these glasses at room temperature belie their inclusion of more than 50% (vol.) oil, which confers liquid-like diffusivity. The unique combination of solid- and liquid-like properties may lead to applications in sensors and optical devices.

  12. Equilibrium self-assembly of small RNA viruses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruinsma, R. F.; Comas-Garcia, M.; Garmann, R. F.; Grosberg, A. Y.

    2016-03-01

    We propose a description for the quasiequilibrium self-assembly of small, single-stranded (ss) RNA viruses whose capsid proteins (CPs) have flexible, positively charged, disordered tails that associate with the negatively charged RNA genome molecules. We describe the assembly of such viruses as the interplay between two coupled phase-transition-like events: the formation of the protein shell (the capsid) by CPs and the condensation of a large ss viral RNA molecule. Electrostatic repulsion between the CPs competes with attractive hydrophobic interactions and attractive interaction between neutralized RNA segments mediated by the tail groups. An assembly diagram is derived in terms of the strength of attractive interactions between CPs and between CPs and the RNA molecules. It is compared with the results of recent studies of viral assembly. We demonstrate that the conventional theory of self-assembly, which does describe the assembly of empty capsids, is in general not applicable to the self-assembly of RNA-encapsidating virions.

  13. Quantitative Characterization of Surface Self-Assembly Imaging Using Shapelets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abukhdeir, Nasser Mohieddin; Suderman, Robert; Lizotte, Daniel J.

    Microscopy and imaging of surface self-assembly phenomena have advanced significantly over the past decade. In order to determine structure/property relationships robust automated analysis of the resulting images is required, but has not advanced at an equally rapid pace. Recently, quantitative characterization techniques have been developed and applied, such as using bond-orientational order (BOO) theory. BOO-based methods have significant limitations in that they do not provide pixel-level resolution and are not robust in the presence of measurement noise. In this work, a fundamentally different method for automated quantitative characterization of surface self-assembly imaging is presented which uses a family of localized functions called ``shapelets''. The method is presented and applied to quantitative characterization of stripe and hexagonal patterns which are frequently observed in surface self-assembly. The shapelet-based method is shown to be general, highly accurate, and robust in the presence of measurement noise. It is able to efficiently determine local pattern characteristics such as pattern strength and orientation for the determination of structure/property relationships. This work was made possible by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Compute Ontario.

  14. Capillary-based static self-assembly in higher organisms

    PubMed Central

    Voise, Jonathan; Schindler, Michael; Casas, Jérôme; Raphaël, Elie

    2011-01-01

    Organized structures produced by dynamic self-assembly are often observed in animal groups. Static self-assembly, however, has to date only been observed at the cellular and sub-cellular levels. The aim of this study was to analyse organized structures in immobile whirligig beetle groups on the water surface. We used theoretical and computational approaches to model the meniscus around whirligig beetles and to calculate the surface energy for configurations involving two beetles. Theoretical predictions were then tested using live insects and resin casts. Observations were also made for three and more casts. The meniscus of whirligig beetles had a bipolar shape with two concave parts. For two beetles, predicted configurations based on energy minima corresponded to beetles in contact by their extremities, forming lines and arrows, and agreed well with observations. Experimental results for three and more beetle casts revealed new geometrical arrangements similar to those obtained with colloids at interfaces. This study provides the first example of static self-assembly at the inter-organism level and shows the importance of capillary interactions in such formations. We identify the ecological context in which our findings are of relevance. PMID:21367777

  15. Ordered hybrids from template-free organosilane self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Chemtob, Abraham; Ni, Lingli; Croutxé-Barghorn, Céline; Boury, Bruno

    2014-02-10

    Despite considerable achievements over the last two decades, nonporous organic-inorganic hybrid materials are mostly amorphous, especially in the absence of solvothermal processes. The organosilane self-assembly approach is one of the few opportunities for creating a regular assembly of organic and inorganic moieties. Additionally, well-established organosilicon chemistry enables the introduction of numerous organic functionalities. The synthesis of periodically ordered hybrids relies on mono-, bis-, or multisilylated organosilane building blocks self-assembling into hybrid mesostructures or superstructures, subsequently cross-linked by siloxane Si-O-Si condensation. The general synthesis procedure is template-free and one-step. However, three concurrent processes underlie the generation of self-organized hybrid networks: thermodynamics of amphiphilic aggregation, dynamic self-assembly, and kinetically controlled sol-gel chemistry. Hence, the set of experimental conditions and the precursor structure are of paramount importance in achieving long-range order. Since the first developments in the mid-1990s, the subject has seen considerable progress leading to many innovative advanced nanomaterials providing promising applications in membranes, pollutant remediation, catalysis, conductive coatings, and optoelectronics. This work reviews, comprehensively, the primary evolution of this expanding field of research. PMID:24449381

  16. Materials self-assembly and fabrication in confined spaces

    SciTech Connect

    Ramanathan, Nathan Muruganathan; Kilbey, II, S Michael; Ji, Dr. Qingmin; Hill, Dr. Jonathan P; Ariga, Katsuhiko

    2012-01-01

    Molecular assemblies have been mainly researched in open spaces for long time. However, recent researches have revealed that there are many interesting aspects remained in self-assemblies in confined spaces. Molecular association within nanospaces such as mesoporous materials provide unusual phenomena based on highly restricted molecular motions. Current research endeavors in materials science and technology are focused on developing either new class of materials or materials with novel/multiple functionalities which is often achived via molecular assembly in confined spaces. Template synthesis and guided assemblies are distinguishable examples for molecular assembly in confined spaces. So far, different aspects of molecular confinements are discussed separately. In this review, the focus is specifically to bring some potential developments in various aspects of confined spaces for molecular self-assembly under one roof. We arrange the sections in this review based on the nature of the confinements; accordingly the topological/geometrical confinements, chemical and biological confinements, and confinements within thin film, respectively. Following these sections, molecular confinements for practical applications are shortly described in order to show connections of these scientific aspects with possible practical uses. One of the most important facts is that the self-assembly in confined spaces stands at meeting points of top-down and bottom-up fabrications, which would be an ultimate key to push the limits of nanotechnology and nanoscience.

  17. Molecular Motions in Functional Self-Assembled Nanostructures

    PubMed Central

    Dhotel, Alexandre; Chen, Ziguang; Delbreilh, Laurent; Youssef, Boulos; Saiter, Jean-Marc; Tan, Li

    2013-01-01

    The construction of “smart” materials able to perform specific functions at the molecular scale through the application of various stimuli is highly attractive but still challenging. The most recent applications indicate that the outstanding flexibility of self-assembled architectures can be employed as a powerful tool for the development of innovative molecular devices, functional surfaces and smart nanomaterials. Structural flexibility of these materials is known to be conferred by weak intermolecular forces involved in self-assembly strategies. However, some fundamental mechanisms responsible for conformational lability remain unexplored. Furthermore, the role played by stronger bonds, such as coordination, ionic and covalent bonding, is sometimes neglected while they can be employed readily to produce mechanically robust but also chemically reversible structures. In this review, recent applications of structural flexibility and molecular motions in self-assembled nanostructures are discussed. Special focus is given to advanced materials exhibiting significant performance changes after an external stimulus is applied, such as light exposure, pH variation, heat treatment or electromagnetic field. The crucial role played by strong intra- and weak intermolecular interactions on structural lability and responsiveness is highlighted. PMID:23348927

  18. Molecular pathways for defect annihilation in directed self-assembly.

    SciTech Connect

    Hur, Su-Mi; Thapar, Vikram; Ramirez-Hernandez, Abelardo; Khaira, Gurdaman S.; Segal-Peretz, Tamar; Rincon-Delgadillo, Paulina A.; Li, Weihua; Muller, Marcus; Nealey, Paul F.; de Pablo, Juan J.

    2015-11-17

    Over the last few years, the directed self-assembly of block copolymers by surface patterns has transitioned from academic curiosity to viable contender for commercial fabrication of next-generation nanocircuits by lithography. Recently, it has become apparent that kinetics, and not only thermodynamics, plays a key role for the ability of a polymeric material to self-assemble into a perfect, defect-free ordered state. Perfection, in this context, implies not more than one defect, with characteristic dimensions on the order of 5 nm, over a sample area as large as 100 cm2. In this work, we identify the key pathways and the corresponding free-energy barriers for eliminating defects, and we demonstrate that an extraordinarily large thermodynamic driving force is not necessarily sufficient for their removal. By adopting a concerted computational and experimental approach, we explain the molecular origins of these barriers, how they depend on material characteristics, and we propose strategies designed to over-come them. The validity of our conclusions for industrially-relevant patterning processes is established by relying on instruments and assembly lines that are only available at state-of-the-art fabrication facilities and, through this confluence of fundamental and applied research, we are able to discern the evolution of morphology at the smallest relevant length scales - a handful of nanometers -, and present a view of defect annihilation in directed self-assembly at an unprecedented level of detail.

  19. Model-driven optimization of multicomponent self-assembly processes

    PubMed Central

    Korevaar, Peter A.; Grenier, Christophe; Markvoort, Albert J.; Schenning, Albertus P. H. J.; de Greef, Tom F. A.; Meijer, E. W.

