|Jason Hillebrechta, Jeffrey A. Stuartb, Pallab Bhattacharyac, and Robert R. Birgea
aDepartments of Chemistry and of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, 55 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, CT 06269-3060 U.S.A.
Although the native proteins bacteriorhodopsin and proteorhodopsin have some excellent photophysical properties, neither protein has been optimized by nature for device environments. We discuss current progress in the use of both proteins in photonic devices and the preparation of enhanced variants through genetic engineering and directed evolution. The devices to be discussed include volumetric and holographic memories, gas-phase sensors based on signature analysis, and hybrid protein-semiconductor heterostructure FETs.