Matching Items (16)

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Controlling Surface Defects and Photophysics in TiO2 Nanoparticles

Description

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is widely used for photocatalysis and solar cell applications, and the electronic structure of bulk TiO2 is well understood. However, the surface structure of nanoparticulate TiO2, which

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is widely used for photocatalysis and solar cell applications, and the electronic structure of bulk TiO2 is well understood. However, the surface structure of nanoparticulate TiO2, which has a key role in properties such as solubility and catalytic activity, still remains controversial. Detailed understanding of surface defect structures may help explain reactivity and overall materials performance in a wide range of applications. In this work we address the solubility problem and surface defects control on TiO2 nanoparticles. We report the synthesis and characterization of ∼4 nm TiO2 anatase spherical nanoparticles that are soluble and stable in a wide range of organic solvents and water. By controlling the temperature during the synthesis, we are able to tailor the density of defect states on the surface of the TiO2 nanoparticles without affecting parameters such as size, shape, core crystallinity, and solubility. The morphology of both kinds of nanoparticles was determined by TEM. EPR experiments were used to characterize the surface defects, and transient absorption measurements demonstrate the influence of the TiO2 defect states on photoinduced electron transfer dynamics.

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Date Created
  • 2014-11-13

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Simple and accurate correlation of experimental redox potentials and DFT-calculated HOMO/LUMO energies of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Description

The ability to accurately predict the oxidation and reduction potentials of molecules is very useful in various fields and applications. Quantum mechanical calculations can be used to access this information,

The ability to accurately predict the oxidation and reduction potentials of molecules is very useful in various fields and applications. Quantum mechanical calculations can be used to access this information, yet sometimes the usefulness of these calculations can be limited because of the computational requirements for large systems. Methodologies that yield strong linear correlations between calculations and experimental data have been reported, however the balance between accuracy and computational cost is always a major issue. In this work, linear correlations (with an R-2 value of up to 0.9990) between DFT-calculated HOMO/LUMO energies and 70 redox potentials from a series of 51 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (obtained from the literature) are presented. The results are compared to previously reported linear correlations that were obtained with a more expensive computational methodology based on a Born-Haber thermodynamic cycle. It is shown in this article that similar or better correlations can be obtained with a simple and cheaper calculation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-10-28

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Characterization of a Polyclonal Antibody Specific for Synechococcus WH8102 Plastoquinol Terminal Oxidase.

Description

Photosynthesis is a critical process that fixes the carbon utilized in cellular respiration. In higher plants, the immutans gene codes for a protein that is both involved in carotenoid biosynthesis

Photosynthesis is a critical process that fixes the carbon utilized in cellular respiration. In higher plants, the immutans gene codes for a protein that is both involved in carotenoid biosynthesis and plastoquinol oxidation (Carol et al 1999, Josse et al 2003). This plastoquinol terminal oxidase (PTOX) is of great interest in understanding electron flow in the plastoquinol pool. In order to characterize this PTOX, polyclonal antibodies were developed. Expression of Synechococcus WH8102 PTOX in E. coli provided a useful means to harvest the protein required for antibody production. Once developed, the antibody was tested for limit of concentration, effectiveness in whole cell lysate, and overall specificity. The antibody raised against PTOX was able to detect as low as 10 pg of PTOX in SDS-PAGE, and could detect PTOX extracted from lysed Synechococcus WH8102. The production of this antibody could determine the localization of the PTOX in Synechococcus.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Application and study of water oxidation catalysts and molecular dyes for solar-fuel production

Description

Developing a system capable of using solar energy to drive the conversion of an abundant and available precursor to fuel would profoundly impact humanity's energy use and thereby the condition

Developing a system capable of using solar energy to drive the conversion of an abundant and available precursor to fuel would profoundly impact humanity's energy use and thereby the condition of the global ecosystem. Such is the goal of artificial photosynthesis: to convert water to hydrogen using solar radiation as the sole energy input and ideally do so with the use of low cost, abundant materials. Constructing photoelectrochemical cells incorporating photoanodes structurally reminiscent of those used in dye sensitized photovoltaic solar cells presents one approach to establishing an artificial photosynthetic system. The work presented herein describes the production, integration, and study of water oxidation catalysts, molecular dyes, and metal oxide based photoelectrodes carried out in the pursuit of developing solar water splitting systems.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Limited proteolysis of the AAA+ protein Rubisco activase from Nicotiana tabacum

