Anisotropic Nanostructured Materials for Electrochemical and Photovoltaic Energy Conversion and Storage

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Schematic diagram of proteorhodopsin molecules aligned in orientationally ordered nanochannels of a surfactant-assembled silica membrane. Proteorhodopsin is a light-activated protein that transports H+ ions across cell membranes.

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Novel anisotropic membranes that exhibit high and controllable macroscopic orientational order are being developed with ion-conduction and/or light-harvesting and/or catalytic reaction properties that target Army applications in energy generation, efficiency, storage, and management. Using a new approach to processing inorganic-organic hybrid materials, novel functionalized membranes are being fabricated with anisotropic properties that are expected to improve significantly ion, electron, and/or reactant transport and, accordingly, the electrochemical or photophysical properties of devices into which they are integrated. Emphasis is on synthesizing, integrating, and optimizing nanostructured proteorhodopsin-functionalized membranes for light-activated ion-conduction in bio-hybrid fuel cells and developing new composite and mesoporous carbon electrocatalysts. 

University: 

UCSB

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