Prof. Peter Brüggeller
Prof. Dr. Peter Brüggeller, FRSC, is an inorganic chemist in an ao. Univ.-Prof. position at the Institute of General, Theoretical Chemistry of the University of Innsbruck, Austria. He has done his PhD thesis about vitrifying liquid water leading to two Nature publications and has been a post-doctoral fellow at the E.P.F.L. under supervision of Prof. M. Grätzel. Currently he is project leader of the project SolarHydrogen financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union. This is a cooperation with leading Austrian companies, namely Swarovski KG, VERBUND AG, Bartenbach Ltd, and the V&F company. At the University of Innsbruck he is part of the doctorate kolleg “reactivity and catalysis” and the research platform “advanced materials”. Some recent important publications are available at https://www.uibk.ac.at/aatc/mitarbeiter/bru/veroeffentlichungen.html
Artificial Photosynthesis: Photochemical Water Splitting Induced by Proton Coupled Electron Transfer
Artificial photosynthesis is intended to play a major role for an upcoming hydrogen economy. Mimicking natural photosynthesis might open the door to renewable energy systems. In this context the use of abundant feed stocks such as water and carbon dioxide is mandatory. Therefore, photochemical water splitting into oxygen and hydrogen using solar energy could be a first step towards this goal. However, solid state approaches like Nocera’s artificial still lack efficiency, when compared with poking a hole in the ground and sucking oil out. Since also Nature uses distinct molecules for natural photosynthesis, a molecular approach in the form of coordination compounds could help to overcome the fossil fuel-driven economy. Phosphines are a class of ligands only recently introduced into the field of water splitting. In this talk the use of new mono-, di- and tetraphosphines for redox catalysis is discussed. They improve the stability of chromophores as well as water reduction catalysts by their excellent electron withdrawing properties. The typical phenyl groups can be outperformed via the use of anisylphosphines exploiting their anchoring effect. Furthermore, novel bifunctional diphosphinoamine ligands are combined with palladium and inexpensive metals like nickel or cobalt. Pendant amines take over the function of proton relays and accelerate the delivery of protons towards metals and hydrides, thus enhancing the photochemical hydrogen production. DFT calculations based on single crystal X-ray diffraction data indicate a concerted proton coupled electron transfer.
Artificial photosynthesis, proton relays, photochemical water splitting, diphosphinoamine ligands, pendant amine functions.