Electron storage added to molecular package that converts light to chemical energy

Mar 28, 2007

The Virginia Tech chemistry research group that has been creating molecular complexes that use solar energy to produce hydrogen from water has added an additional capacity to their supramolecule.

They will present the research at the 233rd national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Chicago March 25-29.

Karen Brewer, professor of chemistry, explains that the new, more robust molecules still harness light and covert it to chemical energy by splitting water to produce hydrogen. “What is different is the way the systems function. It is a three part molecule. The first part is a light absorber, harnessing visible and UV light. The second part is an electron reservoir. The third part is the catalysis to make hydrogen from water.” All of these sub-units are coupled into one large supramolecular assembly.

She said the new molecules are expected to enhance efficiency. “It is a different kind of energy production reaction – not married to hydrogen but linked to whatever catalyst is selected. For example, we can conceivably use carbon dioxide to produce methanol or other reduced forms of carbon dioxide.”

The new molecular complex can also bind to DNA, providing applications in another Brewer group project – light-activated drug delivery to disease sites.

Source: Virginia Tech

Explore further: Scientists solve 2000-year-old mystery of the binding media in China's polychrome Terracotta Army

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Evidence of a local hot bubble carved by a supernova

Jul 30, 2014

I spent this past weekend backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park, where although the snow-swept peaks and the dangerously close wildlife were staggering, the night sky stood in triumph. Without a fire, ...

Titan offers clues to atmospheres of hazy planets

Jul 28, 2014

When hazy planets pass across the face of their star, a curious thing happens. Astronomers are not able to see any changes in the range of light coming from the star and planet system.

A tree may have the answers to renewable energy

Jul 23, 2014

Through an energy conversion process that mimics that of a tree, a University of Wisconsin-Madison materials scientist is making strides in renewable energy technologies for producing hydrogen.

Recommended for you

Scientists develop pioneering new spray-on solar cells

20 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A team of scientists at the University of Sheffield are the first to fabricate perovskite solar cells using a spray-painting process – a discovery that could help cut the cost of solar electricity.

User comments : 0