We have developed a process to incorporate an integral membrane protein, Photosystem I (PSI), into an organic thin film at an electrode surface and thereby insulate the protein complex on the surface while mimicking its natural environment. The PSI complex, which is primarily more hydrophobic on the exterior than interior, is hydrophobically confined in vivo within the thylakoid membrane. To mimic the thylakoid membrane and entrap PSI on an electrode, we have designed a series of steps using a thin self-assembled monolayer (SAM) to adsorb and orient PSI followed by exposures to longer-chained methyl-terminated alkanethiols that place exchange with components of the original SAM in the interprotein domains. In this process, PSI is first adsorbed onto a HOC(6)S/Au substrate through a short exposure to a dilute solution of the protein to achieve a protein coverage of approximately 25%. The PSI/HOC(6)S/Au substrate is then placed into a solution containing one of various longer-chained alkanethiols including C(22)SH or C(18)OC(19)SH. Changes in thickness, interfacial capacitance, infrared spectra, and surface wettability were used to assess the extent of backfilling by the long-chained thiols. The coverage of the protein layer and the solvent used for backfilling affected the rate and quality of the SAM formed in the interprotein regions. After exposure of the PSI layer to solvents containing alkanethiols, there was only minor loss of protein on the surface and no real change in protein secondary structure as evidenced by reflectance absorption infrared spectroscopy.