| Welcome to
our group website!
(Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, November 2014)
An introductory movie about our work and group can be found here: link
We are interested in applying principles from the traditional field of Biological Inorganic Chemistry to Renewable Energy research. We design artificial photosynthetic systems to produce a so-called solar fuel - a sustainable fuel derived from solar energy and an effectively inexhaustible raw material. A major goal is to mimic photobiological energy generation by hybridizing enzymes and biomimetic synthetic compounds with nanostructured materials. To achieve this aim, a solar light-harvesting component is coupled to a suitable redox catalyst to drive the energetically uphill redox transformations.
A current focus lies on the photocatalytic production of the high specific energy carrier hydrogen from water and we have started to explore novel routes of converting the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into valuable carbon feedstocks. We pay particular attention to solar syngas generation, which would allow us to access a sustainable carbon-based economy. Our laboratory and department house state-of-the-art facilities for our work, which 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, and Materials Chemistry.
We are part of three research interest groups in the department of Chemistry (Materials, Synthesis, Chemical Biology) and collaborate with other departments at Cambridge and universities in the UK, EU and USA. The group also houses the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Sustainable SynGas Chemistry.
© webmaster, 2009-2015.
'Christian Doppler Symposium on Solar Fuels' on 18 Sept 2015 in Cambridge. Download flyer with preliminary information - here.
July 2015. Dirk defends his PhD thesis on 'Enzyme-based PEC water splitting'. Katarzyna wins poster prize at 'SFN Early Careers’ Researchers Symposium' in London. Moritz and David's paper on 'switchable formic acid photo-conversion to H2 or CO' accepted in Angew. Chem. (to paper).
June 2015. Yi-Hsuan defends her PhD thesis on 'Nanocomposite Materials for Water Splitting from Single Source Precursor Chemistry'. Xin Fang awarded CSC Cambridge International PhD Scholarship (he will join us in autumn 2015 from Fudan University, China). Jamues Ng awarded Singaporean Ministry of Education MSc scholarship (he will join us in autumn 2015 from Imperial College London). Lee appointed as Vice Chancellor's Research Fellow at University of Wollongong, Australia. Erwin promoted to University Reader. Dirk's paper on 'enzyme-PEC' cell accepted in J. Am. Chem. Soc. (to paper). Christina and Katherine's paper on 'stripped quantum dots' accepted in special issue of J. Mat. Chem. A (to paper). Christine's paper on an 'enzyme-modified carbon nitride-TiO2 hybrid' accepted in Chem. Sci. (to paper). Chris' review on 'heterogenised CO2 reduction catalysts' accepted in special issue of Chimia (to paper). Group participates in Cambridge i-teams initiative to explore possibilities of employing our technologies in developing countries. Two molecular H2 production catalysts developed in our group are now commercially available via Strem Chemicals (see here for CoP and NiP).
May 2015. David's perspective on 'O2-tolerant proton reduction catalysis' accepted in Energy Environ. Sci. (to paper). Collaborative paper with the Durrant group and Manuela's contribution on 'understanding pH dependent photocatalysis' accepted in Chem. Sci. (to paper). Our laboratory and work featured in science & technology TV show 'Newton' (ORF 1; to outreach). This documentary was produced by West4Media (to website) and received the Silver award at the 2015 World Media Festival in Hamburg, Germany. This triggered more filming and the filming crew has just returned to our laboratory to produce four short movies about the life of different group members.
April 2015. Isabell Sarah Karmel awarded Blavatnik postdoctoral fellowship (she will join us in autumn 2015 from the Technion, Israel). Charles Creissen joins the group for his nanoDTC midi-project. Ben & Georgina's paper on 'carbon-dot photosensitisers in photo-H2 production' accepted in J. Am. Chem. Soc. and highlighted in JACS Spotlights (to paper).
March 2015. Hyun appointed as Senior Research Scientist at Korea Institute of Science & Technology (KIST), Seoul, South Korea. Our exhibition on 'Clean Energy' presented at Cambridge Science Festival (to outreach). Katarzyna receives Cambridge nanoDTC associate studentship.
February 2015. Claire's 'hot' paper on 'synthetic [NiFeSe]-hydrogenase model' accepted in Chem. Eur. J. (to paper) and highlighted as the inside front cover and in Chemistry Views (to highlight). Collaborative 'very important' paper with the groups of Lars Jeuken, Julea Butt and Tadafumi Adschiri on "a decaheme electron conduit" accepted in Adv. Funct. Mater. (to paper). Manuela receives Paul Barbara Fellowship (to information). We team up with artist Marina Velez and present a visual installation of our work during the E-luminate festival in Cambridge (to outreach).
January 2015. Bertrand Reuillard joins the group. Janina's paper on a 'rationally designed Co catalyst for immobilisation' accepted in Chem. Sci. and featured on the front cover (to paper). Erwin discusses group's research during a 'Science Talk' on TV (to outreach).
December 2014. Claire defends her PhD thesis on 'Synthetic models of the active site of [NiFeSe]-hydrogenases'. Chris W's paper on 'photocatalytic CO2 reduction with an immobilised Re catalyst on TiO2' accepted in Chem Eur. J. (to paper). Yi-Hsuan's and Hyun's paper on the 'protection and activation of a silicon photoelectrode for H2 evolution with single-source precursor chemistry' accepted in Chem Eur. J. (to paper).
November 2014. David's paper on 'O2 and CO inhibition of molecular catalysts' accepted in Chem. Commun. (to paper). Erwin gives presentation at the International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook 2014 in Vienna (to paper)
October 2014. Micaela Crespo Quesada, Julien Warnan (postdoctoral researchers), Jane Leung, Katarzyna Sokol, Hatice Kasap (PhD students) and David Palm (MPhil student) join the group. Chris' paper on 'reversible electrocatalysis with a Mo-containing formate dehydrogenase' in collaboration with Judy Hirst's group accepted in J. Am. Chem. Soc. (to paper).
September 2014. Group visits OMV oil up- and down-stream facilities in Vienna and Linz (to photos). Hyun's paper on a 'H2 evolving CuO|CuBi2O4 heterojunction photocathode' published in Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. (to paper). Collaborative paper with James Durrant's group on 'distance dependent electron transfer kinetics in semiconductor-catalyst hybrids' published in Chem. Commun. (to paper).
August 2014. Christine's paper on 'photo-H2 generation with hydrogenase and synthetic catalyst modified carbon nitride' accepted in Angew. Chem. (to paper). Chia-Yu's paper on a 'microstructured cobalt sulfide cathode in PEC water splitting' accepted in Chem. Sci. (to paper).