Repair Yourself

  • Author: ChemistryViews
  • Published: 08 September 2010
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Nature Chemistry
thumbnail image: Repair Yourself

Many systems designed to capture sunlight also suffer from sunlight-induced degradation. Plants are the exception to this as they constantly break down their light-capturing molecules and reassemble them. A leaf recycles its proteins about every 45 minutes.


Michael Strano and colleagues, MIT, USA, have created a set of self-assembling phospholipids that display photoelectrochemical activity and can be repeatedly broken down and reassembled. These molecules form an array of lipid bilayers on the surface of carbon nanotubes. The nanotubes hold the phospholipids in a uniform alignment so that the protein-based reaction centers are exposed to sunlight simultaneously. The nanotubes also act as wires to collect and channel the electric current.


The self-assembled system disperses on addition of a surfactant. Removal of the surfactant reassembled the components into a photocell.


Article Views: 2784

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from ChemistryViews.org, please contact us first for permission and consult our permisson guidance prior to making your request

Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on YouTube Follow on LinkedIn Follow on Instagram RSS Sign up for newsletters

Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH