Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d'Orsay




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Home > Research Teams > Molecular systems, Astrophysics and Environment > Research > Theme 4: Molecular photophysics for environmental and renewable energy applications > Photophysics of photocatalyst for artificial photosynthesis

Photophysics of photocatalyst for artificial photosynthesis

Energy consumption will at least double to the year 2050. It is largely based on fossil fuels, which are limited and which extensive use contributes to global warming. To mitigate the use of fossil resources, artificial photosynthesis may provide an efficient mean to convert abundant stable molecules such as H2O, CO2, O2 and N2 into an energetic carrier. At the natural Photosystem II, an enzyme consisting of a photoactive part coupled to a water oxidation catalyst, sunlight is used to drive the four-electron and four-proton oxidation of water. Ultimately, these electrons are being used to reduce CO2 to sugars or protons to H2. In artificial photosynthesis, the same principles are used for H2 and hydrocarbons production. It involves the optimization of different processes: light absorption, separation and accumulation of charges, and catalysis for both oxidation and reduction reactions.

Our works are focused on mechanistic studies of artificial photosynthesis using steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopies (transient absorption, time-resolved fluorescence and Raman). In particular, a new transient absorption experiment with sequential multiple laser (pump-pump-probe) was recently developed in order to study photoinduced charge transfer and charge accumulation in molecular systems. These researches are conducted partly in strong collaborations with other groups at ISMO.

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