Matching Items (8)

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Application and study of water oxidation catalysts and molecular dyes for solar-fuel production

Description

Developing a system capable of using solar energy to drive the conversion of an abundant and available precursor to fuel would profoundly impact humanity's energy use and thereby the condition

Developing a system capable of using solar energy to drive the conversion of an abundant and available precursor to fuel would profoundly impact humanity's energy use and thereby the condition of the global ecosystem. Such is the goal of artificial photosynthesis: to convert water to hydrogen using solar radiation as the sole energy input and ideally do so with the use of low cost, abundant materials. Constructing photoelectrochemical cells incorporating photoanodes structurally reminiscent of those used in dye sensitized photovoltaic solar cells presents one approach to establishing an artificial photosynthetic system. The work presented herein describes the production, integration, and study of water oxidation catalysts, molecular dyes, and metal oxide based photoelectrodes carried out in the pursuit of developing solar water splitting systems.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Hybrid Materials and Interfaces for Artificial Photosynthetic Assemblies

Description

Chemical modification of (semi)conducting surfaces with soft-material coatings containing electrocatalysts provides a strategy for developing integrated constructs that capture, convert, and store solar energy as fuels. However, a lack of

Chemical modification of (semi)conducting surfaces with soft-material coatings containing electrocatalysts provides a strategy for developing integrated constructs that capture, convert, and store solar energy as fuels. However, a lack of effective strategies for interfacing electrocatalysts with solid-state materials, and an incomplete understanding of performance limiting factors, inhibit further development. In this work, chemical modification of a nanostructured transparent conductive oxide, and the III-V semiconductor, gallium phosphide, is achieved by applying a thin-film polymer coating containing appropriate functional groups to direct, template, and assemble molecular cobalt catalysts for activating fuel-forming reactions. The heterogeneous-homogeneous conducting assemblies enable comparisons of the structural and electrochemical properties of these materials with their homogeneous electrocatalytic counterparts. For these hybrid constructs, rational design of the local soft-material environment yields a nearly one-volt span in the redox chemistry of the cobalt metal centers. Further, assessment of the interplay between light absorption, charge transfer, and catalytic activity in studies involving molecular-catalyst-modified semiconductors affords models to describe the rates of photoelectrosynthetic fuel production as a function of the steady-state concentration of catalysts present in their activated form. These models provide a conceptual framework for extracting kinetic and thermodynamic benchmarking parameters. Finally, investigation of molecular ‘proton wires’ inspired by the Tyrosine Z-Histidine 190 redox pair in Photosystem II, provides insight into fundamental principles governing proton-coupled electron transfer, a process essential to all fuel-forming reactions relevant to solar fuel generation.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Compounds for investigating photosynthetic pathways and solar energy conversion

Description

Humanity’s demand for energy is increasing exponentially and the dependence on fossil fuels is both unsustainable and detrimental to the environment. To provide a solution to the impending energy crisis,

Humanity’s demand for energy is increasing exponentially and the dependence on fossil fuels is both unsustainable and detrimental to the environment. To provide a solution to the impending energy crisis, it is reasonable to look toward utilizing solar energy, which is abundant and renewable. One approach to harvesting solar irradiation for fuel purposes is through mimicking the processes of natural photosynthesis in an artificial design to use sunlight and water to store energy in chemical bonds for later use. Thus, in order to design an efficient energy conversion device, the underlying processes of the natural system must be understood. An artificial photosynthetic device has many components and each can be optimized separately. This work deals with the design, construction and study of some of those components. The first chapter provides an introduction to this work. The second chapter shows a proof of concept for a water splitting dye sensitized photoelectrochemical cell followed by the presentation of a new p-type semiconductor, the design of a modular cluster binding protein that can be used for incorporating catalysts, and a new anchoring group for semiconducting oxides with high electron injection efficiency. The third chapter investigates the role of electronic coupling and thermodynamics for photoprotection in artificial systems by triplet-triplet energy transfer from tetrapyrroles to carotenoids. The fourth chapter describes a mimic of the proton-coupled electron transfer in photosystem II and confirms that in the artificial system a concerted mechanism operates. In the fifth chapter, a microbial system is designed to work in tandem with a photovoltaic device to produce high energy fuels. A variety of quinone redox mediators have been synthesized to shuttle electrons from an electron donor to the microbial system. Lastly, the synthesis of a variety of photosensitizers is detailed for possible future use in artificial systems. The results of this work helps with the understanding of the processes of natural photosynthesis and suggests ways to design artificial photosynthetic devices that can contribute to solving the renewable energy challenge.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Photoprotective & solar light collecting biomimetic molecules

Description

The first chapter reviews three decades of artificial photosynthetic research conducted by the A. Moore, T. Moore, and D. Gust research group. Several carotenoid (Car) and tetrapyrrole containing molecules were

