Matching Items (31)

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Computational Characterization of a Ni Catalyst

Description

Industrial interest in electrocatalytic production of hydrogen has stimulated considerable research in understanding hydrogenases, the biological catalysts for proton reduction, and related synthetic mimics. Structurally closely related complexes are often synthesized to define structure-function relationships and optimize catalysis. However, this

Industrial interest in electrocatalytic production of hydrogen has stimulated considerable research in understanding hydrogenases, the biological catalysts for proton reduction, and related synthetic mimics. Structurally closely related complexes are often synthesized to define structure-function relationships and optimize catalysis. However, this process can also lead to drastic and unpredictable changes in the catalytic behavior. In this paper, we use density functional theory calculations to identify changes in the electronic structure of [Ni(bdt)(dppf)] (bdt = 1,2-benzenedithiolate, dppf = 1,1ʹ-bis(diphenylphosphino)ferrocene) relative to [Ni(tdt)(dppf)] (tdt = toluene-3,4-dithiol) as a means to explain the substantially reduced electrocatalytic activity of the tdt complex. An increased likelihood of protonation at the sulfur sites of the tdt complex relative to the Ni is revealed. This decreased propensity of metal protonation may lead to less efficient metal-hydride production and subsequently catalysis.

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2018-05

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Controlling Surface Defects and Photophysics in TiO2 Nanoparticles

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Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is widely used for photocatalysis and solar cell applications, and the electronic structure of bulk TiO2 is well understood. However, the surface structure of nanoparticulate TiO2, which has a key role in properties such as solubility and

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is widely used for photocatalysis and solar cell applications, and the electronic structure of bulk TiO2 is well understood. However, the surface structure of nanoparticulate TiO2, which has a key role in properties such as solubility and catalytic activity, still remains controversial. Detailed understanding of surface defect structures may help explain reactivity and overall materials performance in a wide range of applications. In this work we address the solubility problem and surface defects control on TiO2 nanoparticles. We report the synthesis and characterization of ∼4 nm TiO2 anatase spherical nanoparticles that are soluble and stable in a wide range of organic solvents and water. By controlling the temperature during the synthesis, we are able to tailor the density of defect states on the surface of the TiO2 nanoparticles without affecting parameters such as size, shape, core crystallinity, and solubility. The morphology of both kinds of nanoparticles was determined by TEM. EPR experiments were used to characterize the surface defects, and transient absorption measurements demonstrate the influence of the TiO2 defect states on photoinduced electron transfer dynamics.

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Date Created
2014-11-13

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Simple and accurate correlation of experimental redox potentials and DFT-calculated HOMO/LUMO energies of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Description

The ability to accurately predict the oxidation and reduction potentials of molecules is very useful in various fields and applications. Quantum mechanical calculations can be used to access this information, yet sometimes the usefulness of these calculations can be limited

The ability to accurately predict the oxidation and reduction potentials of molecules is very useful in various fields and applications. Quantum mechanical calculations can be used to access this information, yet sometimes the usefulness of these calculations can be limited because of the computational requirements for large systems. Methodologies that yield strong linear correlations between calculations and experimental data have been reported, however the balance between accuracy and computational cost is always a major issue. In this work, linear correlations (with an R-2 value of up to 0.9990) between DFT-calculated HOMO/LUMO energies and 70 redox potentials from a series of 51 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (obtained from the literature) are presented. The results are compared to previously reported linear correlations that were obtained with a more expensive computational methodology based on a Born-Haber thermodynamic cycle. It is shown in this article that similar or better correlations can be obtained with a simple and cheaper calculation.

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Date Created
2013-10-28

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Characterization of a Polyclonal Antibody Specific for Synechococcus WH8102 Plastoquinol Terminal Oxidase.