    2013-01-01

    Here, we report an engineering approach toward multicomponent self-assembly processes by developing a methodology to circumvent spurious, metastable assemblies. The formation of metastable aggregates often hampers self-assembly of molecular building blocks into the desired nanostructures. Strategies are explored to master the pathway complexity and avoid off-pathway aggregates by optimizing the rate of assembly along the correct pathway. We study as a model system the coassembly of two monomers, the R- and S-chiral enantiomers of a π-conjugated oligo(p-phenylene vinylene) derivative. Coassembly kinetics are analyzed by developing a kinetic model, which reveals the initial assembly of metastable structures buffering free monomers and thereby slows the formation of thermodynamically stable assemblies. These metastable assemblies exert greater influence on the thermodynamically favored self-assembly pathway if the ratio between both monomers approaches 1:1, in agreement with experimental results. Moreover, competition by metastable assemblies is highly temperature dependent and hampers the assembly of equilibrium nanostructures most effectively at intermediate temperatures. We demonstrate that the rate of the assembly process may be optimized by tuning the cooling rate. Finally, it is shown by simulation that increasing the driving force for assembly stepwise by changing the solvent composition may circumvent metastable pathways and thereby force the assembly process directly into the correct pathway. PMID:24101463

  20. Molecular recognition directed self-assembly of supramolecular architectures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Percec, C.; Heck, J.; Johansson, G.; Tomazos, D.; Kawasumi, M.

    1994-06-01

    This paper reviews some of our research on three classes of supramolecular architectures which are generated via various combinations of molecular, macromolecular and supramolecular chemistry. The ability of these supramolecular architectures to form liquid crystalline phases is determined by the shape of the self-assembled architecture and will be used to visualize it via various characterization techniques. The molecular design of selected examples of structural units containing taper shaped exo-receptors and crown-ether, oligooxyethylenic, and H-bonding based endo-receptors which self-assemble into cylindrical channel-like architectures via principles resembling those of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), of macrocyclics which self-assemble into a willow-like architecture will be discussed. In the case of TMV-like supramolecular architectures a comparison between various supramolecular (generated via H-bonding, ionic and electrostatic interactions) and molecular 'polymer backbones' will be made. The present state of the art of the engineering of these supramolecular architectures and some possible novel material functions derived from them will be briefly mentioned.

  1. Dynamic self-assembly and control of microfluidic particle crystals

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Wonhee; Amini, Hamed; Stone, Howard A.; Di Carlo, Dino

    2010-01-01

    Engineered two-phase microfluidic systems have recently shown promise for computation, encryption, and biological processing. For many of these systems, complex control of dispersed-phase frequency and switching is enabled by nonlinearities associated with interfacial stresses. Introducing nonlinearity associated with fluid inertia has recently been identified as an easy to implement strategy to control two-phase (solid-liquid) microscale flows. By taking advantage of inertial effects we demonstrate controllable self-assembling particle systems, uncover dynamics suggesting a unique mechanism of dynamic self-assembly, and establish a framework for engineering microfluidic structures with the possibility of spatial frequency filtering. Focusing on the dynamics of the particle–particle interactions reveals a mechanism for the dynamic self-assembly process; inertial lift forces and a parabolic flow field act together to stabilize interparticle spacings that otherwise would diverge to infinity due to viscous disturbance flows. The interplay of the repulsive viscous interaction and inertial lift also allow us to design and implement microfluidic structures that irreversibly change interparticle spacing, similar to a low-pass filter. Although often not considered at the microscale, nonlinearity due to inertia can provide a platform for high-throughput passive control of particle positions in all directions, which will be useful for applications in flow cytometry, tissue engineering, and metamaterial synthesis. PMID:21149674

  2. Multilayer block copolymer meshes by orthogonal self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Tavakkoli K G, Amir; Nicaise, Samuel M; Gadelrab, Karim R; Alexander-Katz, Alfredo; Ross, Caroline A; Berggren, Karl K

    2016-01-01

    Continued scaling-down of lithographic-pattern feature sizes has brought templated self-assembly of block copolymers (BCPs) into the forefront of nanofabrication research. Technologies now exist that facilitate significant control over otherwise unorganized assembly of BCP microdomains to form both long-range and locally complex monolayer patterns. In contrast, the extension of this control into multilayers or 3D structures of BCP microdomains remains limited, despite the possible technological applications in next-generation devices. Here, we develop and analyse an orthogonal self-assembly method in which multiple layers of distinct-molecular-weight BCPs naturally produce nanomesh structures of cylindrical microdomains without requiring layer-by-layer alignment or high-resolution lithographic templating. The mechanisms for orthogonal self-assembly are investigated with both experiment and simulation, and we determine that the control over height and chemical preference of templates are critical process parameters. The method is employed to produce nanomeshes with the shapes of circles and Y-intersections, and is extended to produce three layers of orthogonally oriented cylinders. PMID:26796218

  3. Multilayer block copolymer meshes by orthogonal self-assembly

    PubMed Central

    Tavakkoli K. G., Amir; Nicaise, Samuel M.; Gadelrab, Karim R.; Alexander-Katz, Alfredo; Ross, Caroline A.; Berggren, Karl K.

    2016-01-01

    Continued scaling-down of lithographic-pattern feature sizes has brought templated self-assembly of block copolymers (BCPs) into the forefront of nanofabrication research. Technologies now exist that facilitate significant control over otherwise unorganized assembly of BCP microdomains to form both long-range and locally complex monolayer patterns. In contrast, the extension of this control into multilayers or 3D structures of BCP microdomains remains limited, despite the possible technological applications in next-generation devices. Here, we develop and analyse an orthogonal self-assembly method in which multiple layers of distinct-molecular-weight BCPs naturally produce nanomesh structures of cylindrical microdomains without requiring layer-by-layer alignment or high-resolution lithographic templating. The mechanisms for orthogonal self-assembly are investigated with both experiment and simulation, and we determine that the control over height and chemical preference of templates are critical process parameters. The method is employed to produce nanomeshes with the shapes of circles and Y-intersections, and is extended to produce three layers of orthogonally oriented cylinders. PMID:26796218

  4. Molecular pathways for defect annihilation in directed self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Hur, Su-Mi; Thapar, Vikram; Ramírez-Hernández, Abelardo; Khaira, Gurdaman; Segal-Peretz, Tamar; Rincon-Delgadillo, Paulina A; Li, Weihua; Müller, Marcus; Nealey, Paul F; de Pablo, Juan J

    2015-11-17

    Over the last few years, the directed self-assembly of block copolymers by surface patterns has transitioned from academic curiosity to viable contender for commercial fabrication of next-generation nanocircuits by lithography. Recently, it has become apparent that kinetics, and not only thermodynamics, plays a key role for the ability of a polymeric material to self-assemble into a perfect, defect-free ordered state. Perfection, in this context, implies not more than one defect, with characteristic dimensions on the order of 5 nm, over a sample area as large as 100 cm(2). In this work, we identify the key pathways and the corresponding free energy barriers for eliminating defects, and we demonstrate that an extraordinarily large thermodynamic driving force is not necessarily sufficient for their removal. By adopting a concerted computational and experimental approach, we explain the molecular origins of these barriers and how they depend on material characteristics, and we propose strategies designed to overcome them. The validity of our conclusions for industrially relevant patterning processes is established by relying on instruments and assembly lines that are only available at state-of-the-art fabrication facilities, and, through this confluence of fundamental and applied research, we are able to discern the evolution of morphology at the smallest relevant length scales-a handful of nanometers-and present a view of defect annihilation in directed self-assembly at an unprecedented level of detail. PMID:26515095

  5. Algorithmic Self-Assembly of DNA Sierpinski Triangles

    PubMed Central

    2004-01-01

    Algorithms and information, fundamental to technological and biological organization, are also an essential aspect of many elementary physical phenomena, such as molecular self-assembly. Here we report the molecular realization, using two-dimensional self-assembly of DNA tiles, of a cellular automaton whose update rule computes the binary function XOR and thus fabricates a fractal pattern—a Sierpinski triangle—as it grows. To achieve this, abstract tiles were translated into DNA tiles based on double-crossover motifs. Serving as input for the computation, long single-stranded DNA molecules were used to nucleate growth of tiles into algorithmic crystals. For both of two independent molecular realizations, atomic force microscopy revealed recognizable Sierpinski triangles containing 100–200 correct tiles. Error rates during assembly appear to range from 1% to 10%. Although imperfect, the growth of Sierpinski triangles demonstrates all the necessary mechanisms for the molecular implementation of arbitrary cellular automata. This shows that engineered DNA self-assembly can be treated as a Turing-universal biomolecular system, capable of implementing any desired algorithm for computation or construction tasks. PMID:15583715

  6. Spectroscopic critical dimension technology (SCD) for directed self assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishibe, Senichi; Dziura, Thaddeus; Nagaswami, Venkat; Gronheid, Roel

    2014-04-01

    Directed self-assembly (DSA) is being actively investigated as a potential patterning solution for future generation devices. While SEM based CD measurement is currently used in research and development, scatterometry-based techniques like spectroscopic CD (SCD) are preferred for high volume manufacturing. SCD can offer information about sub-surface features that are not available from CD-SEM measurement. Besides, SCD is a non-destructive, high throughput technique already adopted in HVM in several advanced nodes. The directed self assembly CD measurement can be challenging because of small dimensions and extremely thin layers in the DSA stack. In this study, the SCD technology was investigated for a 14 nm resolution PS-b-PMMA chemical epitaxy UW process optimized by imec. The DSA stack involves new materials such as cross-linkable polysterene (XPS) of thickness approximately 5 nm, ArF immersion resist (subsequently removed), -OH terminated neutral brush layer, and BCP material (Polystyrene-blockmethyl methacrylate of thickness roughly 20 to 30 nm). The mask contains a large CD and pitch matrix, for studying the quality of self-assembly as a function of the guide pattern dimensions. We report on the ability of SCD to characterize the dimensional variation in these targets and hence provide a viable process control solution.

