Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Physical Biology of the Materials-Microorganism Interface.
- Author(s): Sakimoto, Kelsey K
- Kornienko, Nikolay
- Cestellos-Blanco, Stefano
- Lim, Jongwoo
- Liu, Chong
- Yang, Peidong
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.7b11135
Future solar-to-chemical production will rely upon a deep understanding of the material-microorganism interface. Hybrid technologies, which combine inorganic semiconductor light harvesters with biological catalysis to transform light, air, and water into chemicals, already demonstrate a wide product scope and energy efficiencies surpassing that of natural photosynthesis. But optimization to economic competitiveness and fundamental curiosity beg for answers to two basic questions: (1) how do materials transfer energy and charge to microorganisms, and (2) how do we design for bio- and chemocompatibility between these seemingly unnatural partners? This Perspective highlights the state-of-the-art and outlines future research paths to inform the cadre of spectroscopists, electrochemists, bioinorganic chemists, material scientists, and biologists who will ultimately solve these mysteries.