Biologically engineering nanostructures to maximize energy, electron, and ion transport
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
Angela M. Belcher.
MetadataShow full item record
Human intellectual desire inspires recent research to expand to interdisciplinary areas across biology, chemistry, and physics. Interdisciplinary research in unexplored areas is challenging, but holds great promise to elucidate what people did not see before. Scientific discoveries bring us not only intellectual pleasures, but also opportunities to contribute to the advancement of mankind. Photosynthesis is a representative interdisciplinary research field. Conducting research in photosynthesis requires a collaborative work of biology, photochemistry, and quantum physics. Nature has optimized photosystems in bacteria, algae, and plants over three billion years in an evolutionary fashion to utilize solar energy for their survival. The way nature has mastered such systems can provide insights into designing efficient solar energy conversion applications. This thesis explores artificial photosystems as proofs of nature's design concept using a biological scaffold of M13 bacteriophage. The main ideas in the thesis focus on maximizing transport phenomena in the systems, resulting in performance improvements. Genetic engineering of M13 bacteriophage enables nano-scale multi-component assemblies to create tunable, artificial photosystems for solar energy utilization. Artificial photosystems include light-harvesting antenna complexes and oxygen-evolving photocatalytic systems. In particular, a solid collaboration with Seth Lloyd's theory group inspires me to design a quantum light-harvesting antenna complex. The genetically engineered light-harvesting antenna complex creates a chromophore network interplaying between quantum and semi-classical mechanisms, thus maximizing exciton transport.
Thesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, 2014.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 159-168).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Materials Science and Engineering.