  7. A precise packing sequence for self-assembled convex structures.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ting; Zhang, Zhenli; Glotzer, Sharon C

    2007-01-16

    Molecular simulations of the self-assembly of cone-shaped particles with specific, attractive interactions are performed. Upon cooling from random initial conditions, we find that the cones self-assemble into clusters and that clusters comprised of particular numbers of cones (e.g., 4-17, 20, 27, 32, and 42) have a unique and precisely packed structure that is robust over a range of cone angles. These precise clusters form a sequence of structures at specific cluster sizes (a "precise packing sequence") that for small sizes is identical to that observed in evaporation-driven assembly of colloidal spheres. We further show that this sequence is reproduced and extended in simulations of two simple models of spheres self-assembling from random initial conditions subject to convexity constraints, including an initial spherical convexity constraint for moderate- and large-sized clusters. This sequence contains six of the most common virus capsid structures obtained in vivo, including large chiral clusters and a cluster that may correspond to several non-icosahedral, spherical virus capsids obtained in vivo. Our findings suggest that this precise packing sequence results from free energy minimization subject to convexity constraints and is applicable to a broad range of assembly processes. PMID:17215354

  8. Intramolecular energy transfer with butadiyne-linked chlorophyll and porphyrin dimer-faced, self-assembled prisms.

    SciTech Connect

    Kelley, R. F.; Lee, S. J.; Wilson, T. M.; Nakamura, Y.; Tiede, D. M.; Osuka, A.; Hupp, J. T.; Wasielewski, M. R.; SUF-USR; Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division; Northwestern Univ.; Kyoto Univ.

    2008-01-01

    The synthesis and photophysical properties of butadiyne-linked chlorophyll and porphyrin dimers in toluene solution and in several self-assembled prismatic structures are described. The butadiyne linkage between the 20-positions of the macrocycles results in new electronic transitions polarized along the long axes of the dimers. These transitions greatly increase the ability of these dimers to absorb the solar spectrum over a broad wavelength range. Femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy reveals the relative rate of rotation of the macrocycles around the butadiyne bond joining them. Following addition of 3-fold symmetric, metal-coordinating ligands, both macrocyclic dimers self-assemble into prismatic structures in which the dimers comprise the faces of the prisms. These structures were confirmed by small-angle X-ray scattering experiments in solution using a synchrotron source. Photoexcitation of the prismatic assemblies reveals that efficient, through-space energy transfer occurs between the macrocyclic dimers within the prisms. The distance dependence of energy transfer between the faces of the prisms was observed by varying the size of the prismatic assemblies through the use of 3-fold symmetric ligands having arms with different lengths. These results show that self-assembly of discrete macrocyclic prisms provides a useful new strategy for controlling singlet exciton flow in antenna systems for artificial photosynthesis and solar cell applications.

  9. Self-Assembly of biologically inspired complex functional materials.

    SciTech Connect

    Brinker, C. Jeffrey

    2004-08-01

    Nature combines hard and soft materials, often in hierarchical architectures, to get synergistic, optimized properties with proven, complex functionalities. Emulating such natural designs in robust engineering materials using efficient processing approaches represents a fundamental challenge to materials chemists. This presentation will review progress on understanding so-called 'evaporation-induced silica/surfactant self-assembly' (EISA) as a simple, general means to prepare porous thin-film nanostructures. Such porous materials are of interest for membranes, low-dielectric-constant (low-k) insulators, and even 'nano-valves' that open and close in response to an external stimulus. EISA can also be used to simultaneously organize hydrophilic and hydrophobic precursors into hybrid nanocomposites that are optically or chemically polymerizable, patternable, or adjustable. In constructing composite structures, a significant challenge is how to controllably organize or define multiple materials on multiple length scales. To address this challenge, we have combined sol-gel chemistry with molecular self-assembly in several evaporation-driven processing procedures collectively referred to as evaporation-induced self-assembly (EISA). EISA starts with a silica/water/surfactant system diluted with ethanol to create a homogeneous solution. We rely on ethanol and water evaporation during dip-coating (or other coating methods) to progressively concentrate surfactant and silica in the depositing film, driving micelle formation and subsequent continuous self-assembly of silica/surfactant thin film mesophases. One of the crucial aspects of this process, in terms of the sol-gel chemistry, is to work under conditions where the condensation rate of the hydrophilic silicic acid precursors (Si-OH) is minimized. The idea is to avoid gelation that would kinetically trap the system at an intermediate non-equilibrium state. We want the structure to self-assemble then solidify, with the addition of a siloxane condensation catalyst or by heating, to form the desired mesostructured product. Operating at an acidic pH (pH = 2) minimizes the condensation rate of silanols to form siloxanes Si-O-SiIn addition, hydrogen bonding and electrostatic interactions between silanols and hydrophilic surfactant head groups can further reduce the condensation rate. These combined factors maintain the depositing film in a fluid state, even beyond the point where ethanol and water are largely evaporated. This allows the deposited film to be self-healing and enables the use of virtually any evaporation-driven process (spin-coating, inkjet printing, or aerosol processing) to create ordered nanostructured films, patterns, or particles.

  10. Self-assembled nanomaterials based on beta (β (3)) tetrapeptides.

    PubMed

    Seoudi, Rania S; Hinds, Mark G; Wilson, David J D; Adda, Christopher G; Del Borgo, Mark; Aguilar, Marie-Isabel; Perlmutter, Patrick; Mechler, Adam

    2016-04-01

    β (3)-amino acid based polypeptides offer a unique starting material for the design of self-assembled nanostructures such as fibres and hierarchical dendritic assemblies, due to their well-defined helical geometry in which the peptide side chains align at 120° due to the 3.0-3.1 residue pitch of the helix. In a previous work we have described the head-to-tail self-assembly of N-terminal acetylated β (3)-peptides into infinite helical nanorods that was achieved by designing a bioinspired supramolecular self-assembly motif. Here we describe the effect of consecutively more polar side chains on the self-assembly characteristics of β (3)-tetrapeptides Ac-β (3)Ala-β (3)Leu-β (3)Ile-β (3)Ala (Ac-β(3)[ALIA]), Ac-β (3)Ser-β (3)Leu-β (3)Ile-β (3)Ala (Ac-β(3)[SLIA]) and Ac-β (3)Lys-β (3)Leu-β (3)Ile-β (3)Glu (Ac-β(3)[KLIE]). β (3)-tetrapeptides complete 1 1/3 turns of the helix: thus in the oligomeric form the side chain positions shift 120° with each added monomer, forming a regular periodic pattern along the nanorod. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements confirmed that these peptides self-assemble even in highly polar solvents such as water and DMSO, while diffusion-ordered NMR spectroscopy revealed the presence of a substantial monomeric population. Temperature dependence of the size distribution in DLS measurements suggests a dynamic equilibrium between monomers and oligomers. Solution casting produced distinct fibrillar deposits after evaporating the solvent. In the case of the apolar Ac-β (3)[ALIA] the longitudinal helix morphology gives rise to geometrically defined (∼70°) junctions between fibres, forming a mesh that opens up possibilities for applications e.g. in tissue scaffolding. The deposits of polar Ac-β (3)[SLIA] and Ac-β (3)[KLIE] exhibit fibres in regular parallel alignment over surface areas in the order of 10 μm. PMID:26909736

  11. A Theoretical and Experimental Study of DNA Self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandran, Harish

    The control of matter and phenomena at the nanoscale is fast becoming one of the most important challenges of the 21st century with wide-ranging applications from energy and health care to computing and material science. Conventional top-down approaches to nanotechnology, having served us well for long, are reaching their inherent limitations. Meanwhile, bottom-up methods such as self-assembly are emerging as viable alternatives for nanoscale fabrication and manipulation. A particularly successful bottom up technique is DNA self-assembly where a set of carefully designed DNA strands form a nanoscale object as a consequence of specific, local interactions among the different components, without external direction. The final product of the self-assembly process might be a static nanostructure or a dynamic nanodevice that performs a specific function. Over the past two decades, DNA self-assembly has produced stunning nanoscale objects such as 2D and 3D lattices, polyhedra and addressable arbitrary shaped substrates, and a myriad of nanoscale devices such as molecular tweezers, computational circuits, biosensors and molecular assembly lines. In this dissertation we study multiple problems in the theory, simulations and experiments of DNA self-assembly. We extend the Turing-universal mathematical framework of self-assembly known as the Tile Assembly Model by incorporating randomization during the assembly process. This allows us to reduce the tile complexity of linear assemblies. We develop multiple techniques to build linear assemblies of expected length N using far fewer tile types than previously possible. We abstract the fundamental properties of DNA and develop a biochemical system, which we call meta-DNA, based entirely on strands of DNA as the only component molecule. We further develop various enzyme-free protocols to manipulate meta-DNA systems and provide strand level details along with abstract notations for these mechanisms. We simulate DNA circuits by providing detailed designs for local molecular computations that involve spatially contiguous molecules arranged on addressable substrates via enzyme-free DNA hybridization reaction cascades. We use the Visual DSD simulation software in conjunction with localized reaction rates obtained from biophysical modeling to create chemical reaction networks of localized hybridization circuits that are then model checked using the PRISM model checking software. We develop a DNA detection system employing the triggered self-assembly of a novel DNA dendritic nanostructure. Detection begins when a specific, single-stranded target DNA strand triggers a hybridization chain reaction between two distinct DNA hairpins. Each hairpin opens and hybridizes up to two copies of the other, and hence each layer of the growing dendritic nanostructure can in principle accommodate an exponentially increasing number of cognate molecules, generating a nanostructure with high molecular weight. We build linear activatable assemblies employing a novel protection/deprotection strategy to strictly enforce the direction of tiling assembly growth to ensure the robustness of the assembly process. Our system consists of two tiles that can form a linear co-polymer. These tiles, which are initially protected such that they do not react with each other, can be activated to form linear co-polymers via the use of a strand displacing enzyme.

