Optimization of Electron Bifurcation Photocatalytic System Open Access

Narehood, Sarah (Fall 2020)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/wp988k804?locale=en


Electron bifurcation is a poorly understood energy conservation mechanism. The bifurcating process couples an exergonic redox reaction with an endergonic one. There are organisms that naturally utilize this pathway for anaerobic metabolism. In order to better understand this thermodynamically improbable mechanism, we designed a photocatalytic system that studies one of these natural, bifurcating systems. The [FeFe] hydrogenase from the organism Thermatoga maritima, and its natural redox partners, were incorporated into a photocatalytic system in order to study light-driven electron transfer. A CdSe/CdS nanorod was developed to be employed as the light-harvesting photosensitizer that initiated the electron transfer pathway. The result from this study showed successful development and characterization of the photocatalytic system. Electron transfer was able to be observed from the nanoparticles to the enzyme with clear results of electron bifurcation occurring.

Table of Contents

Abstract                                                                                                                             pg. iv

Acknowledgements                                                                                                          pg. vi

Table of Contents                                                                                                               pg. vii

List of Figures                                                                                                                     pg. viii

Chapter 1: Introduction                                                                                                     pg. 1

Chapter 2: Thesis Statement                                                                                            pg. 4

Chapter 3: Methods and Approach                                                                                 pg. 5

Chapter 4: Results and Discussion                                                                                 pg. 10

Chapter 5: Conclusions                                                                                                    pg. 20

Chapter 6: Implications of Research                                                                             pg. 22

References                                                                                                                           pg. 23

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