“The Role of Catalytic Oxo Metal Clusters in Natural and Artificial Photosynthesis” by Prof. Tilley from UC Berkeley
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- 5-5:30 welcome social hour
- 5:30-6:30 Lecture and Q&A
- 6:30-7:30 Social hour & networking session (food and drinks provided)
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Abstract: The conversion of solar energy into a useful chemical fuel represents a major scientific goal in the drive towards a society powered by renewable energy. Useful rates of solar fuel production must rely on an efficient oxidation that generates electrons and protons. In nature’s photosynthesis, this is accomplished by a tetra-manganese oxo cluster (the oxygen-evolving complex, OEC), which yields 4 protons and 4 electrons by the photo-oxidation of water. This water-splitting half-reaction must be catalyzed for solar fuel applications to make it energetically feasible. Transition-metal oxo cubane clusters related to the OEC represent intriguing model systems and design motifs for new water-splitting catalysts based on abundant metals. Molecularly derived catalysts of this type offer potential advantages, including the synthetic tunability of catalytic and chemical properties. In addition, studying high-valent molecular species can provide key insights into the mechanism of water oxidation and help bridge the gap between solid-state and molecular systems to allow for a more rational design of catalysts. This presentation will describe high-valent metal complexes and clusters and a detailed mechanism for the evolution of oxygen via water oxidation at a tetranuclear cobalt oxo cubane. An important aspect of this catalysis relates to how metals cooperate to mediate multi-electron, multi-proton oxidations. In further pursuit of these concepts, the synthesis and study of related heterometallic oxo clusters have been targeted.
About Speaker: Dr. T. Don Tilley is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of California Berkeley (UCB). Prof Tilley received his B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Texas and earned his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley. He began his independent career as an Assistant Professor at UC San Diego and moved to UCB as a chemistry professor and senior faculty scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Prof. Tilley has received numerous prestigious awards and accolades. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Chemical Society.