| Welcome to
our group website!
(Emmanuel College, Cambridge, November 2015)
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 ththe 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.
We will host the 4th UK Solar Fuels Symposium on 22 Jan 2016 in Cambridge. Free registration for the event is still open!
A flyer with more information can be found - here.
December 2015. Nick defends his PhD thesis on the 'photophysics of Photosystem II-nanoparticle interfaces' and is on his way to Heidelberg for postdoctoral research. Project on "semi-artificial photosynthesis" funded by an European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator grant - more information - here.
November 2015. Janina's review on 'dye-sensitised photocatalysis' accepted in Chem. Soc. Rev. (to paper). Ben's paper on 'regenerating bi-functional iron electrodes' accepted in Adv. Energy Mater. (to paper).
October 2015. Sarah Karmel and Kristian Dalle join the group as postdoctoral scientists, Xin Fang as PhD student, Jamues Ng as MChem student, Anja Schlosser as Erasmus student, and Thomas Sayer and Willem Zwetsloot as Part III students. Claire and Christine's review on '[NiFeSe]-hydrogenase chemistry' accepted in Acc. Chem. Res. (to paper). Yi-Hsuan's paper on 'tandem PEC water splitting' accepted in Adv. Energy Mater. (to paper). David wins prize for best presentation and Janina runner-up poster prize at the BP Day in the Department of Chemistry.
September 2015. We hosted 'Christian Doppler Symposium on Solar Fuels' in Cambridge. Pictures can be found - here.
August 2015. David P. defends his MSc thesis on 'PEC water splitting devices' and is on his way to Stanford University for PhD studies.
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 and he will also stay for his PhD. 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).