Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 404, Issue 8, pp 2329–2338 | Cite as

Characterization and deposition of various light-harvesting antenna complexes by electrospray atomization

  • Vivek B. Shah
  • Gregory S. Orf
  • Sean Reisch
  • Lucas B. Harrington
  • Mindy Prado
  • Robert E. Blankenship
  • Pratim Biswas
Original Paper


Photosynthetic organisms have light-harvesting complexes that absorb and transfer energy efficiently to reaction centers. Light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) have received increased attention in order to understand the natural photosynthetic process and also to utilize their unique properties in fabricating efficient artificial and bio-hybrid devices to capture solar energy. In this work, LHCs with different architectures, sizes, and absorption spectra, such as chlorosomes, Fenna–Matthews–Olson (FMO) protein, LH2 complex, and phycobilisome have been characterized by an electrospray-scanning mobility particle-sizer system (ES-SMPS). The size measured by ES-SMPS for FMO, chlorosomes, LH2, and phycobilisome were 6.4, 23.3, 9.5, and 33.4 nm, respectively. These size measurements were compared with values measured by dynamic light scattering and those reported in the literature. These complexes were deposited onto a transparent substrate by electrospray deposition. Absorption and fluorescence spectra of the deposited LHCs were measured. It was observed that the LHCs have light absorption and fluorescence spectra similar to that in solution, demonstrating the viability of the process.


Electrospray-scanning mobility particle sizer (ES-SMPS) Electrospray deposition Light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) 



This work was supported by a grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) project (#DOESC0001035) Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center (PARC). The authors thank Mr. Xianglu Li for his help in purifying phycobilisomes from Synechocystis PCC 6803. Support from National Science Foundation-National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network for the DLS instrument is gratefully acknowledged. VBS would also like to thank McDonnell International Scholars Academy for the fellowship.

Supplementary material

216_2012_6368_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (128 kb)
ESM 1(PDF 127 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivek B. Shah
    • 1
  • Gregory S. Orf
    • 2
  • Sean Reisch
    • 1
    • 3
  • Lucas B. Harrington
    • 2
  • Mindy Prado
    • 2
  • Robert E. Blankenship
    • 2
  • Pratim Biswas
    • 1
  1. 1.Aerosol and Air Quality Research Laboratory, Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical EngineeringWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Chemistry and BiologyWashington University in Saint LouisSaint LouisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringClarkson UniversityPotsdamUSA

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