My research will focus on designing new photocatalytic molecules for the purposes of clean energy generation. designing new photocatalytic molecules for the purposes of clean energy generation. Based on computer modelling performed by the Domcke group in Germany, we have predictions from Density Functional Theory for a range of triheptazine molecule derivatives that should have suitable electronic structure and photophysics for unlocking new photocatalytic reactions. These organic photocatalysts will be applied in proton electron coupling reactions which could provide a new means of water splitting and producing solar fuels. The main focus of the research will be using femtosecond pump-push transient absorption spectroscopy to dig deep into how the fundamental photophysics of these molecules work. Increased understanding of the photophysics and how it relates to molecular structure will help us create design rules that will allow us to tailor the properties of these photocatalysts and future photocatalysts.
Advisor: Cody Schlenker – Chemistry