Hammarström Group - continuing
Electron transfer reactions are critical to convert light energy into chemical energy. Photoinduced electron transfer may lead to charge separation of a single electron-hole pair. However, fuel production and water splitting are multi-electron reactions, which are furthermore coupled to proton transfer. Our studies are focused on design and study of molecular systems for controlling photoinduced electron transfer and proton-coupled electron transfer, and for coupling photoinduced charge separation to multi-electron reactions.
We also study synthetic catalysts for H2 production and water splitting to understand the catalytic cycle. By a combination of spectroscopic, photochemical and electrochemical methods we capture intermediates and study critical reaction steps. We often use a biomimetic approach where our results on synthetic model systems can be compared to those of their biological counterparts.
We study electron transfer dynamics in dye-sensitized solar cells, mainly p-type photocathode materials (e.g. NiO) that are based on hole-injection. These are much less studies than their n-type, photocathode counterparts (TiO2 etc.) but open for the possibility of tandem cells for higher photovoltage devices- They can also be used for solar fuels generation where H2 production and water splitting occur in separate half-cell reactions. The nano-structured oxides are used as high-area materials for initial dye-oxide charge separation and charge transport, together with molecular dyes and catalysts for light harvesting and the catalytic reactions, respectively.