November 8, 2000
FRONTIERS IN MATERIALS SCIENCE
VINSE COLLOQUIUM SERIES
Dr. Elias Greenbaum
Corporate Fellow and Research Group Leader
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
"Nanoscale Photosynthesis and its Application to Biomolecular Optoelectronic Materials"
Abstract. Photosynthesis research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is focused on the physical and chemical mechanisms of conversion of electromagnetic energy into stored chemical energy by green plants. Scientific highlights include (a) direct deposition of metallic catalytic nanoclusters on the electron-emergent side of the photosynthetic membrane; (b) sustained simultaneous photoevolution of molecular hydrogen and oxygen from water; (c) orientation of the »5 nanometer Photosystem I (PSI) reaction center on atomically flat gold surfaces and demonstration of its molecular diode properties; and (d) the first measurements of photovoltages from single PSI reaction centers. PSI, a robust nanometer scale molecular photovoltaic structure extracted from the photosynthetic membranes of spinach leaves will be the focus of this colloquium. The lecture will be self-contained; no prior knowledge of photosynthesis will be assumed.