To absorb sunlight and drive useful reactions e.g. to produce fuel or electricity, a photoactive molecule, a photosensitizer, is a necessary requirement. These can come in many shapes and forms but have in common that they must be efficient in absorbing visible light, have a reasonably long-lived excited state and be relatively stable in many different redox states. This makes transition metal complexes a viable alternative and ruthenium-trisbipyridine complexes have been widely employed for this purpose over many decades. In this project we work both on development of ruthenium sensitizers for e.g. multie-xcitation and multi electron transfer (MET) reactions but also on replacing the rare and very expensive ruthenium with much more abundant metals like iron.
We collaborate with several people on this project and includes (among others) Christine McKenzie at University of Southern Denmark, Björn Åkermark at Stockholm Universoty, Petter Persson and Martin Jarenmark at Lund University and Bill Heuer and Jerry Meyer at US Naval Academy and Johns Hopkins University respectively.