  12. Realizing omnidirectional light harvesting by employing hierarchical architecture for dye sensitized solar cells.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Ming-Yang; Lai, Fang-I; Chen, Wei-Chun; Hsieh, Min-Chi; Hu, Hsiang-Yi; Yu, Peichen; Kuo, Hao-Chung; Kuo, Shou-Yi

    2016-03-01

    To improve the omnidirectional light-harvesting in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), here we present a dandelion-like structure composed of ZnO hemispherical shells and nanorods. Uniformly distributed hemispherical shells effectively suppress the reflection over the broadband region at incident angles up to 60°, greatly improving the optical absorption of the DSSCs. In addition, modulating the length of the ZnO nanorods controls the omnidirectional characteristics of DSSCs. This phenomenon is attributed to the degree of periodicity of the ZnO dandelion-like structures. Cells with shorter rods exhibit a high degree of periodicity, thus the conversion efficiencies of the cells show specific angle-independent features. On the other hand, the cells with longer lengths reveal angle-dependent photovoltaic performance. Along with the simulation, the cells with dandelion-like ZnO structures can couple incident photons efficiently to achieve excellent broadband and omnidirectional light-harvesting performances experimentally, and the DSSCs enhanced the conversion efficiency by 48% at large incident angles. All these findings not only provide further insight into the light-trapping mechanism in these complex three-dimensional nanostructures but also offer efficient omnidirectional and broadband nanostructured photovoltaics for advanced applications. PMID:26899775

  13. Coherently wired light-harvesting in photosynthetic marine algae at ambient temperature.

    PubMed

    Collini, Elisabetta; Wong, Cathy Y; Wilk, Krystyna E; Curmi, Paul M G; Brumer, Paul; Scholes, Gregory D

    2010-02-01

    Photosynthesis makes use of sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into useful biomass and is vital for life on Earth. Crucial components for the photosynthetic process are antenna proteins, which absorb light and transmit the resultant excitation energy between molecules to a reaction centre. The efficiency of these electronic energy transfers has inspired much work on antenna proteins isolated from photosynthetic organisms to uncover the basic mechanisms at play. Intriguingly, recent work has documented that light-absorbing molecules in some photosynthetic proteins capture and transfer energy according to quantum-mechanical probability laws instead of classical laws at temperatures up to 180 K. This contrasts with the long-held view that long-range quantum coherence between molecules cannot be sustained in complex biological systems, even at low temperatures. Here we present two-dimensional photon echo spectroscopy measurements on two evolutionarily related light-harvesting proteins isolated from marine cryptophyte algae, which reveal exceptionally long-lasting excitation oscillations with distinct correlations and anti-correlations even at ambient temperature. These observations provide compelling evidence for quantum-coherent sharing of electronic excitation across the 5-nm-wide proteins under biologically relevant conditions, suggesting that distant molecules within the photosynthetic proteins are 'wired' together by quantum coherence for more efficient light-harvesting in cryptophyte marine algae. PMID:20130647

  14. In Vivo Identification of Photosystem II Light Harvesting Complexes Interacting with PHOTOSYSTEM II SUBUNIT S.

    PubMed

    Gerotto, Caterina; Franchin, Cinzia; Arrigoni, Giorgio; Morosinotto, Tomas

    2015-08-01

    Light is the primary energy source for photosynthetic organisms, but in excess, it can generate reactive oxygen species and lead to cell damage. Plants evolved multiple mechanisms to modulate light use efficiency depending on illumination intensity to thrive in a highly dynamic natural environment. One of the main mechanisms for protection from intense illumination is the dissipation of excess excitation energy as heat, a process called nonphotochemical quenching. In plants, nonphotochemical quenching induction depends on the generation of a pH gradient across thylakoid membranes and on the presence of a protein called PHOTOSYSTEM II SUBUNIT S (PSBS). Here, we generated Physcomitrella patens lines expressing histidine-tagged PSBS that were exploited to purify the native protein by affinity chromatography. The mild conditions used in the purification allowed copurifying PSBS with its interactors, which were identified by mass spectrometry analysis to be mainly photosystem II antenna proteins, such as LIGHT-HARVESTING COMPLEX B (LHCB). PSBS interaction with other proteins appears to be promiscuous and not exclusive, although the major proteins copurified with PSBS were components of the LHCII trimers (LHCB3 and LHCBM). These results provide evidence of a physical interaction between specific photosystem II light-harvesting complexes and PSBS in the thylakoids, suggesting that these subunits are major players in heat dissipation of excess energy. PMID:26069151

  15. Realizing omnidirectional light harvesting by employing hierarchical architecture for dye sensitized solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Ming-Yang; Lai, Fang-I.; Chen, Wei-Chun; Hsieh, Min-Chi; Hu, Hsiang-Yi; Yu, Peichen; Kuo, Hao-Chung; Kuo, Shou-Yi

    2016-03-01

    To improve the omnidirectional light-harvesting in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), here we present a dandelion-like structure composed of ZnO hemispherical shells and nanorods. Uniformly distributed hemispherical shells effectively suppress the reflection over the broadband region at incident angles up to 60°, greatly improving the optical absorption of the DSSCs. In addition, modulating the length of the ZnO nanorods controls the omnidirectional characteristics of DSSCs. This phenomenon is attributed to the degree of periodicity of the ZnO dandelion-like structures. Cells with shorter rods exhibit a high degree of periodicity, thus the conversion efficiencies of the cells show specific angle-independent features. On the other hand, the cells with longer lengths reveal angle-dependent photovoltaic performance. Along with the simulation, the cells with dandelion-like ZnO structures can couple incident photons efficiently to achieve excellent broadband and omnidirectional light-harvesting performances experimentally, and the DSSCs enhanced the conversion efficiency by 48% at large incident angles. All these findings not only provide further insight into the light-trapping mechanism in these complex three-dimensional nanostructures but also offer efficient omnidirectional and broadband nanostructured photovoltaics for advanced applications.

  16. Assembly of the major light-harvesting complex II in lipid nanodiscs.

    PubMed

    Pandit, Anjali; Shirzad-Wasei, Nazhat; Wlodarczyk, Lucyna M; van Roon, Henny; Boekema, Egbert J; Dekker, Jan P; de Grip, Willem J

    2011-11-16

    Self-aggregation of isolated plant light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) upon detergent extraction is associated with fluorescence quenching and is used as an in vitro model to study the photophysical processes of nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ). In the NPQ state, in vivo induced under excess solar light conditions, harmful excitation energy is safely dissipated as heat. To prevent self-aggregation and probe the conformations of LHCs in a lipid environment devoid from detergent interactions, we assembled LHCII trimer complexes into lipid nanodiscs consisting of a bilayer lipid matrix surrounded by a membrane scaffold protein (MSP). The LHCII nanodiscs were characterized by fluorescence spectroscopy and found to be in an unquenched, fluorescent state. Remarkably, the absorbance spectra of LHCII in lipid nanodiscs show fine structure in the carotenoid and Q(y) region that is different from unquenched, detergent-solubilized LHCII but similar to that of self-aggregated, quenched LHCII in low-detergent buffer without magnesium ions. The nanodisc data presented here suggest that 1), LHCII pigment-protein complexes undergo conformational changes upon assembly in nanodiscs that are not correlated with downregulation of its light-harvesting function; and 2), these effects can be separated from quenching and aggregation-related phenomena. This will expand our present view of the conformational flexibility of LHCII in different microenvironments. PMID:22098750

  17. Light-Harvesting Antenna System from the Phototrophic Bacterium Roseiflexus castenholzii

    SciTech Connect

    Collins, Aaron M.; Qian, Pu; Tang, Qun; Bocian, David F; Hunter, C. Neil; Blankenship, Robert E.

