The goal of the proposed research is to find and optimize conditions under which the highly reduced, catalytically active states that can tranform carbon dioxide into fuels can be generated with light. In the first step, this will be achieved with UV-light and with the catalysts, typically Co- or Fe-porphyrins, anchored to nanocrystalline titanium dioxide particles, through conduction band mediated electron transfer processes. The next step is to achieve the same highly reduced states, but using visible light instead. This requires a sensitized reaction, utilizing transition metal compounds as chroophores with absorption in the visible region where most of the solar irradiation is emitted. Another part of the project concerns the photosensitizers used for sensitization. An ideal photosensitizer should have a very strong absorption over the whole visible region, and transition-metal complexes need to be perfected in this regard. Thus, design of new types of ligands is necessary. Especially since these ligands preferably should be multifunctional so that they can help store many redox equivalents for the multiple electron transfer reactions necessary for the catalytic processes to occur. Finally, an assembly of photosensitizer and catalyst, and possibly an electron-transfer mediating interface will be constructed so that proof-of-principle experiments can be performed.
Docent at Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Physical Chemistry
Funding years 2012–2015