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Center for Catalysis and Surface Science Student Seminar Series

When: Friday, January 19, 2024
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT

Where: Ryan Hall, 4003, 2190 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Kimberly Leroi   (847) 467-3396

Group: Center for Catalysis and Surface Science (CCSS)

Category: Lectures & Meetings, Environment & Sustainability


Center for Catalysis and Surface Science (CCSS) Student Seminar Series

Friday, January 19, 2023 | 12-1pm CT
Ryan Hall, 4003 | 2190 Campus Drive
Lunch provided. 

Join the Center for Catalysis and Surface Science (CCSS) for the Student Seminar Series. Hear from graduate students and postdoctoral scholars during three presentation. This month's speakers are Matt Hershey and Maya Pathuri.

About the Presentations

Speaker: Matt Hershey
Title: Mie resonant titanium dioxide nanoparticles for photochemical transformations
Abstract: Throughout time, the burning of fossil fuels has been the primary means to an end in our world. With the ever-growing climate change concerns, alternative energy sources to fossil fuels are necessary to reverse centuries of damage. Interestingly, in the realm of the chemical industry, nearly 90% of all industrial chemicals produced worldwide require a catalyst – most of which entail the burning of fossil fuels as input energy to drive the reaction to completion. By creating catalysts that can harness energy from light to drive chemical transformations, we can begin the arduous process of decarbonizing the chemical industry. One promising potential platform for light harvesters is Mie resonant dielectric nanoparticles, such as titanium dioxide (TiO2). Mie resonances exhibit relatively low optical losses, and this is particularly relevant in the field of photochemical transformations, where the efficiency and strength of light-matter coupling are paramount. However, dielectric Mie resonators have not been as extensively utilized for photochemical transformations. This work bridges this gap by synthesizing and employing Mie resonant TiO2 nanospheres in photochemical transformations.

Speaker: Maya Pathuri
Title: "Towards Sustainability in Photo-Redox Catalysis: Extending Excited-State Lifetimes in Heteroleptic Iron (II) Chromophores"
Abstract: Photoredox catalysis, which relies on harvesting energy from visible light to drive chemical reactions, has been a key component of contemporary chemical research. Conventional photoredox catalysis, however, relies on the use of noble-metal chromophores, such as tris(bipyridine)ruthenium(II) and tris(2-phenylpyridine)iridium(III). While ruthenium and iridium-based chromophores are desirable for photoredox applications due their efficient visible-light absorption and long-lived excited states, noble-metals are not naturally abundant, limiting their use in large-scale processes. Consequently, the development of sustainable chromophores using earth-abundant elements (such as first-row transition metals) has been an area of active research in the field of photoredox catalysis. In this talk, we demonstrate the design of a novel class of heteroleptic iron (II) polypyridine complexes as alternatives to commonly used ruthenium (II) chromophores. Conventional iron (II) polypyridine complexes are poor chromophores due to their short-lived excited states. However, our strategy for extending the excited state lifetime relies on (1) extending the-conjugation of the polypyridine ligand, and (2) tuning the energies of the metal orbitals.

The mission of the Center for Catalysis and Surface Science (CCSS) is to promote interdisciplinary research fundamental to the discovery, synthesis, and understanding of catalysts and catalytic reactions essential to modern society. As a part of the Paula M. Trienens Institute for Sustainability and Energy, CCSS applies fundamental advances in catalysis science towards applications in alternative fuels, abatement of harmful emissions, resource recovery concepts, new processing routes, and many other strategies towards making chemicals more sustainable.

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