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Peptide-based diodes for solar cells

Objective

In a solar cell that converts energy as efficient as the natural plant photosystems, electrons should travel over very short distances, through an extremely ordered structure free of traps. Guided by these principles that were worked out at WIS and CUNY, we want to synthesize many different peptides, and consecutively screen variants thereof for a putative diode function. When linked to light-harvesting building blocks, these should yield a novel type of solar cell that is based on biomimetic principles. To achieve these goals, UPC will chemically synthesize a panel of artificial building blocks that are designed to harvest light and/or tunnel electrons. When assembled into many different peptides, some of these constructs are expected to function as a diode, and, when linked to light-harvesting molecules, as a solar cell. Peptides will be embedded into a self-assembled monolayer of alkanethiols on individual gold pads of a computer chip, which will be designed and manufactured by IMS. Each individual peptide can be addressed by feeding in, and at the same time measuring, the amount of current flow in both directions through the gold pads of the individual pixels. A similar kind of screen should then detect a functional peptide-based solar cell. 10.000 Peptides per cm(+2) will be synthesized by a particle based combinatorial synthesis recently developed by KIT-G and PPP. These peptides will be transferred in the array format to the chip where they couple to the gold pads. Therein, peptides will be coupled through cysteine residues to the flat gold surface, where they are embedded into a membrane-like structure. We expect that our evolution inspired approach may open a novel route to very efficient, and very cheap solar cells. This is due to the small percolation distances, highly ordered modular peptide structures, the large number of generated peptides, the ability to easily combine and modify eventually found peptide-diodes, and the frugal material consumption.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/inorganic compounds

Call for proposal

FP7-ENERGY-2010-FET
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP - Collaborative project (generic)

Coordinator

KARLSRUHER INSTITUT FUER TECHNOLOGIE
Address
Kaiserstrasse 12
76131 Karlsruhe
Germany
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 870 920,78
Administrative Contact
Natascha Wallburg (Ms.)

Participants (7)

UNIVERSITE PAUL CEZANNE AIX MARSEILLE III

Participation ended

France
Address
Avenue Robert Schuman 3
13628 Aix-en-provence
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Magali Niox (Ms.)
UNIVERSITE D'AIX MARSEILLE
France
EU contribution
€ 580 674,22
Address
Boulevard Charles Livon 58
13284 Marseille
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Magali Niox (Ms.)
WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE

Participation ended

Israel
EU contribution
€ 243 026
Address
Herzl Street 234
7610001 Rehovot
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Talia Tzahor (Ms.)
THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
United States
EU contribution
€ 229 625
Address
41St Street 230 West 5Th Floor
10036 New York
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Brian R. Gibney (Prof.)
PEPperPRINT GmbH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 229 800
Address
Schlossweg 9
69168 Wiesloch
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Volker Stadler (Dr.)
INSTITUT FUER MIKROELEKTRONIK STUTTGART
Germany
EU contribution
€ 242 880
Address
Allmandring Strasse 30A
70569 Stuttgart
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Harald Richter (Dr.)
MIGAL GALILEE RESEARCH INSTITUTE LTD
Israel
EU contribution
€ 353 040
Address
2 Tarshish Str, South Industrial Zone
11016 Kiryat-shmona
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Libat Malka (Mrs.)