We are interested in applying principles from the traditional field of Biological Inorganic Chemistry to Renewable Energy research. We design artificial photosynthetic systems, which either mimic photobiological energy generation and/or incorporate enzymes directly in biotechnologically relevant hybrid systems. To achieve this aim, a solar light-harvesting component is coupled to a suitable redox catalyst to drive an energetically uphill redox transformation to produce a so-called "solar fuel".
A current focus lies on the production of the high specific energy carrier hydrogen and reduction of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. We aim to engineer an affordable system capable of producing hydrogen or reducing carbon dioxide driven by sunlight. Our laboratory covers a wide range of disciplines, from anaerobic Synthetic to Biological Chemistry, with an emphasis somewhere at the Interface of Inorganic Chemistry, Enzymology, Electro-, Photochemistry, Materials and Nanoscience.
Keywords: Solar fuels, artificial photosynthesis, H2 and CO2, Small Molecule Activation, Metalloenzymes, Biomimetic Chemistry, Synthetic Chemistry, Electrochemistry
Cartoon representation of a hybrid (enzyme-TiO2) nanoparticle system showing aspects that are desirable for efficient and practical hydrogen production from sunlight. The system is shown with a hydrogenase as an enzyme catalyst and a ruthenium photosensitiser (not drawn to scale).
"Current Challenges for Modeling Enzyme Active Sites by Biomimetic Synthetic Diiron Complexes", Chemical Society Reviews, (2010), 39, 2768-2779
“Efficient and Clean Photo-reduction of CO2 to CO by Enzyme-modified TiO2 Nanoparticles using Visible Light”, Journal of the American Chemical Society, (2010), 132, 2132–2133
“Visible Light-Driven H2 Production by Hydrogenases Attached to Dye-Sensitized TiO2 Nanoparticles”, Journal of the American Chemical Society, (2009), 131, 18457–18466
“Water-Gas Shift Reaction Catalyzed by Redox Enzymes on Conducting Graphite Platelets”, Journal of the American Chemical Society, (2009), 131, 14154–14155
“Catalytic Electrochemistry of a [NiFeSe]-Hydrogenase on TiO2andDemonstration of its Suitability for Visible-light Driven H2 Production”, Chemical Communications, (2009), 550–552