Renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic power, wind power and biomass conversions to carbon-free energy carriers are growing sources for the decarbonisation or the global energy systems. In this respect,
Dr Erwin Reisner and associates from the University of Cambridge have developed cobalt and nickel molecular catalysts that can be used for sunlight driven hydrogen production in water when immobilised on a semiconductor and the dye-sensitised semiconductors modified with molecular catalysts for light-driven H2 production are available in the UK and Eire from Strem Chemicals UK
When semiconducting materials (e.g. TiO2), co-functionalised with a catalyst and a dye (e.g. Ru or organic dye), are then exposed to light, the dye gets excited and oxidised. Generated electrons are transferred through the conduction band of the semiconductor and are injected directly into the H2 evolution catalyst, the oxidised dye can in principle be regenerated by a water oxidation catalyst, thus closing the fuel-making cycle.
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