Ultrafast Electron Transfer in Au-Cyanobacteria Hybrid for Solar to Chemical Production

Qiushi Hu, Haitao Hu, Lei Cui, Zhaodong Li, Drazenka Svedruzic, Jeffrey Blackburn, Matthew Beard, Jun Ni, Wei Xiong, Xiang Gao, Xihan Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus Citations


The rise of inorganic-biohybrid organisms for solar-to-chemical production has spurred mechanistic investigations into the dynamics of the biotic-abiotic interface to drive the development of next-generation hybrid systems. The model system, cyanobacteria-gold nanoparticle hybrids, combines a light harvester with a photosynthetic bacterium to drive the reduction of CO2 to glycerol with improved efficiency and increased glycerol production by 14.6%, in comparison to cyanobacteria only. In this work, we report insights into this unique photochemical behavior and propose a charge-transfer pathway from Au nanoparticle to cyanobacteria. Transient absorption (TA) spectroscopy revealed that photoexcited electron transfer rates are on the order of a few ps to the potential electron acceptor in photosystem II. This work represents a promising platform to utilize a conventional spectroscopic methodology to extract insights from more complex biotic-abiotic hybrid systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)677-684
Number of pages8
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-83617


  • charge transfer
  • cyanobacteria
  • electron transitions
  • glycerol
  • gold nanoparticles
  • solar-photochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Ultrafast Electron Transfer in Au-Cyanobacteria Hybrid for Solar to Chemical Production'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this