Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center (PARC)

PARC Header


Robert Blankenship

Lead Institution

Washington University in St. Louis

Year Established



To understand the basic scientific principles that underpin the efficient functioning of natural photosynthetic antenna systems as a basis for design of biohybrid and bioinspired architectures for next-generation systems for solar-energy conversion.

Research Topics

solar (fuels), photosynthesis (natural and artificial), biofuels (including algae and biomass), bio-inspired, mesostructured materials, materials and chemistry by design, synthesis (novel materials), synthesis (self-assembly)

Materials Studied

Materials: polymer, biological (DNA, protein)

Interfaces: organic/organic, metal/semiconductor, liquid/solid

Nanostructured Materials: 3D

Experimental and Theoretical Methods

X-ray diffraction and scattering, electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, near-field scanning optical microscopy, lithography, surface science, neutron diffraction and scattering, neutron spectroscopy, ultrafast physics, molecular dynamics (MD), density functional theory (DFT), monte carlo (MC), quantum mechanics, continuum modeling, mesoscale modeling, multiscale modeling


Partner Institutions

  • North Carolina State University
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Northwestern University
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Princeton University
  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • University of California Riverside
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Sheffield
  • Washington University in St. Louis

BES Staff Contact

Robert Stack