Developing a sustainable global energy currency is considered to be one of, if not the, biggest challenge facing researchers today. Fuel cells and related technologies offer great promise however much work, particularly in methods for the efficient oxidative splitting of water, is still to be done before a suitable commercial solution is realised. This project aims to drive the field forward by developing new Encapsulated Water Oxidation Catalysts (EWOCs) with highly superior characteristics to the current state of the art heterogeneous systems.
Through ligand design and functionalization, the active metal centers in these coordination complex catalysts will be encapsulated, either by enclosure of the primary coordinating ligand sphere or by extension of the ligand sphere with covalently grafted, oxidatively stable, dendrimer chains. Both approaches will increase intermolecular repulsions between the outer surfaces of the ligands, thus reducing undesired interactions between ligands and neighbouring catalyst active sites, subsequently minimising degradation, and increasing catalyst stability.
The fellow’s experience in organic and inorganic synthesis, coupled with the host’s expertise in the synthesis, characterisation and evaluation of Ruthenium-based catalyst systems is an ideal pairing for achieving the tasks set out for the project: The fellow will synthesise the ligands, dendrimers and final target metal complexes, then assess their catalytic performance, paying particular attention to turnover frequency (TOF) and turnover number (TON) as a function of encapsulation. The host will provide close guidance for the fellow as well as the necessary training in the catalyst evaluation techniques.
The proposal contains an innovative and competitive research project relevant on a global scale, as well as complementary training and personal development opportunities, providing the fellow with an excellent foundation from which to build his academic research career.
Fields of science
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