Daria SolovyevaView all speakers
Daria Solovyeva graduated from the Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology with a diploma of a biochemist in June 2011. After graduation Solovyeva received a 2-month fellowship from the Max-Plank Society to train at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Bionanophotonic Department), Göttingen, Germany, where she developed thin and ultrathin films of lipids, proteins, crown-ethers, etc. She then entered the Chemistry Department of the Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology, where she is currently a Ph.D. student.
In October 2012 Solovyeva received a grant for participation in the 9th Horizons of Molecular Biology symposium (Germany) and was invited to give a talk. Since November 2011 Solovyeva is also a junior research assistant in the Laboratory of Nano-Bioengeneering (National Research Nuclear University). Her current research deals with proteins and hybrid structures with inorganic nanoparticles and is aimed at creating bioinspired photovoltaic devices.
Engineering of photovoltaic cells based on the purple membranes (PMs) of the bacterium Halobacterium salinarum, containing photosensitive membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin (bR) is a challenging bioinspired nanotechnological goal. bR is an integral PM protein capable of transferring the physical energy of solar radiation into the chemical or mechanical energy. PMs possess unique physical, chemical, and dynamic stabilities, which guarantee stable and efficient biological functioning of bR and determines industrial applications of PMs. Here, we report on the development of photovoltaic cells based on oriented PM films, preparation of hybrid nano-biomaterial through controlled integration of semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) into PMs, and engineering of an advanced solar cell on the QD–PM hybrid material. This system has demonstrated enhanced solar energy harvesting and energy transfer, and improved photovoltaic properties due to the integration of QDs absorbing UV-solar solar light several orders of magnitude better than native bR. Moreover, Frster resonance energy transfer (FRET) from QDs to bR with an efficiency approaching 100% may be achieved via careful optical and chemical QD–PM coupling. In addition, the surface charge and functionality of QDs were varied to achieve the best QD integration. As a result, the solar photovoltaic cells based on dried oriented PMs (with and without QDs) were engineered, their properties were analyzed by absorption spectroscopy and laser picosecond fluorescent spectroscopy, and their current–voltage characteristics were measured. The results demonstrate a more than 10-fold increase in the rate of formation of the M412 intermediate in the bR photocycle for the PM–QD system compared with the system employing PMs alone. Thus, we have not only developed a bioinspired nano-biohybrid cell with advanced photovoltaic properties, but also demonstrated the possibility to control the biological function of a photosensitive protein’s by means of FRET from functional semiconductor nanocrystals.