    2010-08-12

    Photosynthetic organisms have evolved diverse light-harvesting complexes to harness light of various qualities and intensities. Photosynthetic bacteria can have (bacterio)chlorophyll Qy antenna absorption bands ranging from ~650 to ~1100 nm. This broad range of wavelengths has allowed many organisms to thrive in unique light environments. Roseiflexus castenholzii is a niche-adapted, filamentous anoxygenic phototroph (FAP) that lacks chlorosomes, the dominant antenna found in most green bacteria, and here we describe the purification of a full complement of photosynthetic complexes: the light-harvesting (LH) antenna, reaction center (RC), and core complex (RC-LH). By high-performance liquid chromatography separation of bacteriochlorophyll and bacteriopheophytin pigments extracted from the core complex and the RC, the number of subunits that comprise the antenna was determined to be 15 ± 1. Resonance Raman spectroscopy of the carbonyl stretching region displayed modes indicating that 3C-acetyl groups of BChl a are all involved in molecular interactions probably similar to those found in LH1 complexes from purple photosynthetic bacteria. Finally, two-dimensional projections of negatively stained core complexes and the LH antenna revealed a closed, slightly elliptical LH ring with an average diameter of 130 ± 10 Å surrounding a single RC that lacks an H-subunit but is associated with a tetraheme c-type cytochrome.

  18. Energy transfer and clustering of photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes in reconstituted lipid membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dewa, Takehisa; Sumino, Ayumi; Watanabe, Natsuko; Noji, Tomoyasu; Nango, Mamoru

    2013-06-01

    In purple photosynthetic bacteria, light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2) and light harvesting/reaction centre core complex (LH1-RC) play the key roles of capturing and transferring light energy and subsequent charge separation. These photosynthetic apparatuses form a supramolecular assembly; however, how the assembly influences the efficiency of energy conversion is not yet clear. We addressed this issue by evaluating the energy transfer in reconstituted photosynthetic protein complexes LH2 and LH1-RC and studying the structures and the membrane environment of the LH2/LH1-RC assemblies, which had been embedded into various lipid bilayers. Thus, LH2 and LH1-RC from Rhodopseudomonas palustris 2.1.6 were reconstituted in phosphatidylglycerol (PG), phosphatidylcholine (PC), and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE)/PG/cardiolipin (CL). Efficient energy transfer from LH2 to LH1-RC was observed in the PC and PE/PG/CL membranes. Atomic force microscopy revealed that LH2 and LH1-RC were heterogeneously distributed to form clusters in the PC and PE/PG/CL membranes. The results indicated that the phospholipid species influenced the cluster formation of LH2 and LH1-RC as well as the energy transfer efficiency.

  19. Excited state dynamics in photosynthetic reaction center and light harvesting complex 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strümpfer, Johan; Schulten, Klaus

    2012-08-01

    Key to efficient harvesting of sunlight in photosynthesis is the first energy conversion process in which electronic excitation establishes a trans-membrane charge gradient. This conversion is accomplished by the photosynthetic reaction center (RC) that is, in case of the purple photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides studied here, surrounded by light harvesting complex 1 (LH1). The RC employs six pigment molecules to initiate the conversion: four bacteriochlorophylls and two bacteriopheophytins. The excited states of these pigments interact very strongly and are simultaneously influenced by the surrounding thermal protein environment. Likewise, LH1 employs 32 bacteriochlorophylls influenced in their excited state dynamics by strong interaction between the pigments and by interaction with the protein environment. Modeling the excited state dynamics in the RC as well as in LH1 requires theoretical methods, which account for both pigment-pigment interaction and pigment-environment interaction. In the present study we describe the excitation dynamics within a RC and excitation transfer between light harvesting complex 1 (LH1) and RC, employing the hierarchical equation of motion method. For this purpose a set of model parameters that reproduce RC as well as LH1 spectra and observed oscillatory excitation dynamics in the RC is suggested. We find that the environment has a significant effect on LH1-RC excitation transfer and that excitation transfers incoherently between LH1 and RC.

  20. Multireference Excitation Energies for Bacteriochlorophylls A within Light Harvesting System 2.

    PubMed

    Anda, André; Hansen, Thorsten; De Vico, Luca

    2016-03-01

    Light-harvesting system 2 (LH2) of purple bacteria is one of the most popular antenna complexes used to study Nature's way of collecting and channeling solar energy. The dynamics of the absorbed energy is probed by ultrafast spectroscopy. Simulation of these experiments relies on fitting a range of parameters to reproduce the spectra. Here, we present a method that can determine key parameters to chemical accuracy. These will eliminate free variables in the modeling, thus reducing the problem. Using MS-RASPT2/RASSCF calculations, we compute excitation energies and transition dipole moments of all bacteriochlorophylls in LH2. We find that the excitation energies vary among the bacteriochlorophyll monomers and that they are regulated by the curvature of the macrocycle ring and the dihedral angle of an acetyl moiety. Increasing the curvature lifts the ground state energy, which causes a red shift of the excitation energy. Increasing the torsion of the acetyl moiety raises the excited state energy, resulting in a blue shift of the excitation energy. The obtained results mark a giant leap for multiconfigurational multireference quantum chemical methods in the photochemistry of biological systems, which can prove instrumental in exposing the underlying physics of photosynthetic light-harvesting. PMID:26796483

  1. Chlorophyll a and carotenoid triplet states in light-harvesting complex II of higher plants.

    PubMed Central

    Peterman, E J; Dukker, F M; van Grondelle, R; van Amerongen, H

    1995-01-01

    Laser-flash-induced transient absorption measurements were performed on trimeric light-harvesting complex II to study carotenoid (Car) and chlorophyll (Chl) triplet states as a function of temperature. In these complexes efficient transfer of triplets from Chl to Car occurs as a protection mechanism against singlet oxygen formation. It appears that at room temperature all triplets are being transferred from Chl to Car; at lower temperatures (77 K and below) the transfer is less efficient and chlorophyll triplets can be observed. In the presence of oxygen at room temperature the Car triplets are partly quenched by oxygen and two different Car triplet spectral species can be distinguished because of a difference in quenching rate. One of these spectral species is replaced by another one upon cooling to 4 Ki demonstrating that at least three carotenoids are in close contact with chlorophylls. The triplet minus singlet absorption (T-S) spectra show maxima at 504-506 nm and 517-523 nm, respectively. In the Chl Qy region absorption changes can be observed that are caused by Car triplets. The T-S spectra in the Chl region show an interesting temperature dependence which indicates that various Car's are in contact with different Chl a molecules. The results are discussed in terms of the crystal structure of light-harvesting complex II. PMID:8599673

  2. The terminal phycobilisome emitter, LCM: A light-harvesting pigment with a phytochrome chromophore.

    PubMed

    Tang, Kun; Ding, Wen-Long; Höppner, Astrid; Zhao, Cheng; Zhang, Lun; Hontani, Yusaku; Kennis, John T M; Gärtner, Wolfgang; Scheer, Hugo; Zhou, Ming; Zhao, Kai-Hong

    2015-12-29

    Photosynthesis relies on energy transfer from light-harvesting complexes to reaction centers. Phycobilisomes, the light-harvesting antennas in cyanobacteria and red algae, attach to the membrane via the multidomain core-membrane linker, LCM. The chromophore domain of LCM forms a bottleneck for funneling the harvested energy either productively to reaction centers or, in case of light overload, to quenchers like orange carotenoid protein (OCP) that prevent photodamage. The crystal structure of the solubly modified chromophore domain from Nostoc sp. PCC7120 was resolved at 2.2 Å. Although its protein fold is similar to the protein folds of phycobiliproteins, the phycocyanobilin (PCB) chromophore adopts ZZZssa geometry, which is unknown among phycobiliproteins but characteristic for sensory photoreceptors (phytochromes and cyanobacteriochromes). However, chromophore photoisomerization is inhibited in LCM by tight packing. The ZZZssa geometry of the chromophore and π-π stacking with a neighboring Trp account for the functionally relevant extreme spectral red shift of LCM. Exciton coupling is excluded by the large distance between two PCBs in a homodimer and by preservation of the spectral features in monomers. The structure also indicates a distinct flexibility that could be involved in quenching. The conclusions from the crystal structure are supported by femtosecond transient absorption spectra in solution. PMID:26669441

  3. Integral Light-Harvesting Complex Expression In Symbiodinium Within The Coral Acropora aspera Under Thermal Stress

    PubMed Central

    Gierz, Sarah L.; Gordon, Benjamin R.; Leggat, William

    2016-01-01

    Coral reef success is largely dependent on the symbiosis between coral hosts and dinoflagellate symbionts belonging to the genus Symbiodinium. Elevated temperatures can result in the expulsion of Symbiodinium or loss of their photosynthetic pigments and is known as coral bleaching. It has been postulated that the expression of light-harvesting protein complexes (LHCs), which bind chlorophylls (chl) and carotenoids, are important in photobleaching. This study explored the effect a sixteen-day thermal stress (increasing daily from 25–34 °C) on integral LHC (chlorophyll a-chlorophyll c2-peridinin protein complex (acpPC)) gene expression in Symbiodinium within the coral Acropora aspera. Thermal stress leads to a decrease in Symbiodinium photosynthetic efficiency by day eight, while symbiont density was significantly lower on day sixteen. Over this time period, the gene expression of five Symbiodinium acpPC genes was quantified. Three acpPC genes exhibited up-regulated expression when corals were exposed to temperatures above 31.5 °C (acpPCSym_1:1, day sixteen; acpPCSym_15, day twelve; and acpPCSym_18, day ten and day sixteen). In contrast, the expression of acpPCSym_5:1 and acpPCSym_10:1 was unchanged throughout the experiment. Interestingly, the three acpPC genes with increased expression cluster together in a phylogenetic analysis of light-harvesting complexes. PMID:27117333

  4. Fluorinated counterion-enhanced emission of rhodamine aggregates: ultrabright nanoparticles for bioimaging and light-harvesting.

