Bridging bio-nano interactions with photoactive biohybrid energy systems
Understanding how proteins interface with synthetic nanomaterials has become increasingly important for a range of applications from nanomedicine to fuel generation. The nature of these bio-nano interactions is dynamic and specific to both the properties of the nanomaterial and protein. Here, we highlight recent work focused on understanding the general molecular forces responsible for initiating these bio-nano interactions and their effect on the protein's structural conformation with a variety of different nanomaterial properties, specifically, composition, size, shape, and different surface functionalities. Building from this, we will then discuss redox active biohybrid systems, where electron transfer occurs across the bio-nano interface, that incorporate semiconductor nanomaterials for energy generation applications and provide insights on how to improve our understanding of these photoactive bio-nano interfaces.