Development of an efficient photo-anode system for water oxidation is key to the success of artificial photosynthesis. We previously assembled photosystem II (PSII) proteins, which are an efficient natural photocatalyst for water oxidation, on a gold nanoparticle (GNP) to prepare a PSII-GNP conjugate as an anode system in a light-driven water-splitting nano-device (Noji et al., J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2011, 2, 2448-2452). In the current study, we characterized the fluorescence property of the PSII-GNP conjugate by static and time-resolved fluorescence measurements, and compared with that of free PSII proteins. It was shown that in a static fluorescence spectrum measured at 77 K, the amplitude of a major peak at 683 nm was significantly reduced and a red shoulder at 693 nm disappeared in PSII-GNP. Time-resolved fluorescence measurements showed that picosecond components at 683 nm decayed faster by factors of 1.4-2.1 in PSII-GNP than in free PSII, explaining the observed quenching of the major fluorescence peak. In addition, a nanosecond-decay component arising from a 'red chlorophyll' at 693 nm was lost in time-resolved fluorescence of PSII-GNP, probably due to a structural perturbation of this chlorophyll by interaction with GNP. Consistently with these fluorescence properties, degradation of PSII during strong-light illumination was two times slower in PSII-GNP than in free PSII. The enhanced durability of PSII is an advantageous property of the PSII-GNP conjugate in the development of an artificial photosynthesis device.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry