A MEMS photosynthetic electrochemical cell powered by subcellular plant photosystems
Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:JOURNAL OF MICROELECTROMECHANICAL SYSTEMS, Volume 15, Number 5, p.1243--1250 (2006)
A microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) photosynthetic electrochemical cell (mu PEC) was demonstrated that harnesses the subcellular thylakoid photosystems isolated from spinach cells to convert light energy into electricity. Subject to light intensity of 2000 mu mol photons/m(2)/s, it generated an open circuit voltage (OCV) of 470 mV and a current density of 1.1 mu A/cm(2) at 5.2 mu V. In the dark, the mu PEC continued to yield power for a few minutes using reduced equivalents generated during illumination, 2 generating 330 mV OCV and 0.1 mu A/cm(2) with a 1 k Omega load. The output level is comparable to other MEMS biological fuel cells previously reported. The biosolar cell was bulk-micromachined from silicon and Pyrex substrates and assembled like a fuel cell in an anode-PEM-cathode configuration. This biosolar cell could have potential to serve as a power source for micro-scale devices like remote sensors.