The first chapter reviews three decades of artificial photosynthetic research conducted by the A. Moore, T. Moore, and D. Gust research group. Several carotenoid (Car) and tetrapyrrole containing molecules were synthesized and investigated for excitation energy transfer (EET), photoregulation, and photoprotective functions. These artificial photosynthetic compounds mimicked known processes and investigated proposed mechanisms in natural systems. This research leads to a greater understanding of photosynthesis and design concepts for organic based solar energy conversion devices. The second and third chapters analyze the triplet energy transfer in carotenoid containing dyads. Transient absorption, time-resolved FTIR and resonance Raman spectra revealed that in a 4-amide linked carotenophthalocyanine dyads the Car triplet state is shared across the larger conjugated system, which is similar to protein complexes in oxygenic photosynthetic organisms. In a carotenopurpurin dyad (CarPur) a methylene ester covalent bond prevents the purpurin (Pur) from influencing the Car triplet based on the transient absorption, time-resolved FTIR and resonance Raman spectra. Thus CarPur resembles the antenna proteins from anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria. Additional examples of carotenoporphyrin dyads further demonstrates the need for orbital overlap for ultrafast triplet energy transfer and the formations of possible intramolecular charge transfer state. The fourth chapter studies a 4-amino phenyl carotenophthalocyanine and its model compounds using high temporal resolution transient absorption spectroscopy techniques. EET from the Car second excited (S2) state to the phthalocyanine (Pc) was determined to be 37% and a coupled hot ground state (S*)/Pc excited state spectrum was observed. Excitation of the tetrapyrrole portion of the dyad did not yield any kinetic differences, but there was an S* signal during the excited states of the dyad. This demonstrates the EET and photoregulating properties of this artificial photosynthetic compound are similar to those of natural photosynthesis. The last chapter covers the synthesis of silicon Pc (SiPc) dyes and the methods for attaching them to gold nanoparticles and flat gold surfaces. SiPc attached to patterned gold surfaces had unperturbed fluorescence, however the selectivity for the gold was low, so alternative materials are under investigation to improve the dye's selectivity for the gold surface.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Towards biohybrid artificial photosynthesis

Description

A vast amount of energy emanates from the sun, and at the distance of Earth, approximately 172,500 TW reaches the atmosphere. Of that, 80,600 TW reaches the surface with 15,600

A vast amount of energy emanates from the sun, and at the distance of Earth, approximately 172,500 TW reaches the atmosphere. Of that, 80,600 TW reaches the surface with 15,600 TW falling on land. Photosynthesis converts 156 TW in the form of biomass, which represents all food/fuel for the biosphere with about 20 TW of the total product used by humans. Additionally, our society uses approximately 20 more TW of energy from ancient photosynthetic products i.e. fossil fuels. In order to mitigate climate problems, the carbon dioxide must be removed from the human energy usage by replacement or recycling as an energy carrier. Proposals have been made to process biomass into biofuels; this work demonstrates that current efficiencies of natural photosynthesis are inadequate for this purpose, the effects of fossil fuel replacement with biofuels is ecologically irresponsible, and new technologies are required to operate at sufficient efficiencies to utilize artificial solar-to-fuels systems. Herein a hybrid bioderived self-assembling hydrogen-evolving nanoparticle consisting of photosystem I (PSI) and platinum nanoclusters is demonstrated to operate with an overall efficiency of 6%, which exceeds that of land plants by more than an order of magnitude. The system was limited by the rate of electron donation to photooxidized PSI. Further work investigated the interactions of natural donor acceptor pairs of cytochrome c6 and PSI for the thermophilic cyanobacteria Thermosynechococcus elogantus BP1 and the red alga Galderia sulphuraria. The cyanobacterial system is typified by collisional control while the algal system demonstrates a population of prebound PSI-cytochrome c6 complexes with faster electron transfer rates. Combining the stability of cyanobacterial PSI and kinetics of the algal PSI:cytochrome would result in more efficient solar-to-fuel conversion. A second priority is the replacement of platinum with chemically abundant catalysts. In this work, protein scaffolds are employed using host-guest strategies to increase the stability of proton reduction catalysts and enhance the turnover number without the oxygen sensitivity of hydrogenases. Finally, design of unnatural electron transfer proteins are explored and may introduce a bioorthogonal method of introducing alternative electron transfer pathways in vitro or in vivo in the case of engineered photosynthetic organisms.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Beta-cyanoporphyrins: their synthesis and applications in molecular systems for artificial photosynthesis

Description

As sunlight is an ideal source of energy on a global scale, there are several approaches being developed to harvest it and convert it to a form that can be

