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March 2016

Self-photosensitization of Nonphotosynthetic Bacteria for Solar-to-Chemical Production


Scientific Achievement

Molecular Foundry users induced the nonphotosynthetic, CO2 reducing bacterium M. thermoacetica to precipitate cadmium sulfide nanoparticles which serve as light harvesters to enable photosynthetic production of acetic acid.

Significance and Impact

This hybrid inorganic-biological system combines the high efficiency light absorption of inorganic semiconductors with the catalytic power of biology, opening up a new parameter space to explore in solar-to-chemical research.

Research Details


K. K. Sakimoto, A. B. Wong, P. Yang, “Self-photosensitization of nonphotosynthetic bacteria for solar-to-chemical production.” Science 351, 74, (2016). [DOI:10.1126/science.aad3317]