Research objectives and content
It is proposed to bind multinuclear complexes to electrode surfaces to form self-assembled monolayers with well defined structural and electrochemical characteristics. The complexes will be based on redox active ruthenium and osmium polypyridyl units which will be combined in a systematic manner to give dinuclear and trinuclear complexes. These compounds will be attached to electrode surfaces using polypyridyl ligands derivatised with thio- and carboxy-groups.
The objectives of the project are to investigate the vectorial electron transfer characteristics of the modified interfaces as a function of factors such as the distance between the redox units and the electrode surface and between the units within the multinuclear complex. Traditional electrochemical techniques but also more advanced methods such as nanosecond electrochemistry using Pt micro electrodes and spectroelectrochemical techniques will be used to achieve our aims. The synthetic flexibility, and ideality of the electrochemical responses of the electroactive complexes used as building blocks, makes the proposed supramolecular assemblies attractive model systems for probing the details of electron transfer across modified interfaces and within superstructures. Such studies are important both to the basic understanding of electron transfer and to the development of molecule-based electronics and solar energy conversion.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The candidate will achieve extensive experience in the synthesis and electrochemical properties of redox active supramolecular assemblies. In particular the assembly of surface bound polynuclear complexes and their investigation by very fast electrochemical techniques will give the candidate the opportunity gain experience in this new and rapidly expanding area of chemistry.
Links with industry / industrial relevance(22)
The work proposed has significant potential for application in nanotechnology. We will actively seek industrial partners to try and exploit the results obtained in an industrial context. Especially industries involved in the design of thin film devices and solar energy conversion systems will be approached.