Polarization sensitivity is introduced into oriented bacteriorhodopsin (BR) films through a photochemical bleaching process, which chemically modifies the structure of the purple membrane by breaking the intrinsic symmetry of the membrane-bound BR trimers. The resulting photovoltage generated in an indium-tin oxide (ITO)/BR/ITO detector is found to be anisotropic with respect to cross-polarized probe beams. A model, based on the polarization dependent photoselection of the BR molecules qualitatively explains the photochemical bleaching process and the observed anisotropic response. The effect reported here can be used to construct a polarization sensitive BR-based bio-photoreceiver.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering