Quantum yield measurements of light-induced H2 generation in a photosystem I-[FeFe]-H2ase nanoconstruct

Amanda M. Applegate, Carolyn E. Lubner, Philipp Knörzer, Thomas Happe, John H. Golbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The quantum yield for light-induced H2 generation was measured for a previously optimized bio-hybrid cytochrome c 6-crosslinked PSIC13G-1,8-octanedithiol-[FeFe]-H2aseC97G (PSI-H2ase) nanoconstruct. The theoretical quantum yield for the PSI-H2ase nanoconstruct is 0.50 molecules of H2 per photon absorbed, which equates to a requirement of two photons per H2 generated. Illumination of the PSI-H2ase nanoconstruct with visible light between 400 and 700 nm resulted in an average quantum yield of 0.10-0.15 molecules of H2 per photon absorbed, which equates to a requirement of 6.7-10 photons per H2 generated. A possible reason for the difference between the theoretical and experimental quantum yield is the occurrence of non-productive PSIC13G-1,8-octanedithiol-PSIC13G (PSI-PSI) conjugates, which would absorb light without generating H2. Assuming the thiol-Fe coupling is equally efficient at producing PSI-PSI conjugates as well as in producing PSI-H2ase nanoconstructs, the theoretical quantum yield would decrease to 0.167 molecules of H2 per photon absorbed, which equates to 6 photons per H2 generated. This value is close to the range of measured values in the current study. A strategy that purifies the PSI-H2ase nanoconstructs from the unproductive PSI-PSI conjugates or that incorporates different chemistries on the PSI and [FeFe]-H2ase enzyme sites could potentially allow the PSI-H2ase nanoconstruct to approach the expected theoretical quantum yield for light-induced H2 generation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
JournalPhotosynthesis research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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