As sunlight is an ideal source of energy on a global scale, there are several approaches being developed to harvest it and convert it to a form that can be used. One of these is though mimicking the processes in natural photosynthesis. Artificial photosynthetic systems include dye sensitized solar cells for the conversion of sunlight to electricity, and photoelectrosynthetic cells which use sunlight to drive water oxidation and hydrogen production to convert sunlight to energy stored in fuel. Both of these approaches include the process of the conversion of light energy into chemical potential in the form of a charge-separated state via molecular compounds. Porphyrins are commonly used as sensitizers as they have well suited properties for these applications. A high potential porphyrin with four nitrile groups at the beta positions, a β-cyanoporphyrin (CyP), was investigated and found to be an excellent electron acceptor, as well as have the necessary properties to be used as a sensitizer for photoelectrosynthetic cells for water oxidation. A new synthetic method was developed which allowed for the CyP to be used in a number of studies in artificial photosynthetic systems. This dissertation reports the theories behind, and the results of four studies utilizing a CyP for the first time; as a sensitizer in a DSSC for an investigation of its use in light driven water oxidation photoelectrosynthetic cells, as an electron acceptor in a proton coupled electron transfer system, in a carotene-CyP dyad to study energy and electron transfer processes between these moieties, and in a molecular triad to study a unique electron transfer process from a C60 radical anion to the CyP. It has been found that CyPs can be used as powerful electron acceptors in molecular systems to provide a large driving force for electron transfer that can aid in the process of the conversion of light to electrochemical potential. The results from these studies have led to a better understanding of the properties of CyPs, and have provided new insight into several electron transfer reactions.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Synthesis and photophysical characterization of an artificial photosynthetic reaction center exhibiting acid-responsive regulation of charge separation

Description

Non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) is a photoprotective regulatory mechanism essential to the robustness of the photosynthetic apparatus of green plants. Energy flow within the low-light adapted reaction centers is dynamically optimized

Non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) is a photoprotective regulatory mechanism essential to the robustness of the photosynthetic apparatus of green plants. Energy flow within the low-light adapted reaction centers is dynamically optimized to match the continuously fluctuating light conditions found in nature. Activated by compartmentalized decreases in pH resulting from photosynthetic activity during periods of elevated photon flux, NPQ induces rapid thermal dissipation of excess excitation energy that would otherwise overwhelm the apparatus’s ability to consume it. Consequently, the frequency of charge separation decreases and the formation of potentially deleterious, high-energy intermediates slows, thereby reducing the threat of photodamage by disallowing their accumulation. Herein is described the synthesis and photophysical analysis of a molecular triad that mimics the effects of NPQ on charge separation within the photosynthetic reaction centers. Steady-state absorption and emission, time-resolved fluorescence, and transient absorption spectroscopies were used to demonstrate reversible quenching of the first singlet excited state affecting the quantum yield of charge separation by approximately one order of magnitude. As in the natural system, the populations of unquenched and quenched states and, therefore, the overall yields of charge separation were found to be dependent upon acid concentration.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Structural and photoelectrochemical characterization of gallium phosphide semiconductors modified with molecular cobalt catalysts

Description

The molecular modification of semiconductors has applications in energy

conversion and storage, including artificial photosynthesis. In nature, the active sites of

enzymes are typically earth-abundant metal centers and the protein provides a

The molecular modification of semiconductors has applications in energy

conversion and storage, including artificial photosynthesis. In nature, the active sites of

enzymes are typically earth-abundant metal centers and the protein provides a unique

three-dimensional environment for effecting catalytic transformations. Inspired by this

biological architecture, a synthetic methodology using surface-grafted polymers with

discrete chemical recognition sites for assembling human-engineered catalysts in three-dimensional

environments is presented. The use of polymeric coatings to interface cobalt-containing

catalysts with semiconductors for solar fuel production is introduced in

Chapter 1. The following three chapters demonstrate the versatility of this modular

approach to interface cobalt-containing catalysts with semiconductors for solar fuel

production. The catalyst-containing coatings are characterized through a suite of

spectroscopic techniques, including ellipsometry, grazing angle attenuated total reflection

Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (GATR-FTIR) and x-ray photoelectron (XP)

spectroscopy. It is demonstrated that the polymeric interface can be varied to control the

surface chemistry and photoelectrochemical response of gallium phosphide (GaP) (100)

electrodes by using thin-film coatings comprising surface-immobilized pyridyl or

imidazole ligands to coordinate cobaloximes, known catalysts for hydrogen evolution.

The polymer grafting chemistry and subsequent cobaloxime attachment is applicable to

both the (111)A and (111)B crystal face of the gallium phosphide (GaP) semiconductor,

providing insights into the surface connectivity of the hard/soft matter interface and

demonstrating the applicability of the UV-induced immobilization of vinyl monomers to

a range of GaP crystal indices. Finally, thin-film polypyridine surface coatings provide a

molecular interface to assemble cobalt porphyrin catalysts for hydrogen evolution onto

GaP. In all constructs, photoelectrochemical measurements confirm the hybrid

photocathode uses solar energy to power reductive fuel-forming transformations in

aqueous solutions without the use of organic acids, sacrificial chemical reductants, or

electrochemical forward biasing.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018