Energy Research at the University of Washington

Thomas G. Spiro

Energy Research Area: Solar hydrogen production using molecular photocatalysts

Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
Chemistry

We are conducting research jointly with the groups of Christine Luscombe and David Baker to create metallo-macrocycle-protein constructs as novel photocatalysts for H2 production from water. Our strategy is to develop metal complexes that efficiently absorb solar photons, and then channel the energy into the separation of charge that eventually produces photo-reduced metal ion. In this state, the metal will be capable of generating hydrogen from water, provided that chemical groups are available to transfer hydrogen ions from the water to the metal. To ensure that, we plan to design and synthesize small protein scaffolds that would bind the photocatalyst, and deliver protons to the photo‐reduced metal center.

Attached to p-type semiconductor our photocatalyst forms 1/2 of a photo-electrochem cell for splitting water - the water‐splitting photocell is completed by connecting the hydrogen‐generating photo‐electrode to another which can generate oxygen
Attached to p-type semiconductor our photocatalyst forms 1/2 of a photo-electrochem cell for splitting water - the water‐splitting photocell is completed by connecting the hydrogen‐generating photo‐electrode to another which can generate oxygen

Campus and Other Collaborators/Partners

Record last updated on November 29th 2011 PDT.