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Interference lithographic nanopatterning of plant and bacterial light-harvesting complexes on gold substrates

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Samson Patole, Dr Osama El-ZubirORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


We describe a facile approach for nanopatterning of photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes over macroscopic areas, and use optical spectroscopy to demonstrate retention of native properties by both site-specifically and non-specifically attached photosynthetic membrane proteins. A Lloyd's mirror dual-beam interferometer was used to expose self-assembled monolayers of amine-terminated alkylthiolates on gold to laser irradiation. Following exposure, photo-oxidized adsorbates were replaced by oligo(ethylene glycol) terminated thiols, and the remaining intact amine-functionalized regions were used for attachment of the major light-harvesting chlorophyll–protein complex from plants, LHCII. These amine patterns could be derivatized with nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA), so that polyhistidine-tagged bacteriochlorophyll–protein complexes from phototrophic bacteria could be attached with a defined surface orientation. By varying parameters such as the angle between the interfering beams and the laser irradiation dose, it was possible to vary the period and widths of NTA and amine-functionalized lines on the surfaces; periods varied from 1200 to 240 nm and linewidths as small as 60 nm (λ/4) were achieved. This level of control over the surface chemistry was reflected in the surface topology of the protein nanostructures imaged by atomic force microscopy; fluorescence imaging and spectral measurements demonstrated that the surface-attached proteins had retained their native functionality.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Patole S, Vasilev C, El-Zubir O, Wang L, Johnson MP, Cadby AJ, Leggett GJ, Hunter CN

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Interface Focus

Year: 2015

Volume: 5

Issue: 4

Pages: 1-9

Print publication date: 06/08/2015

Online publication date: 15/05/2015

Acceptance date: 09/05/2015

Date deposited: 11/07/2016

ISSN (print): 2042-8898

ISSN (electronic): 2042-8901

Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing


DOI: 10.1098/rsfs.2015.0005


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