Integrated photosystem II-based photo-bioelectrochemical cells

Omer Yehezkeli, Ran Tel-Vered, Julian Wasserman, Alexander Trifonov, Dorit Michaeli, Rachel Nechushtai, Itamar Willner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

221 Scopus citations


Photosynthesis is a sustainable process that converts light energy into chemical energy. Substantial research efforts are directed towards the application of the photosynthetic reaction centres, photosystems I and II, as active components for the light-induced generation of electrical power or fuel products. Nonetheless, no integrated photo-bioelectrochemical device that produces electrical power, upon irradiation of an aqueous solution that includes two inter-connected electrodes is known. Here we report the assembly of photobiofuel cells that generate electricity upon irradiation of biomaterial-functionalized electrodes in aqueous solutions. The cells are composed of electrically contacted photosystem II-functionalized photoanodes and an electrically wired bilirubin oxidase/carbon nanotubes-modified cathode. Illumination of the photoanodes yields the oxidation of water to O2 and the transfer of electrons through the external circuit to the cathode, where O2 is re-reduced to water.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number742
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by the European Research Council under the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013)/ERC Advanced Grant agreement number 267574, NanoSensoMach project. O.Y. acknowledges the Levi Eshkol fellowship, The Ministry of Science and Technology, Israel.


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