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Title: Fabrication of artificial light-harvesting systems for energy transfer studies
Author: Huang, Xia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7428 2282
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2018
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Photosynthesis is the process by which solar energy is converted into chemical energy. Solar energy is captured by light-harvesting (LH) antenna complexes, and then transferred to a specialized, membrane-bound complex called the reaction centre (RC) where this energy is trapped as a charge separated state. The development of lithographic techniques has allowed patterning of photosynthetic complexes on surfaces, creating the possibility of studying their light-harvesting and energy transfer properties. Reconstitution techniques enable the assembly of membrane vesicles containing LH and RC complexes for measuring the processes of energy harvesting and excitation transfer. LH2 and RCLH1 complexes purified from the phototrophic bacterium Rhodobacter (Rba.) sphaeroides have been patterned on glass surfaces. Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) results show that both complexes retained their native functions, and energy transfer from LH2 to RCLH1 was observed. Repeated FLIM measurements show that the patterned complexes can last for 60 days with their fluorescence properties and energy transfer capability retained. Methods were developed for nanoscale patterning of purified LH2, RCLH1 and LHCII complexes on semiconductive silicon surfaces. AFM images and FLIM results show that these complexes had retained their structural properties and energy transfer functions. LH2 and ΔcrtB RCLH1 purified from Rba. sphaeroides have been reconstituted with lipids to form artificial proteoliposomes. Five different LH2/ΔcrtB RCLH1 ratios were used for the reconstitution process. AFM images show the distribution of the complexes in the proteoliposomes and FLIM results show varying energy transfer efficiencies according to the different LH2/ΔcrtB RCLH1 ratios used in reconstitutions. LHCII from spinach and ΔcrtB RCLH1 from Rba. sphaeroides have been crosspatterned on glass surfaces, to form a hybrid plant/bacterial photosynthetic system. FLIM results show evidence for energy transfer from LHCII to ΔcrtB RCLH1, and assembly of a biohybrid photosynthetic unit.
Supervisor: Hunter, Neil Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available