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Volume 155, 2012
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Physical constraints on charge transport through bacterial nanowires

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Abstract

Extracellular appendages of the dissimilatory metal-reducing bacterium Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 were recently shown to sustain currents of 1010 electrons per second over distances of 0.5 microns [El-Naggar et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 2010, 107, 18127]. However, the identity of the charge localizing sites and their organization along the “nanowire” remain unknown. We use theory to predict redox cofactor separation distances that would permit charge flow at rates of 1010 electrons per second over 0.5 microns for voltage biases of ≤1V, using a steady-state analysis governed by a non-adiabatic electron transport mechanism. We find the observed currents necessitate a multi-step hopping transport mechanism, with charge localizing sites separated by less than 1 nm and reorganization energies that rival the lowest known in biology.

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Article information


Submitted
31 May 2011
Accepted
10 Jun 2011
First published
17 Oct 2011

Faraday Discuss., 2012,155, 43-61
Article type
Paper

Physical constraints on charge transport through bacterial nanowires

N. F. Polizzi, S. S. Skourtis and D. N. Beratan, Faraday Discuss., 2012, 155, 43
DOI: 10.1039/C1FD00098E

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