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Self-photosensitization of Nonphotosynthetic Bacteria for Solar-to-Chemical Production

Self-photosensitization of Nonphotosynthetic Bacteria for Solar-to-Chemical ProductionM. thermoacetica-CdS hybrids are formed by the one-pot growth and biological precipitation of CdS nanoparticles which serve as light absorbers for photosynthesis. .

Scientific Achievement
Induced the nonphotosynthetic, CO2 reducing bacterium M. thermoacetica to precipitate cadmium sulfide nanoparticles which serve as light harvesters to enable photosynthetic production of acetic acid.

Significance and Impact
This hybrid inorganic-biological system combines the high efficiency light absorption of inorganic semiconductors with the catalytic power of biology, opening up a new parameter space to explore in solar-to-chemical research.

Research Details

  • M. thermoacetica-CdS shows stable photosynthesis and maintains cell viability over several days under simulated day/night cycles.
  • Biosynthesis of CdS nanoparticles from simple components offers a cheap, scalable approach at mild conditions.

K. K. Sakimoto, A. B. Wong, P. Yang, "Self-photosensitization of nonphotosynthetic bacteria for solar-to-chemical production." Science 351, 74, (2016). [DOI:10.1126/science.aad3317]