• 300 Publications – Congratulations AMPED EFRC

    The AMPED EFRC just achieved 3 major milestones in publications: 300th paper – complete list here h-Index of 62 More than 17,000 citations Major congratulations to all current and former Center members on your very impressive scientific accomplishments.    

  • New Paper ‒ Modeling Electron Injection at Semiconductor-Molecule Interfaces

    Excited electron transfer across semiconductor-molecule heterogeneous interfaces is central to various future electronic and optoelectronic devices. At the same time, first-principles modeling of such dynamical processes remains as a great challenge in theoretical chemistry and condensed matter physics for developing … Continued

  • New Paper ‒ Molecular Photoelectrode for Water Oxidation Inspired by Photosystem II

    In artificial photosynthesis, the sun drives water splitting into H2 and O2 or converts CO2 into a useful form of carbon. In most schemes, water oxidation is typically the limiting half-reaction. Here, we introduce a molecular approach to the design … Continued

  • New Paper ‒ Trans Effect in Electrocatalytic CO2 Reduction

    A comprehensive mechanistic study of electrocatalytic CO2 reduction by ruthenium 2,2′:6′,2″-terpyridine (tpy) pyridyl-carbene catalysts reveals the importance of stereochemical control to locate the strongly donating N-heterocyclic carbene ligand trans to the site of CO2 activation.  Computational studies were undertaken to … Continued

  • DOE SCGSR Fellowship: Congratulations Matt Brady

    AMPED EFRC graduate student Matthew Brady has been selected to receive a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) award.  Matt’s selection is in recognition of his outstanding academic accomplishments and the merit of the research … Continued

  • New Paper ‒ A Donor-Chromophore-Catalyst Assembly for Solar CO2 Reduction

    This paper describes the preparation and characterization of a photocathode assembly for CO2 reduction to CO in 0.1M LiClO4 acetonitrile. The assembly was formed on 1.0 µm thick mesoporous films of NiO using a layer-by-layer procedure based on Zr(IV)-phosphonate bridging … Continued

  • University Award for the Advancement of Women: Congratulations Leah Bowers

    AMPED EFRC graduate student Leah Bowers is one of five 2019 recipients of the UNC University Award for the Advancement of Women. The award recognizes people on campus who have elevated the status of women, helped improve campus policies and … Continued

  • New Review ‒ Halide Photoredox Chemistry

    Halide photoredox chemistry is of both practical and fundamental interest. Practical applications have largely focused on solar energy conversion with hydrogen gas, through HX splitting, and electrical power generation, in regenerative photoelectrochemical and photovoltaic cells. On a more fundamental level, … Continued

  • New Paper ‒ Light-driven Water Oxidation on a Mesoporous Double-Shell Electrode

    A mesoporous atomic layer deposition (ALD) double-shell electrode, Al2O3 (insulating core)//ALD ZnO|ALD TiO2, on a fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) conducting substrate was explored for a photoanode assembly, FTO//Al2O3 (insulating core)//ALD ZnO|ALD TiO2|–chromophore–catalyst, for light-driven water oxidation. Photocurrent densities at photoanodes based on … Continued

  • New Paper ‒ Decoherence in Hot Electron Relaxation within Fluorinated Silicon Quantum Dots

    Surface passivation with fluorine atoms results in a significant slow down of hot electron relaxation because there exist particular electronic states that retain the hot electron for an extended time, and the relaxation time scale is largely influenced by shuttling … Continued

  • Scholarship in Chemistry: Congratulations Jake Evans

    Congratulations to Jake Evans, undergraduate in the AMPED EFRC Photocathode Team, who has been awarded the 2019 David L. Stern Scholarship in Chemistry. This award is granted to the top students from upper division laboratory courses in chemistry at UNC … Continued

  • New U.S. Patent ‒ Solar Water Splitting in a Molecular Photoelectrochemical Cell

    A Dye Sensitized Photoelectrosynthesis Cell (DSPEC) splits water with visible light using a derivatized core/shell nano-structured photoanode, with the core having a high surface area conductive metal oxide film — such as nanoITO (indium tin oxide) or nanoATO (antimony tin … Continued

  • UNC Convergence Fellowship: Congratulations Aaron Taggart

    Convergence research is a means of solving complex problems by integrating knowledge, and expertise from different disciplines and forming novel frameworks to catalyze scientific discovery and innovation.  By embracing convergence in scientific research, Carolina aims to tackle the world’s biggest … Continued

  • New Paper ‒ Simultaneous Electrosynthesis of Syngas and an Aldehyde

    A tandem cell for artificial photosynthesis with CO2 and water as the oxidants and an organic alcohol as the reductant is described. The use of molecular catalysts with high activity and selectivity, in an appropriate cell configuration, leads to electrochemical reduction … Continued

  • New Paper ‒ A Silane-Derivatized Ru(II) Catalyst for Water Oxidation

    The silane-derivatized catalyst, Ru(bda)(L)2 (bda = 2,2′-bipyridine-6,6′-dicarboxylate, L = 4-(6-(triethoxysilyl)hexyl)pyridine), is stabilized on metal oxide electrode surfaces over an extended pH range. It maintains its reactivity on the electrode surface toward electrochemical oxidation over a wide range of conditions. On … Continued

  • Humboldt Fellowship: Congratulations Jenny Schneider

    Congratulations to AMPED EFRC postdoctoral fellow Jenny Schneider, who has been awarded a prestigious Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship from the Humboldt Foundation. The Humboldt Foundation sponsors highly qualified German researchers of all disciplines who wish to conduct research abroad. Jenny Schneider … Continued

