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: New flexible films for touch screen applications achieve longer lasting display

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Accident-tolerant fuels ready for testing

Feb 10, 2015

Higher performance nuclear fuels could allow use in a reactor for longer periods of time along with enhanced tolerance to severe accident conditions. The summer of 2014 marked an important milestone toward ...

Recommended for you

Understanding nickel catalysis

11 hours ago

Catalysis is a chemical phenomenon that increases the rate of a chemical reaction by spending only a tiny amount of additional substance, called a catalyst. Around 90 percent of all commercially manufactured ...

Video: What does space smell like?

Mar 04, 2015

You can see it through a telescope, or watch a documentary about it, but you can't stick your nose out and take a whiff.

Solar cells get growth boost

Mar 04, 2015

Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University's (OIST) Energy Materials and Surface Sciences Unit have found that growing a type of film used to manufacture solar cells ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.