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Proceedings Paper

Supramolecular complexes as photoinitiated electron collectors: applications in solar hydrogen production
Author(s): M. Elvington; J. R. Brown; D. F. Zigler; K. J. Brewer
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Paper Abstract

The conversion of light energy into chemical energy is a focus of much research. Solar energy is of sufficient energy to drive water splitting to generate hydrogen and oxygen. The splitting of water involves multi-electron reactions and the breaking and formation of chemical bonds. Light driven water splitting has therefore proven elusive. Supramolecular complexes that contain ruthenium or osmium polyazine units can efficiently absorb visible light and generate charge transfer excited states. While many supramolecular complexes can absorb solar light efficiently, few are able to convert this energy into chemical energy via the conversion of a readily available chemical feedstock into a fuel. One process that is proposed as applicable for light to energy conversion is photoinitiated electron collection. Photoinitiated electron collection is a multi-step process whereby light energy is used to collect reducing equivalents. The collection of reducing equivalents is an essential step in the use of light energy to drive multi-electron reactions such as water splitting. The development of mixed-metal complexes as photoinitiated electron collectors is described, including the factors impacting device function. The use of Rh based electron collectors allows for the reducing equivalents generated by photoinitiated electron collection to be transferred to substrates, such as the reduction of water to produce hydrogen.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 September 2006
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 6340, Solar Hydrogen and Nanotechnology, 63400W (8 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.680982
Show Author Affiliations
M. Elvington, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
J. R. Brown, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
D. F. Zigler, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
K. J. Brewer, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6340:
Solar Hydrogen and Nanotechnology
Lionel Vayssieres, Editor(s)

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