Matching Items (15)

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Controlling Surface Defects and Photophysics in TiO2 Nanoparticles

Description

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

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,

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

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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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Design and synthesis of artificial photosynthetic molecules to mimic aspects of natural photosynthetic mechanisms

Description

Natural photosynthesis features a complex biophysical/chemical process that requires sunlight to produce energy rich products. It is one of the most important processes responsible for the appearance and sustainability of

Natural photosynthesis features a complex biophysical/chemical process that requires sunlight to produce energy rich products. It is one of the most important processes responsible for the appearance and sustainability of life on earth. The first part of the thesis focuses on understanding the mechanisms involved in regulation of light harvesting, which is necessary to balance the absorption and utilization of light energy and in that way reduce the effect caused by photooxidative damage. In photosynthesis, carotenoids are responsible not only for collection of light, but also play a major role in protecting the photosynthetic system. To investigate the role of carotenoids in the quenching of the excited state of cyclic tetrapyrroles, two sets of dyads were studied. Both sets of dyads contain zinc phthalocyanine (Pc) covalently attached to carotenoids of varying conjugation lengths. In the first set of dyads, carotenoids were attached to the phthalocyanine via amide linkage. This set of dyads serves as a good model for understanding the molecular "gear-shift" mechanism, where the addition of one double bond can turn the carotenoid from a nonquencher to a very strong quencher of the excited state of a tetrapyrrole. In the second set of dyads, carotenoids were attached to phthalocyanine via a phenyl amino group. Two independent studies were performed on these dyads: femtosecond transient absorption and steady state fluorescence induced by two-photon excitation. In the transient absorption study it was observed that there is an instantaneous population of the carotenoid S1 state after Pc excitation, while two-photon excitation of the optically forbidden carotenoid S1 state shows 1Pc population. Both observations provide a strong indication of the existence of a shared excitonic state between carotenoid and Pc. Similar results were observed in LHC II complexes in plants, supporting the role of such interactions in photosynthetic down regulation. In the second chapter we describe the synthesis of porphyrin dyes functionalized with carboxylate and phosphonate anchoring groups to be used in the construction of photoelectrochemical cells containing a porphyrin-IrO2·nH2O complex immobilized on a TiO2 electrode. The research presented here is a step in the development of high potential porphyrin-metal oxide complexes to be used in the photooxidation of water. The last chapter focuses on developing synthetic strategies for the construction of an artificial antenna system consisting of porphyrin-silver nanoparticle conjugates, linked by DNA of varied length to study the distance dependence of the interaction between nanoparticles and the porphyrin chromophore. Preliminary studies indicate that at the distance of about 7-10 nm between porphyrin and silver nanoparticle is where the porphyrin absorption leading to fluorescence shows maximum enhancement. These new hybrid constructs will be helpful for designing efficient light harvesting systems.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Instrumentation for molecular electronics device research

Description

This dissertation describes work on three projects concerning the design and implementation of instrumentation used to study potential organic electronic devices. The first section describes the conducting atomic force microscope

This dissertation describes work on three projects concerning the design and implementation of instrumentation used to study potential organic electronic devices. The first section describes the conducting atomic force microscope (CAFM) in the study of the mechanical and electronic interactions between DNA bases and nucleosides. Previous STM data suggested that an STM tip could recognize single base pairs through an electronic interaction after a functionalized tip made contact with a self assembled monolayer then was retracted. The conducting AFM was employed in order to understand the mechanical interactions of such a system and how they were affecting electrical responses. The results from the conducting AFM showed that the scanning probe system was measuring multiple base-pair interactions, and thus did not have single base resolution. Further, results showed that the conductance between a single base-nucleoside pair is below the detection limit of a potential commercial sequencing device. The second section describes the modifications of a scanning probe microscope in order to study the conductance of single organic molecules under illumination. Modifications to the scanning probe microscope are described as are the control and data analysis software for an experiment testing the single molecule conductance of an organic molecule under illumination. This instrument was then tested using a novel charge-separation molecule, which is being considered for its potential photovoltaic properties. The experiments showed that the instrumentation is capable of detecting differences in conductance upon laser illumination of the molecule on a transparent conductive surface. The third section describes measurements using the illuminated CAFM, as well as the design and construction of an illuminated mercury drop electrode apparatus. Both instruments were tested by attempting to observe photovoltaic behavior in a novel self-organized film of the charge-separation molecules mentioned in the previous paragraph. Results and calculations show that the conducting AFM is not a useful tool in the examination of these organic photovoltaics, while the mercury drop apparatus measured photovoltaic effects in the film. Although photovoltaic effects were measurable with the mercury drop electrode, it was found that the film exhibited very low photon-to-electron conversion efficiency (IPCE).

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Created

Date Created
  • 2010

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Bioinspired Electrocatalytic Hydrogen Production: Synthetic and Biological Approaches

Description

Development of efficient and renewable electrocatalytic systems is foundational to creation of effective means to produce solar fuels. Many redox enzymes are functional electrocatalysts when immobilized on an electrode, but

Development of efficient and renewable electrocatalytic systems is foundational to creation of effective means to produce solar fuels. Many redox enzymes are functional electrocatalysts when immobilized on an electrode, but long-term stability of isolated proteins limits use in applications. Thus there is interest in developing bio-inspired functional catalysts or electrocatalytic systems based on living organisms. This dissertation describes efforts to create both synthetic and biological electrochemical systems for electrocatalytic hydrogen production.

The first part of this dissertation describes the preparation of three different types of proton reduction catalysts. First, four bioinspired diiron complexes of the form (μ-SRS)Fe(CO)3[Fe(CO)(N-N)] for SRS = 1,2-benzenedithiolate (bdt) and 1,3-propanedithiolate (pdt) and N-N = 2,2’-bipyridine (bpy) and 2,2’-bypyrimidine (bpym), are described. Electrocatatlytic experiments show that although the byprimidinal complexes are not catalysts, the bipyridyl complexes produce hydrogen from acetic acid under reducing conditions. Second, three new mononuclear FeII carbonyl complexes of the form [Fe(CO)(bdt)(PPh2)2] in which P2 = bis-phosphine: 4,5-Bis(diphenylphosphino)- 9,9-dimethylxanthene (Xantphos), 1,2-Bis(diphenylphosphino)benzene (dppb), or cis- 1,2-Bis(diphenylphosphino)ethylene (dppv) are described. All are functional bio-inspired models of the distal Fe site of [FeFe]-hydrogenases. Of these, the Xanthphos complex is the most stable to redox reactions and active as an electrocatalyst. Third, a molybdenum catalyst based on the redox non-innocent PDI ligand framework is also shown to produce hydrogen in the presence of acid.

The second part of this dissertation describes creating functional interfaces between chemical and biological models at electrode surfaces to create electroactive systems. First, covalent tethering of the redox probe ferrocene to thiol-functionalized reduced graphene oxide is demonstrated. I demonstrate that this attachment is via the thiol functional groups. Second, I demonstrate the ability to use electricity in combination with light to drive production of hydrogen by the anaerobic, phototrophic microorganism Heliobacterium modesticaldum.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017