    PubMed

    Shulov, Ievgen; Oncul, Sule; Reisch, Andreas; Arntz, Youri; Collot, Mayeul; Mely, Yves; Klymchenko, Andrey S

    2015-11-21

    The key to ultrabright fluorescent nanomaterials is the control of dye emission in the aggregated state. Here, lipophilic rhodamine B derivatives are assembled into nanoparticles (NPs) using tetraphenylborate counterions with varied fluorination levels that should tune the short-range dye ordering. Counterion fluorination is found to drastically enhance the emission characteristics of these NPs. Highly fluorinated counterions produce 10-20 nm NPs containing >300 rhodamine dyes with a fluorescence quantum yield of 40-60% and a remarkably narrow emission band (34 nm), whereas, for other counterions, aggregation caused quenching with a weak broad-band emission is observed. NPs with the most fluorinated counterion (48 fluorines) are ∼40-fold brighter than quantum dots (QD585 at 532 nm excitation) in single-molecule microscopy, showing improved photostability and suppressed blinking. Due to exciton diffusion, revealed by fluorescence anisotropy, these NPs are efficient FRET donors to single cyanine-5 acceptors with a light-harvesting antenna effect reaching 200. Finally, NPs with the most fluorinated counterion are rather stable after entry into living cells, in contrast to their less fluorinated analogue. Thus, the present work shows the crucial role of counterion fluorination in achieving high fluorescence brightness and photostability, narrow-band emission, efficient energy transfer and high intracellular stability of nanomaterials for light harvesting and bioimaging applications. PMID:26482443

  5. Photothermal light harvesting and light-gated molecular release by nanoporous gold disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, Greggy M.; Zhao, Fusheng; Zeng, Jianbo; Shih, Wei-Chuan

    2015-03-01

    Photothermal heating has been an effective mechanism for harvesting light energy by plasmonic resonance. Photothermally generated hyperthermia can alter cell behavior, change cell microenvironment, and promote or suppress cell growth. In the past, colloidal nanoparticles such as gold nanospheres, nanoshells, nanorods, and nanocages have been developed for various applications. Here, we show that nanoporous gold disks (NPGDs) with 400 nm diameter, 75 nm thickness, and 13 nm pores exhibit large specific surface area and effective photothermal light harvesting capability. Another potential application is demonstrated by light-gated, multi-step molecular release of pre-adsorbed R6G fluorescent dye on arrayed NPGDs. Through the use of time-resolved temperature mapping, the spatial and temporal characteristics of photothermal heating in NPGD arrays is successfully demonstrated for both aqueous and air ambient environments. By applying a thermodynamic model to our experimental data, we determined the photothermal conversion efficiency at 56% for NPGD arrays. As a potential application, light-gated, multi-stage release of pre-adsorbed R6G dye molecules from NPGD arrays has been demonstrated. The results establish the foundation that NPGDs can be employed for photothermal light harvesting and light-gated molecular release.

  6. Integral Light-Harvesting Complex Expression In Symbiodinium Within The Coral Acropora aspera Under Thermal Stress.

    PubMed

    Gierz, Sarah L; Gordon, Benjamin R; Leggat, William

    2016-01-01

    Coral reef success is largely dependent on the symbiosis between coral hosts and dinoflagellate symbionts belonging to the genus Symbiodinium. Elevated temperatures can result in the expulsion of Symbiodinium or loss of their photosynthetic pigments and is known as coral bleaching. It has been postulated that the expression of light-harvesting protein complexes (LHCs), which bind chlorophylls (chl) and carotenoids, are important in photobleaching. This study explored the effect a sixteen-day thermal stress (increasing daily from 25-34 °C) on integral LHC (chlorophyll a-chlorophyll c2-peridinin protein complex (acpPC)) gene expression in Symbiodinium within the coral Acropora aspera. Thermal stress leads to a decrease in Symbiodinium photosynthetic efficiency by day eight, while symbiont density was significantly lower on day sixteen. Over this time period, the gene expression of five Symbiodinium acpPC genes was quantified. Three acpPC genes exhibited up-regulated expression when corals were exposed to temperatures above 31.5 °C (acpPCSym_1:1, day sixteen; acpPCSym_15, day twelve; and (acpPCSym_18), day ten and day sixteen). In contrast, the expression of acpPCSym_5:1 and acpPCSym_10:1 was unchanged throughout the experiment. Interestingly, the three acpPC genes with increased expression cluster together in a phylogenetic analysis of light-harvesting complexes. PMID:27117333

  7. Polaron effects on the performance of light-harvesting systems: a quantum heat engine perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Dazhi; Wang, Chen; Zhao, Yang; Cao, Jianshu

    2016-02-01

    We explore energy transfer in a generic three-level system, which is coupled to three non-equilibrium baths. Built on the concept of quantum heat engine, our three-level model describes non-equilibrium quantum processes including light-harvesting energy transfer, nano-scale heat transfer, photo-induced isomerization, and photovoltaics in double quantum-dots. In the context of light-harvesting, the excitation energy is first pumped up by sunlight, then is transferred via two excited states which are coupled to a phonon bath, and finally decays to the reaction center. The efficiency of this process is evaluated by steady state analysis via a polaron-transformed master equation; thus the entire range of the system-phonon coupling strength can be covered. We show that the coupling with the phonon bath not only modifies the steady state, resulting in population inversion, but also introduces a finite steady state coherence which optimizes the energy transfer flux and efficiency. In the strong coupling limit, the steady state coherence disappears and the efficiency recovers the heat engine limit given by Scovil and Schultz-Dubois (1959 Phys. Rev. Lett. 2 262).

  8. Zeaxanthin Radical Cation Formation in Minor Light-Harvesting Complexes of Higher Plant Antenna

    SciTech Connect

    Avenson, Thomas H.; Ahn, Tae Kyu; Zigmantas, Donatas; Niyogi, Krishna K.; Li, Zhirong; Ballottari, Matteo; Bassi, Roberto; Fleming, Graham R.

    2008-01-31

    Previous work on intact thylakoid membranes showed that transient formation of a zeaxanthin radical cation was correlated with regulation of photosynthetic light-harvesting via energy-dependent quenching. A molecular mechanism for such quenching was proposed to involve charge transfer within a chlorophyll-zeaxanthin heterodimer. Using near infrared (880-1100 nm) transient absorption spectroscopy, we demonstrate that carotenoid (mainly zeaxanthin) radical cation generation occurs solely in isolated minor light-harvesting complexes that bind zeaxanthin, consistent with the engagement of charge transfer quenching therein. We estimated that less than 0.5percent of the isolated minor complexes undergo charge transfer quenching in vitro, whereas the fraction of minor complexes estimated to be engaged in charge transfer quenching in isolated thylakoids was more than 80 times higher. We conclude that minor complexes which bind zeaxanthin are sites of charge transfer quenching in vivo and that they can assume Non-quenching and Quenching conformations, the equilibrium LHC(N)<--> LHC(Q) of which is modulated by the transthylakoid pH gradient, the PsbS protein, and protein-protein interactions.

  9. Refined structure-based simulation of plant light-harvesting complex II: linear optical spectra of trimers and aggregates.

    PubMed

    Müh, Frank; Renger, Thomas

    2012-08-01

    Linear optical spectra of solubilized trimers and small lamellar aggregates of the major light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) of higher plants are simulated employing excitonic couplings and site energies of chlorophylls (Chls) computed on the basis of the two crystal structures by a combined quantum chemical/electrostatic approach. A good agreement between simulation and experiment is achieved (except for the circular dichroism in the Chl b region), if vibronic transitions of Chls are taken into account. Site energies are further optimized by refinement fits of optical spectra. The differences between refined and directly calculated values are not significant enough to decide, whether the crystal structures are closer to trimers or aggregates. Changes in the linear dichroism spectrum upon aggregation are related to site energy shifts of Chls b601, b607, a603, a610, and a613, and are interpreted in terms of conformational changes of violaxanthin and the two luteins involving their ionone rings. Chl a610 is the energy sink at 77K in both conformations. An analysis of absorption spectra of trimers perpendicular and parallel to the C(3)-axis (van Amerongen et al. Biophys. J. 67 (1994) 837-847) shows that only Chl a604 close to neoxanthin is significantly reoriented in trimers compared to the crystal structures. Whether this pigment is orientated in aggregates as in the crystal structures, can presently not be determined faithfully. To finally decide about pigment reorientations that could be of relevance for non-photochemical quenching, further polarized absorption and fluorescence measurements of aggregates or detergent-depleted LHCII would be helpful. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Photosynthesis Research for Sustainability: from Natural to Artificial. PMID:22387396

  10. Light-harvesting regulation from leaf to molecule with the emphasis on rapid changes in antenna size.

    PubMed

    Xu, Da-Quan; Chen, Yue; Chen, Gen-Yun

    2015-05-01

    In the sunlight-fluctuating environment, plants often encounter both light-deficiency and light-excess cases. Therefore, regulation of light harvesting is absolutely essential for photosynthesis in order to maximize light utilization at low light and avoid photodamage of the photosynthetic apparatus at high light. Plants have developed a series of strategies of light-harvesting regulation during evolution. These strategies include rapid responses such as leaf movement and chloroplast movement, state transitions, and reversible dissociation of some light-harvesting complex of the photosystem II (LHCIIs) from PSII core complexes, and slow acclimation strategies such as changes in the protein abundance of light-harvesting antenna and modifications of leaf morphology, structure, and compositions. This review discusses successively these strategies and focuses on the rapid change in antenna size, namely reversible dissociation of some peripheral light-harvesting antennas (LHCIIs) from PSII core complex. It is involved in protective role and species dependence of the dissociation, differences between the dissociation and state transitions, relationship between the dissociation and thylakoid protein phosphorylation, and possible mechanism for thermal dissipation by the dissociated LHCIIs. PMID:25773873