  • Larraín Gandarillas Medal: Congratulations Tom Meyer

    Congratulations to former UNC EFRC Director Tom Meyer, who has been awarded the Monsignor Larraín Gandarillas Medal by Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile. Professor Meyer was presented with the medal during his recent visit to Chile, in recognition of his … Continued

  • DOE Newsletter Editorial Board: Congratulations Chiung-Wei Huang

    Congratulations to Chiung-Wei Huang, 4th year graduate student in the Atkin group and member of the AMPED EFRC Photoanode and Photocathode Teams, who has been accepted to the editorial board of the DOE EFRC quarterly newsletter Frontiers in Energy Research. … Continued

  • New Paper ‒ A Charge‐Separated State that Lives for Almost a Second

    Transparent conductive oxides (TCOs) are widely-used commercially available materials for opto‐electronic applications, yet have received very little attention for dye‐sensitization applications. This paper reports that mesoporous thin films of conductive indium‐doped tin oxide (ITO) nanocrystallites support long‐lived charge separation with … Continued

  • UNC Research Award: Congratulations Ludo Troian-Gautier

    Ludovic Troian-Gautier, AMPED EFRC Senior Research Associate in synthesis, has been awarded a UNC 2018 – 2019 Postdoctoral Award for Research Excellence. The Review Committee was very impressed with Ludo’s research accomplishments and his potential to become an outstanding researcher … Continued

  • Harry Gray Award: Congratulations Jillian Dempsey

    Congratulations to AMPED EFRC PI and Associate Professor Jillian Dempsey, who is the 2019 recipient of the Harry Gray Award for Creative Work in Inorganic Chemistry by a Young Investigator. This award is granted to an individual who has demonstrated … Continued

  • New Review ‒ Carbon Dioxide Electroreduction

    The development of molecular organometallic electrocatalysts for the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) is reviewed. Organometallic complexes are a promising subset of the many catalysts capable of electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to organic small molecules such as carbon monoxide (CO), formate (HCO2−), and oxalate (C2O42−). The carbon-based supporting ligands of organometallic complexes … Continued

  • ACS Award: Congratulations Jake Evans

    Congratulations to Jake Evans, undergraduate in the AMPED EFRC Photocathode Team, who has received a 2018 ACS Undergraduate Award in Physical Chemistry. This award recognizes outstanding achievement by undergraduate students in physical chemistry, and encourages further pursuits in the field. … Continued

  • New Paper ‒ Optimization of Photocatalyst Reduction Potentials for Dye-Sensitized HBr Splitting

    Dye-sensitized bromide oxidation was investigated using a series of  ruthenium polypyridyl photocatalysts anchored to SnO2/TiO2 core/shell mesoporous thin films through 2,2’-bipyridine-4,4’-diphosphonic acid anchoring groups. The ground- and excited-state reduction potentials were tuned over 500 mV by the introduction of electron-withdrawing … Continued

  • New Paper ‒ Stabilized Photoanodes for Water Oxidation

    Stabilized photoanodes for light-driven water oxidation were prepared on nanoparticle core/shell electrodes with surface-stabilized donor–acceptor chromophores, a water oxidation catalyst, and an electron-transfer mediator. For the electrode, fluorine-doped tin oxide FTO|SnO2/TiO2|-Org1-|1.1 nm Al2O3|-RuP2+-WOC (water oxidation catalyst) with Org1 (1-cyano-2-(4-(diphenylamino)phenyl)vinyl)phosphonic acid), … Continued

  • New Paper ‒ Photocatalytic Water Oxidation by a π-Conjugated Chromophore-Catalyst Assembly

    The organic chromophore, 2,2′-(benzo[c][1,2,5]thiadiazole-4,7-diyl)bis(thiophene-3-carboxylic acid), was prepared and investigated along with metal complex [Ru(bda)(pyP)2] (bda = 2,2’-bipyridine-6,6’-dicarboxylate; pyP = 3-(pyridine-4-yloxy)propyl)phosphonic acid), for light-driven water splitting in dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical cells. The resulting co-loaded organic chromophore plus catalyst surface assembly was evaluated … Continued

  • New Paper ‒ Completing a Charge Transport Chain for Artificial Photosynthesis

    A ruthenium polypyridyl chromophore with electronically isolated triarylamine substituents models the role of tyrosine in the electron transport chain in photosystem II. When bound to the surface of a TiO2 electrode, electron injection from a Ru(II) Metal-to-Ligand Charge Transfer (MLCT) excited … Continued

  • AMPED EFRC ‒ Congratulations

    The Alliance for Molecular PhotoElectrode Design for Solar Fuels (AMPED) has been awarded an additional two years of support from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences.   The focus for 2018-2020 will be on … Continued

  • New Paper ‒ Catalytic Interconversion

    Surface catalytic interconversion of hydroquinone and 1,4-benzoquinone occur at a fluorine-doped tin oxide electrode (FTO) modified by the addition of the surface-bound couple, [Os(bpy)2((4,4’-PO3H2)2bpy)]3+/2+. Significant rate enhancements are observed with added solution buffers – phosphate, acetate, and citrate – and … Continued

  • New Paper ‒ Stability of Phosphonate-Derivatized Sensitizers on Metal Oxide Surfaces

    A series of Ru(II) polypyridyl complexes were evaluated under electrochemically oxidative conditions, which generates the Ru(III) oxidation state and mimics the harsh conditions in dye-sensitized solar cells, to develop fundamental insights into the factors governing molecular sensitizer surface stability. Results … Continued