ERC Consolidator Grant on Semi-Artificial Photosynthesis with Wired Enzymes ('MatEnSAP')
This ERC-funded project started in summer 2016. It aims to integrate the strengths of natural and artificial photosynthesis to explore novel pathways for efficient solar-to-chemical conversion, which are otherwise inaccessible to either biological or synthetic regimes alone. We thereby address the need for new innovations in the solar fuels field and develop a new chemical biology platform, in which biological pathways can be systematically re-wired in vitro to characterise important metabolic processes, such as bio-hydrogen production.
Our ‘semi-artificial photosynthetic’ approach will employ enzymes that have been refined by nature to handle electrons, protons and substrates with remarkable specificity, selectivity, and turn-over rates, and wire them together photoelectrochemically using state-of-the-art materials. Central to our approach will be materials design, where materials will be tailored to the dimensions and functions of the enzymes, as well as the development of photo-spectroelectrochemical techniques to deepen our understanding of the enzyme-material interface.
1. Interfacing nature’s catalytic machinery with synthetic materials for semi-artificial photosynthesis. Kornienko, N.; Zhang, J. Z.; Sakimoto, K. K.; Yang, P.; Reisner, E. Nature Nanotech., 2018, 13, 890−899.
2. Bias-free photoelectrochemical water splitting with photosystem II on a dye-sensitized photoanode wired to hydrogenase. Sokol, K. P.; Robinson, W. E.; Warnan, J.; Kornienko, N.; Nowaczyk, M. M.; Ruff, A.; Zhang, J. Z.; Reisner, E. Nature Energy, 2018, 3, 944-951.
3. Interfacing formate dehydrogenase with metal oxides for the reversible electrocatalysis and solar-driven reduction of carbon dioxide. Miller, M.; Robinson, W. E.; Oliveira, A. R.; Heidary, N; Kornienko, N.; Warnan, J.; Pereira, I. A. C.; Reisner, E. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2019, 58, 4601−4605.
Nina started as post-doc.May 2017
Melanie and Esther started as PhD students.April 2017
ERC grant started. Dong and Will appointed as post-docs. Jenny appointed as senior post-doc.October 2016
ERC Consolidator Grant awarded.December 2015