Description

Photosynthesis is a critical process that fixes the carbon utilized in cellular respiration. In higher plants, the immutans gene codes for a protein that is both involved in carotenoid biosynthesis and plastoquinol oxidation (Carol et al 1999, Josse et al

Photosynthesis is a critical process that fixes the carbon utilized in cellular respiration. In higher plants, the immutans gene codes for a protein that is both involved in carotenoid biosynthesis and plastoquinol oxidation (Carol et al 1999, Josse et al 2003). This plastoquinol terminal oxidase (PTOX) is of great interest in understanding electron flow in the plastoquinol pool. In order to characterize this PTOX, polyclonal antibodies were developed. Expression of Synechococcus WH8102 PTOX in E. coli provided a useful means to harvest the protein required for antibody production. Once developed, the antibody was tested for limit of concentration, effectiveness in whole cell lysate, and overall specificity. The antibody raised against PTOX was able to detect as low as 10 pg of PTOX in SDS-PAGE, and could detect PTOX extracted from lysed Synechococcus WH8102. The production of this antibody could determine the localization of the PTOX in Synechococcus.

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2014-05

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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 of the global ecosystem. Such is the goal of artificial

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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Dyadic and triadic porphyrin monomers for electropolymerization and pyrazine-containing architectures for solar energy harvesting and mediating photoinduced electron transfer

Description

Natural photosynthesis dedicates specific proteins to achieve the modular division of the essential roles of solar energy harvesting, charge separation and carrier transport within natural photosynthesis. The modern understanding of the fundamental photochemistry by which natural photosynthesis operates is well

Natural photosynthesis dedicates specific proteins to achieve the modular division of the essential roles of solar energy harvesting, charge separation and carrier transport within natural photosynthesis. The modern understanding of the fundamental photochemistry by which natural photosynthesis operates is well advanced and solution state mimics of the key photochemical processes have been reported previously. All of the early events in natural photosynthesis responsible for the conversion of solar energy to electric potential energy occur within proteins and phospholipid membranes that act as scaffolds for arranging the active chromophores. Accordingly, for creating artificial photovoltaic (PV) systems, scaffolds are required to imbue structure to the systems. An approach to incorporating modular design into solid-state organic mimics of the natural system is presented together with how conductive scaffolds can be utilized in organic PV systems. To support the chromophore arrays present within this design and to extract separated charges from within the structure, linear pyrazine-containing molecular ribbons were chosen as candidates for forming conductive linear scaffolds that could be functionalized orthogonally to the linear axis. A series of donor-wire-acceptor (D-W-A) compounds employing porphyrins as the donors and a C60 fullerene adduct as the acceptors have been synthesized for studying the ability of the pyrazine-containing hetero-aromatic wires to mediate photoinduced electron transfer between the porphyrin donor and fullerene acceptor. Appropriate substitutions were made and the necessary model compounds useful for dissecting the complex photochemistry that the series is expected to display were also synthesized. A dye was synthesized using a pyrazine-containing heteroaromatic spacer that features two porphyrin chromophores. The dye dramatically outperforms the control dye featuring the same porphyrin and a simple benzoic acid linker. A novel, highly soluble 6+kDa extended phthalocyanine was also synthesized and exhibits absorption out to 900nm. The extensive functionalization of the extended phthalocyanine core with dodecyl groups enabled purification and characterization of an otherwise insoluble entity. Finally, in the interest of incorporating modular design into plastic solar cells, a series of porphyrin-containing monomers have been synthesized that are intended to form dyadic and triadic molecular-heterojunction polymers with dedicated hole and electron transport pathways during electrochemical polymerization.

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Date Created
2013

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Dopamine Adsorption on TiO2 Anatase Surfaces

Description

The dopamine-TiO2 system shows a specific spectroscopic response, surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), whose mechanism is not fully understood. In this study, the goal is to reveal the key role of the molecule–nanoparticle interface in the electronic structure by means

The dopamine-TiO2 system shows a specific spectroscopic response, surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), whose mechanism is not fully understood. In this study, the goal is to reveal the key role of the molecule–nanoparticle interface in the electronic structure by means of ab initio modeling. The dopamine adsorption energy on anatase surfaces is computed and related to changes in the electronic structure. Two features are observed: the appearance of a state in the material band gap, and charge transfer between molecule and surface upon electronic excitation. The analysis of the energetics of the systems would point to a selective adsorption of dopamine on the (001) and (100) terminations, with much less affinity for the (101) plane.

