Molecular and hybrid systems for solar-to-chemical energy conversion

Bianco, Alberto (2024) Molecular and hybrid systems for solar-to-chemical energy conversion, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Chimica, 36 Ciclo.
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My Ph.D. thesis was dedicated to the exploration of different paths to convert sunlight into the shape of chemical bonds, by the formation of solar fuels. During the past three years, I have focused my research on two of these, namely molecular hydrogen H2 and the reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide enzyme cofactor NAD(P)H. The first could become the ideal energy carrier for a truly clean energy system; it currently represents the best chance to liberate humanity from its dependence on fossil fuels. To address this, I studied different systems which can achieve proton reduction upon light absorption. More specifically, part of my work was aimed to the development of a cost-effective and stable catalyst in combination with a well-known photochemical cycle. To this extent, I worked on transition metal oxides which, as demonstrated in this work, have been identified as promising H2 evolution catalysts, showing excellent activity, stability, and previously unreported versatility. Another branch of my work on hydrogen production dealt with the use of a new class of polymeric semiconductor materials to absorb light and convert it into H2. The second solar fuel mentioned above is a key component of the most powerful methods for chemical synthesis: enzyme catalysis. The high cost of the reduced forms prohibits large-scale utilization, so artificial photosynthetic approaches for regenerating it are being intensively studied. The first system I developed exploits the tremendous reducing properties of a scarcely known ruthenium complex which is able to reduce NAD+. Lastly, I sought to revert the classical role of the sacrificial electron donor to an active component of the system and, to boost the process, I build up an autonomous microfluidic system able to generate highly reproducible NAD(P)H amount, demonstrating the superior performance of microfluidic reactors over batch and representing another successful photochemical NAD(P)H regeneration system.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Bianco, Alberto
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Photophysics, Photochemistry, Solar-to-Chemical Energy Conversion, Nanomaterial, Nanoparticle, Nanostructure, Nanocrystal, Enzyme Catalysis, Cofactor Regeneration, Hydrogen, Molecular Hydrogen, Hydrogen Evolution, Solar-to-Hydrogen, Microfluidic, Hydrogen Evolution Catalyst, Semiconducting Polymer, Semiconductor, Artificial Photosynthesis
Data di discussione
28 Marzo 2024

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