quantum dots semiconductor nanocrystals bacteriorhodopsin purple membranes energy transfer FRET luminescence quenching hybrid materials
Aliaksandra Rakovich, Alyona Sukhanova, Nicolas Bouchonville, Michael Molinari, Michel Troyon, Jacques H. M. Cohen, Yury Rakovich, John F. Donegan, and Igor Nabiev, Energy transfer processes in semiconductor quantum dots: bacteriorhodopsin hybrid system, Proceedings of SPIE, Photonic Materials, Devices, and Applications III, Dresden, Germany, 4 May 2009, Ali Serpenguzel, 736620, 2009
The potential impact of nanoscience on energy transfer processes in biomolecules was investigated on the example of a
complex between fluorescent semiconductor nanocrystals and photochromic membrane protein. The interactions
between colloidal CdTe quantum dots (QDs) and bacteriorhodopsin (bR) protein were studied by a variety of
spectroscopic techniques, including integrated and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopies, zeta potential and size
measurement, and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. QDs’ luminescence was found to be strongly modulated by
bacteriorhodopsin, but in a controllable way. Decreasing emission lifetimes and blue shifts in QDs’ emission at
increasing protein concentrations suggest that quenching occurs via Förster resonance energy transfer. On the other hand,
concave Stern-Volmer plots and sigmoidal photoluminescence quenching curves imply that the self-assembling of NCs
and bR exists, and the number of nanocrystals (NCs) per bacteriorhodopsin contributing to energy transfer can be
determined from the inflection points of sigmoidal curves. This number was found to be highly dependent not only on
the spectral overlap between NC emission and bR absorption bands, but also on nanocrystal surface charge. These
results demonstrate the potential of how inorganic nanoscale materials can be employed to improve the generic
molecular functions of biomolecules. The observed interactions between CdTe nanocrystals and bacteriorhodopsin can
provide the basis for the development of novel functional materials with unique photonic properties and applications in
areas such as all-optical switching, photovoltaics and data storage.
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