  11. Combustion and self-assembly of nanoenergetic materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malchi, Jonathan Yaniv

    The recent worldwide interest in nanotechnology spans a wide variety of scientific fields such as electronics, biology, materials science and medicine. Because of their extremely small dimensions, nanoparticles demonstrate properties different from matter at larger scales. Understanding these unusual properties and utilizing them for macroscale devices is an overall goal for nanotechnology. Moreover, manipulating these small particles into organized structures is crucial for taking full advantage of what nanotechnology has to offer, however it has proven to be a difficult task. Recent work utilizing electrostatic forces shows great potential for the self-assembly of nanoparticles into organized two-dimensional and three-dimensional structures. Overall, this work examines how nanotechnology and self-assembly can benefit the field of energetic materials. Because of aluminum's high energy density and low cost, it has been used in the field of energetic materials for several decades. In order to achieve sufficient energy release rates, aluminum is typically manufactured as a powder having spherical particles with diameters on the micron scale. It is well-known that decreasing the original particle diameter of a fuel particle will increase the burning time and, thus, energy release rate. Therefore, aluminum particles have recently been made to have diameters on the nanoscale, and shown to be advantageous for several applications. The combustion of nanoaluminum (nAl) in various systems is the primary focus of this study. A progression of experiments is used to analyze the combustion of nAl: (1) a fully heterogeneous flame spread system, (2) a semi-homogeneous sonicated thermite system and (3) a quasi-homogeneous self-assembled thermite system. The flame spread experiment physically separates the nAl from the gaseous oxidizer allowing for a well-understood convective, diffusive, reactive system to be analyzed. Because of the simplicity of the experimental setup, variables are easily changed and their effects on the flame spread rate are observed. Overall, spread rates are 2 to 3 orders of magnitude greater than what is demonstrated with typical solid fuels due to the high reactivity of the nAl. This large difference in spread rate brings about a fingering combustion instability in normal gravity conditions that has only been shown to occur in microgravity conditions. Moreover, a stability map is created based on the nondimensional Lewis and Damkohler numbers that predicts when a continuous flame front will transition to a fingering instability. This, along with the various other trends, is predicted using a simple scaling analysis. A nanoscale thermite is created via sonication of nAl and nanocopper-oxide (nCuO) particles. Although the mixture is unorganized and random, these materials boast extremely exothermic reactions with propagation rates on the order of 1 km/s. Experiments are performed to examine the effect of adding a diluent to the system. Two types of materials are added, a stable end product, aluminum-oxide, and long alkyl chain hydrocarbons. Both materials severely hinder the propagation rate, however, experiments suggest that hydrocarbon addition could help with the material's sensitivity to electrostatic discharge. Equilibrium calculations suggest that a dual temperature and gas production criteria must be met to allow for the convective propagation mechanism to take place and fast propagation rates to occur. Because of the hydrocarbons required for self-assembly, these experiments also give an indication of how the self-assembled material will react. To electrostatically self-assemble a nAl/nCuO thermite, the constituents are first coated with an o-functionalized alkyl chain ligand and suspended in a separate solutions. Upon mixing, the opposite electrostatic charges agglomerate the two constituents, which subsequently precipitate out of solution. Analyzing the material with Scanning Electron Microscopy shows that a portion has self-assembled into microspheres having diameters from 1-5mum. This is the first known energetic nanocomposite built with a bottom-up engineering approach. The combustion properties of the self-assembled material are compared to that of the sonicated material, with similar amounts of added hydrocarbons. The propagation in microchannels is examined. Unlike the sonicated material, the self-assembled material is able to achieve ignition and propagate the full length of the microchannel. This gives indication that electrostatic self-assembly is a viable method for building energetic materials from the bottom-up, and could potentially increase the intimacy of the mixing.

  12. Bottlebrush Polymers: Synthesis, Rheology, and Self-Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalsin, Samuel J.

    Bottlebrush polymers are comb-like molecules with a high density of side chains grafted along a central backbone. Due to their unique conformational properties, bottlebrush polymers have become attractive candidates for developing new photonic bandgap materials, nanotubes and nanowires, or drug delivery vehicles, to name a few. This dissertation primarily investigates the rheological properties and self-assembly behavior of bottlebrush polymer molecules made using a variety of different polymerization routes. A considerable portion of the work is directed towards the linear rheology of model, polyolefin-based bottlebrush polymers with independently varied branch and backbone lengths. These studies demonstrate how the tight spacing between branch points effectively precludes backbone entanglement in the polymer melts, but it does not inhibit the formation of entanglements among the branched side chains. Furthermore, the relaxation profiles reveal transient scaling behavior in which the dynamics transition from Zimm-like to Rouse-like at increasing relaxation times. These results highlight the distinct conformational character of bottlebrushes at different length scales. The latter parts of this work report on the self-assembly behavior of bottlebrush diblock polymers composed of atactic polypropylene and polystyrene side chains. The diblock samples are analyzed using small-angle X-ray scattering and atomic force microscopy. Nearly all of the samples display strong segregation between the two blocks, owing to the large molar mass of typical bottlebrush polymers. Consequently, only one experimental sample displays an accessible order-disorder transition temperature. The strong segregation is also shown to affect the ability of large bottlebrush diblocks to readily achieve well-ordered nanostructures by self-assembly. Finally, results of the most symmetric (by volume fraction) diblock samples are compared with predictions of a newly developed self-consistent field theory model, yielding remarkable quantitative agreement. The theory is further utilized to conclusively establish the molecular origins of the domain scaling behavior in lamellar forming diblock bottlebrush polymers.

  13. Self-assembly of 33-mer gliadin peptide oligomers.

    PubMed

    Herrera, M G; Benedini, L A; Lonez, C; Schilardi, P L; Hellweg, T; Ruysschaert, J-M; Dodero, V I

    2015-11-28

    The 33-mer gliadin peptide, LQLQPF(PQPQLPY)3PQPQPF, is a highly immunogenic peptide involved in celiac disease and probably in other immunopathologies associated with gliadin. Herein, dynamic light scattering measurements showed that 33-mer, in the micromolar concentration range, forms polydisperse nano- and micrometer range particles in aqueous media. This behaviour is reminiscent of classical association of colloids and we hypothesized that the 33-mer peptide self-assembles into micelles that could be the precursors of 33-mer oligomers in water. Deposition of 33-mer peptide aqueous solution on bare mica generated nano- and microstructures with different morphologies as revealed by atomic force microscopy. At 6 μM, the 33-mer is organised in isolated and clusters of spherical nanostructures. In the 60 to 250 μM concentration range, the spherical oligomers associated mainly in linear and annular arrangements and structures adopting a "sheet" type morphology appeared. At higher concentrations (610 μM), mainly filaments and plaques immersed in a background of nanospherical structures were detected. The occurrence of different morphologies of oligomers and finally the filaments suggests that the unique specific geometry of the 33-mer oligomers has a crucial role in the subsequent condensation and organization of their fractal structures into the final filaments. The self-assembly process on mica is described qualitatively and quantitatively by a fractal diffusion limited aggregation (DLA) behaviour with the fractal dimension in the range of 1.62 ± 0.02 to 1.73 ± 0.03. Secondary structure evaluation of the oligomers by Attenuated Total Reflection FTIR spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) revealed the existence of a conformational equilibrium of self-assembled structures, from an extended conformation to a more folded parallel beta elongated structures. Altogether, these findings provide structural and morphological information about supramolecular organization of the 33-mer peptide, which might offer new perspectives for the understanding and treatment of gliadin intolerance disorders. PMID:26376290

  14. Self-assembly of amorphous biophotonic nanostructures by phase separation

    SciTech Connect

    Dufresne, Eric R.; Noh, Heeso; Saranathan, Vinodkumar; Mochrie, Simon G.J.; Cao, Hui; Prum, Richard O.

    2009-04-23

    Some of the most vivid colors in the animal kingdom are created not by pigments, but by wavelength-selective scattering of light from nanostructures. Here we investigate quasi-ordered nanostructures of avian feather barbs which produce vivid non-iridescent colors. These {beta}-keratin and air nanostructures are found in two basic morphologies: tortuous channels and amorphous packings of spheres. Each class of nanostructure is isotropic and has a pronounced characteristic length scale of variation in composition. These local structural correlations lead to strong backscattering over a narrow range of optical frequencies and little variation with angle of incidence. Such optical properties play important roles in social and sexual communication. To be effective, birds need to precisely control the development of these nanoscale structures, yet little is known about how they grow. We hypothesize that multiple lineages of birds have convergently evolved to exploit phase separation and kinetic arrest to self-assemble spongy color-producing nanostructures in feather barbs. Observed avian nanostructures are strikingly similar to those self-assembled during the phase separation of fluid mixtures; the channel and sphere morphologies are characteristic of phase separation by spinodal decomposition and nucleation and growth, respectively. These unstable structures are locked-in by the kinetic arrest of the {beta}-keratin matrix, likely through the entanglement or cross-linking of supermolecular {beta}-keratin fibers. Using the power of self-assembly, birds can robustly realize a diverse range of nanoscopic morphologies with relatively small physical and chemical changes during feather development.

