Single and Accumulative Electron Transfer – Prerequisites for Artificial Photosynthesis

Detta är en avhandling från Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Sammanfattning: Photoinduced electron transfer is involved in a number of photochemical and photobiological processes. One example of this is photosynthesis, where the absorption of sunlight leads to the formation of charge-separated states by electron transfer. The redox equivalents built up by successive photoabsorption and electron transfer is further used for the oxidation of water and reduction of carbon dioxide to sugars. The work presented in this thesis is part of an interdisciplinary effort aiming at a functional mimic of photosynthesis. The goal of this project is to utilize sunlight to produce renewable fuels from sun and water. Specifically, this thesis concerns photoinduced electron transfer in donor(D)-photosensitizer(P)-acceptor(A) systems, in mimic of the primary events of photosynthesis.The absorption of a photon typically leads to transfer of a single electron, i.e., charge separation to produce a single electron-hole pair. This fundamental process was studied in several molecular systems. The purpose of these studies was optimization of single electron transfer as to obtain charge separation in high yields, with minimum losses to competing photoreactions such as energy transfer. Also, the lifetime of the charge separated state and the confinement of the electron and hole in three-dimensional space are important in practical applications. This led us to explore molecular motifs for linear arrays based on Ru(II)bis-tridentate and Ru(II)tris-bidentate complexes.The target multi-electron catalytic reactions of water-splitting and fuel production require a build-up of redox equivalents upon successive photoexcitation and electron transfer events. The possibilities and challenges associated with such processes in molecular systems were investigated. One of the studied systems was shown to accumulate two electrons and two holes upon two successive excitations, without sacrificial redox agents and with minimum yield losses. From these studies, we have gained better understanding of the obstacles associated with step-wise photoaccumulation of charge and how to overcome them.