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Proceedings Paper

Bacteriorhodopsin: optical processor molecules from nature
Author(s): Christoph R. Braeuchle
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Paper Abstract

The field of molecular electronics is characterized by an attempt to engineer and use devices on a molecular level. Supramolecular chemistry is one way to produce such molecular devices. However, long before supramolecular chemists tried to synthesize highly organized artificial systems often employing principles of living nature, nature itself has produced and optimized biological systems on a molecular device level during a long period of evolution. Over the last decades our unterstanding of the structure and function of these biological systems has grown rapidly. The study of bacteriorhodopsin (BR) and the elucidation of its function as a light driven proton pump, is only one of many examples. The first aim of this paper is to examine these materials from a technical point of view and describe how advantage can be taken of these naturally optimized systems as molecular devices in various optical applications. The second aim is to examine the idea of using conventional mutagenesis or genetic engineering in order to obtain a variety of systems with different properties, where each of them may meet the requirements of a different technical application in a very specific way. This further broadens and optimizes the potential applications of the biological systems as molecular devices. It should be emphasized that with this direction of research a new approach in material science has been introduced.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 August 1994
PDF: 2 pages
Proc. SPIE 2321, Second International Conference on Optoelectronic Science and Engineering '94, (5 August 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.182105
Show Author Affiliations
Christoph R. Braeuchle, Univ. Muenchen (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2321:
Second International Conference on Optoelectronic Science and Engineering '94
Wang Da-Heng; Anna Consortini; James B. Breckinridge, Editor(s)

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