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Date Created
2014-09-04

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Catalytic Hydrogen Evolution by Fe(II) Carbonyls Featuring a Dithiolate and a Chelating Phosphine

Description

Two pentacoordinate mononuclear iron carbonyls of the form (bdt)Fe(CO)P2 [bdt = benzene-1,2-dithiolate; P2 = 1,1′-diphenylphosphinoferrocene (1) or methyl-2-{bis(diphenylphosphinomethyl)amino}acetate (2)] were prepared as functional, biomimetic models for the distal iron (Fed) of the active site of [FeFe]-hydrogenase. X-ray crystal structures of

Two pentacoordinate mononuclear iron carbonyls of the form (bdt)Fe(CO)P2 [bdt = benzene-1,2-dithiolate; P2 = 1,1′-diphenylphosphinoferrocene (1) or methyl-2-{bis(diphenylphosphinomethyl)amino}acetate (2)] were prepared as functional, biomimetic models for the distal iron (Fed) of the active site of [FeFe]-hydrogenase. X-ray crystal structures of the complexes reveal that, despite similar ν(CO) stretching band frequencies, the two complexes have different coordination geometries. In X-ray crystal structures, the iron center of 1 is in a distorted trigonal bipyramidal arrangement, and that of 2 is in a distorted square pyramidal geometry. Electrochemical investigation shows that both complexes catalyze electrochemical proton reduction from acetic acid at mild overpotential, 0.17 and 0.38 V for 1 and 2, respectively. Although coordinatively unsaturated, the complexes display only weak, reversible binding affinity toward CO (1 bar). However, ligand centered protonation by the strong acid, HBF4·OEt2, triggers quantitative CO uptake by 1 to form a dicarbonyl analogue [1(H)-CO]+ that can be reversibly converted back to 1 by deprotonation using NEt3. Both crystallographically determined distances within the bdt ligand and density functional theory calculations suggest that the iron centers in both 1 and 2 are partially reduced at the expense of partial oxidation of the bdt ligand. Ligand protonation interrupts this extensive electronic delocalization between the Fe and bdt making 1(H)+ susceptible to external CO binding.

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Created

Date Created
2014-09-01

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Modeling the TyrZ-His 190 pair of photosystem II for the study of proton coupled electron transfer

Description

The work described in the thesis involves the synthesis of a molecular triad which is designed to undergo proton coupled electron transfer (PCET) upon irradiation with light. Photoinduced PCET is an important process that many organisms use and the elucidation

The work described in the thesis involves the synthesis of a molecular triad which is designed to undergo proton coupled electron transfer (PCET) upon irradiation with light. Photoinduced PCET is an important process that many organisms use and the elucidation of its mechanism will allow further understanding of this process and its potential applications. The target compound designed for PCET studies consists of a porphyrin chromophore (also a primary electron donor), covalently linked to a phenol-imidazole (secondary electron donor), and a C60 (primary electron acceptor). The phenol-imidazole moiety of this system is modeled after the TyrZ His-190 residues in the reaction center of Photosystem II (PS II). These residues participate in an intermolecular H-bond between the phenol side chain of TyrZ and the imidazole side chain of His-190. The phenol side chain of TyrZ is the electron transfer mediator between the oxygen evolving complex (OEC) and P680 (primary electron donor) in PSII. During electron transfer from TyrZ to P680*+, the phenolic proton of TyrZ becomes highly acidic (pKa~-2) and the hydrogen is preferentially transferred to the relatively basic imidazole of His-190 through a pre-existing hydrogen bond. This PCET process avoids a charged intermediate, on TyrZ, and results in a neutral phenolic radical (TyrZ*). The current research consists of building a molecular triad, which can mimic the photoinduced PCET process of PSII. The following, documents the synthetic progress in the synthesis of a molecular triad designed to investigate the mechanism of PCET as well as gain further insight on how this process can be applied in artificial photosynthetic devices.

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2011