Description

Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) is widely accepted as the world's most abundant enzyme and represents the primary entry point for inorganic carbon into the biosphere. Rubisco's slow carboxylation rate of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate

Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) is widely accepted as the world's most abundant enzyme and represents the primary entry point for inorganic carbon into the biosphere. Rubisco's slow carboxylation rate of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) and its susceptibility to inhibition has led some to term it the "bottle neck" of photosynthesis. In order to ensure that Rubisco remains uninhibited, plants require the catalytic chaperone Rubisco activase. Activase is a member of the AAA+ superfamily, ATPases associated with various cellular activities, and uses ATP hydrolysis as the driving force behind a conformational movement that returns activity to inhibited Rubisco active sites. A high resolution activase structure will be an essential tool for examining Rubisco/activase interactions as well as understanding the activase self-association phenomenon. Rubisco activase has long eluded crystallization, likely due to its infamous self-association (polydispersity). Therefore, a limited proteolysis approach was taken to identify soluble activase subdomains as potential crystallization targets. This process involves using proteolytic enzymes to cleave a protein into a few pieces and has previously proven successful in identifying crystallizable protein fragments. Limited proteolysis, utilizing two different proteolytic enzymes (alpha-chymotrypsin and trypsin), identified two tobacco activase products. The fragments that were identified appear to represent most of what is considered to be the AAA+ C-terminal all alpha-domain and some of the AAA+ N-terminal alpha beta alpha-domain. Identified fragments were cloned using the pET151/dTOPO. The project then moved towards cloning and recombinant protein expression in E. coli. NtAbeta(248-383) and NtAbeta(253-354) were successfully cloned, expressed, purified, and characterized through various biophysical techniques. A thermofluor assay of NtAbeta(248-383) revealed a melting temperature of about 30°C, indicating lower thermal stability compared with full-length activase at 43°C. Size exclusion chromatography suggested that NtAbeta(248-383) is monomeric. Circular dichroism was used to identify the secondary structure; a plurality of alpha-helices. NtAbeta(248-383) and NtAbeta(253-354) were subjected to crystallization trials.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Towards biohybrid artificial photosynthesis

Description

A vast amount of energy emanates from the sun, and at the distance of Earth, approximately 172,500 TW reaches the atmosphere. Of that, 80,600 TW reaches the surface with 15,600

A vast amount of energy emanates from the sun, and at the distance of Earth, approximately 172,500 TW reaches the atmosphere. Of that, 80,600 TW reaches the surface with 15,600 TW falling on land. Photosynthesis converts 156 TW in the form of biomass, which represents all food/fuel for the biosphere with about 20 TW of the total product used by humans. Additionally, our society uses approximately 20 more TW of energy from ancient photosynthetic products i.e. fossil fuels. In order to mitigate climate problems, the carbon dioxide must be removed from the human energy usage by replacement or recycling as an energy carrier. Proposals have been made to process biomass into biofuels; this work demonstrates that current efficiencies of natural photosynthesis are inadequate for this purpose, the effects of fossil fuel replacement with biofuels is ecologically irresponsible, and new technologies are required to operate at sufficient efficiencies to utilize artificial solar-to-fuels systems. Herein a hybrid bioderived self-assembling hydrogen-evolving nanoparticle consisting of photosystem I (PSI) and platinum nanoclusters is demonstrated to operate with an overall efficiency of 6%, which exceeds that of land plants by more than an order of magnitude. The system was limited by the rate of electron donation to photooxidized PSI. Further work investigated the interactions of natural donor acceptor pairs of cytochrome c6 and PSI for the thermophilic cyanobacteria Thermosynechococcus elogantus BP1 and the red alga Galderia sulphuraria. The cyanobacterial system is typified by collisional control while the algal system demonstrates a population of prebound PSI-cytochrome c6 complexes with faster electron transfer rates. Combining the stability of cyanobacterial PSI and kinetics of the algal PSI:cytochrome would result in more efficient solar-to-fuel conversion. A second priority is the replacement of platinum with chemically abundant catalysts. In this work, protein scaffolds are employed using host-guest strategies to increase the stability of proton reduction catalysts and enhance the turnover number without the oxygen sensitivity of hydrogenases. Finally, design of unnatural electron transfer proteins are explored and may introduce a bioorthogonal method of introducing alternative electron transfer pathways in vitro or in vivo in the case of engineered photosynthetic organisms.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014