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Inorganic-Biological Hybrids for Solar-to-Chemical Production

Dr. Kelsey Sakimoto

Advisor: Professor Peidong Yang, Department of Chemistry

Converting sunlight to chemicals in an efficient, reliable, and inexpensive manner is a grand challenge of the century. My thesis sheds some light on a potential approach, combining high efficiency semiconductor based light harvesters, and higher performance biological catalysis for CO2 fixation. This work covers the design of a bacterium that synthesizes and uses inorganic nanoparticles for photosynthesis, enabling self-replicating solar-to-chemical production. I also begin the exploration of the mechanism behind the new form of charge transfer between semiconductor and bacterium, driving the future investigations of how these new forms of life tick. These insights guide our work as we embark on version 2.0

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