| 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, 2009-2014.
PhD position available: to advertisement
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.
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).
July 2014. Christina defends her MPhil thesis and is on her way to Harvard University for her PhD studies. Ahu's collaborative paper on 'color in nanocrystalline cellulose films' accepted in ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces (to paper).
June 2014. Yi-Hsuan's paper on 'comparison of Photosystem II with semiconductor electrodes' accepted in Faraday Discussions (to paper).
May 2014. Nick wins runner up award for his talk at the BP Day in the Department of Chemistry. Erwin awarded 2014 RSC Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize (link). Collaborative paper with Jeremy Baumberg's group on 'Plasmonic Effect in BiVO4 Photonic Crystals for Water Splitting' accepted in Small (to paper).
April 2014. Fezile defends her PhD thesis on
"photocatalytic H2 generation with
cobaloximes immobilised on dye-sensitised
March 2014. Austrian delegation including the CEO of OMV Group (Gerhard Roiss), the Austrian Federal Minister of Science, Research and Economy (Reinhold Mitterlehner) and Christoph Dichand (Editor-in-Chief of Kronen Zeitung) visited our laboratory. Three days of filming for a documentary on our work (to Doppler, Pictures & Outreach). 2014 Christian Doppler Lectures in Cambridge (to Doppler). Review on 'photoelectrochemistry of Photosystem II' accepted in Chem. Soc. Rev. (to paper).February 2014. Masaru appointed as Assistant Professor at Hokkaido University (Japan). Christine accepts offer for Assistant Professorship at the University of New Hampshire (USA), where she will start in Summer 2015. Erwin recipient of 2014 RSC Bioinorganic Group (IBDG) Young Investigator Award (link). Katherine and Ahu receive NanoForum Fellowships. Two-year evaluation of our Christian Doppler Laboratory takes place in Cambridge. Collaborative paper with Jeremy Baumberg's group on 'Inverse opal AZO-BiVO4 hybrid electrodes for solar water oxidation' appears in Energy Environ. Sci. (to paper). Our first outreach video about our research and laboratory appears online (link).
January 2014. David Palm (University of Pittsburgh) awarded Churchill MPhil scholarship (he will join us in October 2014 - link). David W.'s paper on 'Electrochemical Molecular Catalyst Screening' accepted in Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. (to paper). The group receives new lab space for Materials Chemistry. Group joins COST Action TD1102 (PHOTOTECH). Group part of two 10-year Centres for Doctoral Training funded by EPSRC (Functional and Sustainable Nano & Graphene Technology).
December 2013. Manuela's paper on a 'versatile photocatalytic system for H2 generation' accepted in J. Am. Chem. Soc. (to paper). Claire's paper on 'Ni Site Models of [NiFeSe]-hydrogenases' accepted as 'hot paper' in Dalton Trans. ('Europe: New Talents' issue, to paper). Erwin recipient of 2014 Grammaticakis-Neumann Prize from Swiss Chemical Society (link).