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Pure Appl. Chem., 2005, Vol. 77, No. 1, pp. 263-272

Biocatalytic synthesis of novel electronic and photovoltaic materials

Ravi Mosurkal1, Rajesh Kumar1, Ferdinando F. Bruno2, Ramaswamy Nagarajan1, Lynne Samuelson2 and Jayant Kumar1

1 Departments of Physics and Chemistry, Center for Advanced Materials, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA 01854, USA
2 Materials Science Team, Natick Soldier Center, U.S. Army Soldier Center (RDECOM), Natick, MA 01760, USA

Abstract: A new class of ruthenium complex-based macrodye and a dinuclear complex were synthesized via a biocatalytic route employing hematin as an efficient biocatalyst. The photovoltaic overall efficiency of the dinuclear complex was found to be 2.1 % and higher than the polymeric complex (0.33 %). Furthermore, we have developed an environmentally benign methodology for the synthesis of novel pegylated polyphenolics. The reaction conditions used do not require any organic solvents, and all the reactions were performed in aqueous media. The synthesized polymers were soluble in both organic and aqueous media, and provide further opportunity to tailor the properties. Finally, a novel biomimetic method for the synthesis of a conducting molecular complex of polypyrrole and of thiophene substitute in the presence of a polyelectrolyte, such as polystyrene sulfonate (SPS), is presented. A synthetic enzyme based on hematin was used to catalyze the polymerization of pyrrole (PYR) and 3,4‑ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT) in the presence of SPS. Copolymers of EDOT and PYR have also been synthesized, and these novel materials have been shown to exhibit high electrical conductivity.