Accumulative Charge Separation in Photocatalysis: From Molecules to Nanoparticles
- Location: Häggsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala
- Doctoral student: Pavliuk, Mariia
- About the dissertation
- Organiser: Fysikalisk kemi
- Contact person: Pavliuk, Mariia
Photochemical energy conversion into solar fuel involves steps of light absorption, charge separation and catalysis. Nature has taught us that the effective accumulation of redox equivalents and charge separation are the key steps in sunlight conversion. The focus of this thesis is to unveil photophysical and photochemical processes that lead to accumulative charge separation.
The optimization of electron transfer process will be held by minimization of losses via recombination, and extension of the lifetime of the charge separated state by usage of the electron relay.
The goal is to couple light induced electron transfer process with the multi-electron catalytic process of hydrogen evolution. In this regard, light harvesters (molecules, metal nanostructures) that generate at least two electrons per absorbed photon will be studied. Additionally, semiconductors that generate long-lived charge separated states are utilized to accumulate several redox equivalents necessary for hydrogen evolution.
The hybrid systems produced by the combination of the advantageous properties of molecules, semiconductors, and metal nanoparticles are under the scope of investigation. Metal nanoparticles are advantageous because of their high absorption cross-section. The molecular linkers provide control and flexibility in tuning the connection between the light absorber and the electron relay. Semiconductor nanoparticles offer the desired charge separation properties via prolonging the lifetime sufficiently to perform photocatalysis.
The detailed understanding, investigation and development of the hybrid systems is at the heart of the progress of photochemical solar fuel production.