Welcome to our group website!
(St John´s College, Cambridge, November 2016)
Introductory movies about our work and group can be found here: Video 1 and Video 2
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.
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November 2016. David and Tim defend their PhD theses on 'O2-tolerant and biomass photocatalysis' and 'molecule-driven PEC cells', respectively. Tim will start as a JSPS postdoc fellow at the University of Tokyo soon. Jane and Hatice win runner-up prizes for their talks at the BP Day in the Department of Chemistry. Andreas receives Cambridge nanoDTC associate award. Georgina's paper on 'carbon dot-enzyme photocatalysis' accepted in J. Am. Chem. Soc. (to paper). Hatice's collaborative paper with the Lotsch and Jeschke groups on 'dark photocatalysis' accepted in Angew. Chem. as VIP paper (to paper).
October 2016. Ben defends his PhD thesis on 'carbon nanodots for photo-H2 generation' and will start as a postdoc at Harvard University soon. Mark receives Endeavour Scholarship from the Maltese Ministry for Education, co-financed by the EU. Karol joins the group as a postdoc, Virgil, Arjun and Daniel as PhD students, Sarah Lamaison as MPhil student, Franziska Nousch and Dominik Wielend as Erasmus students, and Satowa Kinoshita and Tim Boyd as Part III students. We receive new laboratory and office space for our work on photocatalysis.
September 2016. Nick Kornienko receives a Royal Society Newton postdoctoral Fellowship and joins the group. Collaborative paper with the Butt and Jeuken groups and Tsubasa's contribution on 'photo-reduction of Extracellular Cytochromes from Shewanella oneidensis' accepted in ChemBioChem (to paper).
August 2016. Jenny's paper on 'new electron-transfer pathways in Photosystem II' accepted in Nature Chem. Biol. (to paper).
July 2016. Jamues defends his MPhil thesis on 'dye-sensitised semiconductor photocatalysis'. Christian Doppler Lectures take place in Cambridge. Kasia's paper on 'benchmark PSII photoelectrode' accepted in Energy Environ. Sci. (to paper). Micaela's paper on 'photo-H2 production with perovskite electrode' accepted in Nature Commun. (to paper).
June 2016. Tim wins the poster prize at the 'Pathways to Solar Hydrogen Technology' conference in Leiden. Tom awarded 'Johnson Matthey Prize' for best Part III project in Inorganic Chemistry. Cambridge Contemporary Dance releases a video inspired by the group's research, which was premiered alongside Erwin's Pint of Science talk - here. Doppler Lab highlighted by OMV's CEO Rainer Seele - here. Tarek's paper on 'noble-free CGIS photo-H2" accepted in Catal. Sci. Technol. (to paper). Ben's paper on 'stable carbon dot photocatalysis via donor recycling' accepted in Angew. Chem. (to paper). Hatice's paper on 'simultaneous solar fuel and chemical synthesis' accepted in J. Am. Chem. Soc. (to paper).
May 2016. Manuela defends her PhD thesis on 'photo-H2 generation with a phosphonated Ni bis(diphosphine) catalyst'. Virgil Andrei (Vice-Chancellor Award and honorary Winton scholar), Arjun Vijeta (Ramanujan Award) and Daniel Anton Garcia (DTA award) receive PhD scholarships and will join us in autumn. Lee and Bertrand's paper on 'electrochemistry with protein-enzyme assembly' accepted in Chem. Commun. (to paper). Manuela's paper on 'molecular photocathode' accepted in Chem. Sci. (to paper).
April 2016. Andreas Wagner arrives as a PhD student. Georgina and Ben win the poster prize at the 'Polymer Photocatalysts for Solar Fuels Synthesis' workshop at University College London (to website announcement). Kasia wins best poster prize at '79th Harden Conference on Oxygen Evolution and Reduction'. LEGO movie on artificial photosynthesis made by David and Chris released on youtube (watch here).
March 2016. Jesper Jacobsson arrives as a postdoc and Constantin Sahm as an MSc student. Kasia, Micaela and Jamues win second place in the EPSRC photo competition (category 'Equipment') for their picture of electro-deposited TiO2 (also featured on The Guardian's website - here). The group is featured in a number of videos produced by OMV. More about the life and work of the following members can be found here: David, Georgina & Manuela, Moritz, and Jenny & Ben. Lee's paper on 'PEC H2 generation with immobilised hydrogenase on Si' accepted in Angew. Chem. (to paper). Tim and Chris' paper on 'immobilised Mn catalyst for CO2 reduction' accepted in Angew. Chem. (to paper).