  15. Encapsulation of gold nanoparticles into self-assembling protein nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Gold nanoparticles are useful tools for biological applications due to their attractive physical and chemical properties. Their applications can be further expanded when they are functionalized with biological molecules. The biological molecules not only provide the interfaces for interactions between nanoparticles and biological environment, but also contribute their biological functions to the nanoparticles. Therefore, we used self-assembling protein nanoparticles (SAPNs) to encapsulate gold nanoparticles. The protein nanoparticles are formed upon self-assembly of a protein chain that is composed of a pentameric coiled-coil domain at the N-terminus and trimeric coiled-coil domain at the C-terminus. The self-assembling protein nanoparticles form a central cavity of about 10 nm in size, which is ideal for the encapsulation of gold nanoparticles with similar sizes. Results We have used SAPNs to encapsulate several commercially available gold nanoparticles. The hydrodynamic size and the surface coating of gold nanoparticles are two important factors influencing successful encapsulation by the SAPNs. Gold nanoparticles with a hydrodynamic size of less than 15 nm can successfully be encapsulated. Gold nanoparticles with citrate coating appear to have stronger interactions with the proteins, which can interfere with the formation of regular protein nanoparticles. Upon encapsulation gold nanoparticles with polymer coating interfere less strongly with the ability of the SAPNs to assemble into nanoparticles. Although the central cavity of the SAPNs carries an overall charge, the electrostatic interaction appears to be less critical for the efficient encapsulation of gold nanoparticles into the protein nanoparticles. Conclusions The SAPNs can be used to encapsulate gold nanoparticles. The SAPNs can be further functionalized by engineering functional peptides or proteins to either their N- or C-termini. Therefore encapsulation of gold nanoparticles into SAPNs can provide a useful platform to generate a multifunctional biodevices. PMID:23114058

  16. Bacterial expression of self-assembling peptide hydrogelators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonmez, Cem

    For tissue regeneration and drug delivery applications, various architectures are explored to serve as biomaterial tools. Via de novo design, functional peptide hydrogel materials have been developed as scaffolds for biomedical applications. The objective of this study is to investigate bacterial expression as an alternative method to chemical synthesis for the recombinant production of self-assembling peptides that can form rigid hydrogels under physiological conditions. The Schneider and Pochan Labs have designed and characterized a 20 amino acid beta-hairpin forming amphiphilic peptide containing a D-residue in its turn region (MAX1). As a result, this peptide must be prepared chemically. Peptide engineering, using the sequence of MAX1 as a template, afforded a small family of peptides for expression (EX peptides) that have different turn sequences consisting of natural amino acids and amenable to bacterial expression. Each sequence was initially chemically synthesized to quickly assess the material properties of its corresponding gel. One model peptide EX1, was chosen to start the bacterial expression studies. DNA constructs facilitating the expression of EX1 were designed in such that the peptide could be expressed with different fusion partners and subsequently cleaved by enzymatic or chemical means to afford the free peptide. Optimization studies were performed to increase the yield of pure peptide that ultimately allowed 50 mg of pure peptide to be harvested from one liter of culture, providing an alternate means to produce this hydrogel-forming peptide. Recombinant production of other self-assembling hairpins with different turn sequences was also successful using this optimized protocol. The studies demonstrate that new beta-hairpin self-assembling peptides that are amenable to bacterial production and form rigid hydrogels at physiological conditions can be designed and produced by fermentation in good yield at significantly reduced cost when compared to chemical synthesis.

  17. Surface modifications of photoanodes in dye sensitized solar cells: enhanced light harvesting and reduced recombination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saxena, Vibha; Aswal, D. K.

    2015-06-01

    In a quest to harvest solar power, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) have potential for low-cost eco-friendly photovoltaic devices. The major processes which govern the efficiency of a DSSC are photoelectron generation, injection of photo-generated electrons to the conduction band (CB) of the mesoporous nanocrystalline semiconductor (nc-SC); transport of CB electrons through nc-SC and subsequent collection of CB electrons at the counter electrode (CE) through the external circuit; and dye regeneration by redox couple or hole transport layer (HTL). Most of these processes occur at various interfaces of the photoanode. In addition, recombination losses of photo-generated electrons with either dye or redox molecules take place at the interfaces. Therefore, one of the key requirements for high efficiency is to improve light harvesting of the photoanode and to reduce the recombination losses at various interfaces. In this direction, surface modification of the photoanode is the simplest method among the various other approaches available in the literature. In this review, we present a comprehensive discussion on surface modification of the photoanode, which has been adopted in the literature for not only enhancing light harvesting but also reducing recombination. Various approaches towards surface modification of the photoanode discussed are (i) fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO)/nc-SC interface modified via a compact layer of semiconductor material which blocks exposed sites of FTO to electrolyte (or HTL), (ii) nc-SC/dye interface modification either through acid treatment resulting in enhanced dye loading due to a positively charged surface or by depositing insulating/semiconducting blocking layer on the nc-SC surface, which acts as a tunneling barrier for recombination, (iii) nc-SC/dye interface modified by employing co-adsorbents which helps in reducing the dye aggregation and thereby recombination, and (iv) dye/electrolyte (or dye/HTL) interface modification using additives which provides surface passivation as well as positive movement of the nc-SC Fermi level owing to negative charge at the surface and hence improves light harvesting and reduced recombination. Finally, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various approaches towards high-efficiency DSSCs.

  18. Microwave-assisted self-assembled ZnS nanoballs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Yu; Hong, J.-M.; Zhu, J.-J.

    2004-10-01

    Self-assembled zinc sulfide nanoballs were prepared in saturated aqueous solutions via a microwave-assisted route. Zinc acetate and thioacetamide were selected as zinc source and sulfur source, respectively. Powder X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, selected area electron diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectra, Fourier transform infrared and Thermogravimetric analysis were used to characterize the as-prepared products and the optical properties was studied by diffuse reflection spectra and photoluminescence spectra. Zinc sulfate and zinc nitrite can also used to prepare ZnS nanoparticles instead of nanoballs. The mechanism for the assembly of ZnS nanoballs was also discussed.

  19. Self-assembly of silk fibroin under osmotic stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sohn, Sungkyun

    The supramolecular self-assembly behavior of silk fibroin was investigated using osmotic stress technique. In Chapter 2, a ternary phase diagram of water-silk-LiBr was constructed based on X-ray results on the osmotically stressed regenerated silk fibroin of Bombyx mori silkworm. Microscopic data indicated that silk I is a hydrated structure and a rough estimate of the number of water molecules lost by the structure upon converting from silk I to silk II has been made, and found to be about 2.2 per [GAGAGS] hexapeptide. In Chapter 3, wet-spinning of osmotically stressed, regenerated silk fibroin was performed, based on the prediction that the enhanced control over structure and phase behavior using osmotic stress method helps improve the physical properties of wet-spun regenerated silk fibroin fibers. The osmotic stress was applied in order to pre-structure the regenerated silk fibroin molecule from its original random coil state to more oriented state, manipulating the phase of the silk solution in the phase diagram before the start of spinning. Monofilament fiber with a diameter of 20 microm was produced. In Chapter 4, we investigated if there is a noticeable synergistic osmotic pressure increase between co-existing polymeric osmolyte and salt when extremely highly concentrated salt molecules are present both at sample subphase and stressing subphase, as is the case of silk fibroin self-assembly. The equilibration method that measures osmotic pressure relative to a reference with known osmotic pressure was introduced. Osmotic pressure of aqueous LiBr solution up to 2.75M was measured and it was found that the synergistic effect was insignificant up to this salt concentration. Solution parameters of stressing solutions and Arrhenius kinetics based on time-temperature relationship for the equilibration process were derived as well. In Chapter 5, self-assembly behavior of natural silk fibroin within the gland of Bombyx mori silkworm was investigated using osmotic stress technique. Microscopic and thermodynamic details of this self-assembly process along the spinline have been assessed. Formation of a needle-shaped molecular lath under appropriate osmotic stress was found. Silk I degree of hydration of silk gland was quantitatively estimated by image analysis of optical micrographs and the numbers varied from 2.2 to 2.7 depending on the region in the gland. Osmotic pressure in the gland was also estimated by equilibration method.

  20. Rapid Self-Assembly of Uranyl Polyhedra into Crown Clusters

    SciTech Connect

    Sigmon, Ginger E.; Burns, Peter C.

    2011-06-22

    Clusters built from 32 uranyl peroxide polyhedra self-assemble and crystallize within 15 min after combining uranyl nitrate, ammonium hydroxide, and hydrogen peroxide in aqueous solution under ambient conditions. These novel crown-shaped clusters are remarkable in that they form so quickly, have extraordinarily low aqueous solubility, form with at least two distinct peroxide to hydroxyl ratios, and form in very high yield. The clusters, which have outer diameters of 23 Å, topologically consist of eight pentagons and four hexagons. Their rapid formation and low solubility in aqueous systems may be useful properties at various stages in an advanced nuclear energy system.