Pennergy Seminar: Mike Wasielewski, Integrated Molecular Systems for Artificial Photosynthesis
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Event Date: 
Mon, 01/27/2014 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
337 Towne

Integrated Molecular Systems for Artificial Photosynthesis

Michael R. Wasielewski
Department of Chemistry and Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research (ANSER) Center, Northwestern University

Natural photosynthesis is carried out by organized assemblies of photoreceptors and catalysts within proteins that provide specifically tailored environments to optimize solar energy conversion. Artificial photosynthetic systems for solar fuels formation must be robust assemblies that collect light energy, separate charge, and transport charge to catalyts. The primary goal of our research in this field is to understand the fundamental principles needed to integrate these functions within an artificial photosynthetic system. These principles include how to promote and control: 1) energy capture, charge separation, and long-range directional energy and charge transport, 2) coupling of these photo-generated charges to multi-electron catalysts for fuel synthesis, and 3) supramolecular self-assembly for scalable, low-cost processing from the nanoscale to the macroscale. The central scientific challenge is to develop small, functional building blocks, which also have the appropriate molecular recognition properties to facilitate self-assembly of complete, functional artificial photosynthetic systems. In this lecture we will describe our efforts to achieve these goals.


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