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Augmenting Photosynthesis through Facile AIEgen-Chloroplast Conjugation and Efficient Solar Energy Utilization

submitted on 31.12.2020, 04:09 and posted on 31.12.2020, 12:19 by Haotian Bai, Haixiang Liu, Xu Chen, Rong Hu, MENG LI, Wei He, jian du, Anjun Qin, Jacky W. Y. Lam, Zhiyang Liu, Ryan Tsz Kin Kwok, Ben Zhong Tang

Photosynthesis is regarded as the foundation for sustaining planet living, and light-harvesting is the initial step of photosystems and activates the subsequent photochemical reactions. However, the incomplete match between the solar radiation spectrum and absorption profile of chloroplasts limited the full absorption and utilization of sunlight by the photosynthetic pigments. Here, we designed two new aggregation-induced emission (AIE)-active molecules with activated alkyl groups (TPE-PPO and TPA-TPO), and realized the substantial manipulation of live chloroplasts via facile metal-free “Click” reaction. Owing to the matched photophysical properties, the AIE luminogens (AIEgens) could harvest harmful ultraviolet radiation (HUVR) and photosynthetically inefficient radiation (PIR), and further convert them into photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) for chloroplasts absorption. As a result, the AIEgen-chloroplasts bioconjugation exhibited better capability of water splitting and election separation for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) generation, which are important processes in photosynthesis. This is the first AIEgen-based conjugation strategy reported for improving solar-energy utilization and augmenting photosynthetic efficiency.


Email Address of Submitting Author


The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


Hong Kong, China

ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.