Repository logo

A Decaheme Cytochrome as a Molecular Electron Conduit in Dye-Sensitized Photoanodes.

Change log


Hwang, Ee Taek 
Sheikh, Khizar 
Orchard, Katherine L 
Hojo, Daisuke 
Radu, Valentin 


In nature, charge recombination in light-harvesting reaction centers is minimized by efficient charge separation. Here, it is aimed to mimic this by coupling dye-sensitized TiO2 nanocrystals to a decaheme protein, MtrC from Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, where the 10 hemes of MtrC form a ≈7-nm-long molecular wire between the TiO2 and the underlying electrode. The system is assembled by forming a densely packed MtrC film on an ultra-flat gold electrode, followed by the adsorption of approximately 7 nm TiO2 nanocrystals that are modified with a phosphonated bipyridine Ru(II) dye (RuP). The step-by-step construction of the MtrC/TiO2 system is monitored with (photo)electrochemistry, quartz-crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Photocurrents are dependent on the redox state of the MtrC, confirming that electrons are transferred from the TiO2 nanocrystals to the surface via the MtrC conduit. In other words, in these TiO2/MtrC hybrid photodiodes, MtrC traps the conduction-band electrons from TiO2 before transferring them to the electrode, creating a photobioelectrochemical system in which a redox protein is used to mimic the efficient charge separation found in biological photosystems.



dye-sensitized nanoparticles, electron transfer, metalloprotein, photoelectrochemistry, protein-film electrochemistry

Journal Title

Adv Funct Mater

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/K010220/1)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/H00338X/2)
This work was supported by the BBSRC (grants BB/K009753/1, BB/K010220/1, and BB/K009885/1), the EPSRC (EP/H00338X/2; PhD studentship to Emma Ainsworth), the Christian Doppler Research Association and the OMV Group. The authors appreciate Dr. Liang Shi (PNNL) and Dr. Marcus Edwards (UEA) for providing the S. oneidensis strain and the protocol allowing for purification of MtrC.