High-Performance Bioassisted Nanophotocatalyst for Hydrogen Production

Nanophotocatalysis is one of the potentially efficient ways of capturing and storing solar energy. Biological energy systems that are intrinsically nanoscaled can be employed as building blocks for engineering nanobio-photocatalysts with tunable properties. Here, we report upon the application of light harvesting proton pump bacteriorhodopsin (bR) assembled on Pt/TiO<sub>2</sub> nanocatalyst for visible light-driven hydrogen generation. The hybrid system produces 5275 μmole of H<sub>2</sub> (μmole protein)<sup>−1</sup> h<sup>–1</sup> at pH 7 in the presence of methanol as a sacrificial electron donor under white light. Photoelectrochemical and transient absorption studies indicate efficient charge transfer between bR protein molecules and TiO<sub>2</sub> nanoparticles.