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Towards Artificial Enzymes: Bio-inspired Oxidations in Photoactive Metal-Organic Frameworks

Objective

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are key compounds related to energy storage and conversion, as their unprecedented surface areas make them promising materials for gas storage and catalysis purposes. We believe that their modular construction principles allow the replication of key features of natural enzymes thus demonstrating how cavity size, shape, charge and functional group availability influence the performances in catalytic reactions. This proposal addresses the question of how such novel, bio-inspired metallo-supramolecular systems can be prepared and exploited for sustainable energy applications. A scientific breakthrough that demonstrates the efficient conversion of light into chemical energy would be one of the greatest scientific achievements with unprecedented impact to future generations. We focus on the following key aspects:

a) MOFs containing novel, catalytically active complexes with labile coordination sites will be synthesised using rigid organic ligands that allow us to control the topologies, cavity sizes and surface areas. We will incorporate photosensitizers to develop robust porous MOFs in which light-absorption initiates electron-transfer events that lead to the activation of a catalytic centre. In addition, photoactive molecules will serve as addressable ligands whereby reversible, photo-induced structural transformations impose changes to porosity and chemical attributes at the active sites.

b) Catalytic studies will focus on important oxidations of alkenes and alcohols. These reactions are relevant to H2-based energy concepts as the anodic liberation of protons and electrons can be coupled to their cathodic recombination to produce H2. The studies will provide proof-of-concept for the development of photocatalytic systems for the highly endergonic H2O oxidation reaction that will be explored using most stable MOFs. Further, gas storage and magnetic properties that may also be influenced by light-irradiation will be analysed.

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels/fossil energy/gas
  • /natural sciences/mathematics/pure mathematics/topology
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/electrochemistry/electrolysis
  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels/renewable energy
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/organic chemistry/alcohols
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/proteins/enzymes

Call for proposal

ERC-2014-CoG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-COG - Consolidator Grant

Host institution

THE PROVOST, FELLOWS, FOUNDATION SCHOLARS & THE OTHER MEMBERS OF BOARD OF THE COLLEGE OF THE HOLY & UNDIVIDED TRINITY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH NEAR DUBLIN
Address
College Green
2 Dublin
Ireland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 979 366

Beneficiaries (1)

THE PROVOST, FELLOWS, FOUNDATION SCHOLARS & THE OTHER MEMBERS OF BOARD OF THE COLLEGE OF THE HOLY & UNDIVIDED TRINITY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH NEAR DUBLIN
Ireland
EU contribution
€ 1 979 366
Address
College Green
2 Dublin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments