HARNESING THE LIGHT AT THE NANOSCALE
Welcome to the Bio-Engineered Nanophotonics group. We innovate the light conversion field through a synergy between molecular biology and time-resolved spectroscopy. Our mission is overcoming current challenges in developing efficient photosystems by setting-up new methods to control exciton decay mechanisms based on engineered interactions between proteins and chromophores. In particular, we use recombinant proteins designed with pockets to embed the chromophore in an environment that can be tuned at the nanoscale. Our designed protein scaffolds allow us to modify the protein-chromophore interaction's nature and strength in a controlled way and evaluate it as bio-exciton coupling. Using time-resolved spectroscopic methods, we track exciton evolution in real time and address key questions on the role of the amino acids in chromophore light conversion dynamics. Our final goal is to establish the design rules for amino acid-controlled light conversion and optimize the bio-hybrid light conversion accordingly for applications in photonics, energy storage, and photochemistry.