Graduate Student Aron Huckaba will Present a Dissertation Seminar to the Department

Graduate Student Aron Huckaba will Present his Dissertation Seminar to the Department

One of the most important questions humanity will face in the next 100 years is going to be “What will happen when oil runs out?” This dissertation defense describes efforts to utilize solar energy to improve renewable energy technology in two ways to generate electricity and synthetic fuels. First, through the improvement of dye sensitized solar cells1 by the synthesis of sensitizers with indolizine donor subunits, which was shown to be the strongest reported donor subunit,2 the development of indolizine dyes substituted with non-conjugated surface blocking groups, and the improvement of indolizine dye visible light absorption. Second, this defense describes efforts to close the carbon cycle through utilization of solar energy in the photocatalytic reduction of CO2.3 The  described efforts regard the improvement of known Re-tricrbaonyl-bipyridyl catalysts through pyridyl substitution with N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) ligands, which resulted in complexes with increased stability to air and moisture.4 The Re-NHC catalysts are just the fourth series of photocatalysts known to reduce CO2 without a photosensitizer.

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(2) Huckaba, A. J.; Giordano, F.; McNamara, L. E.; Dreux, K. M.; Hammer, N. I.;
Tschumper, G. S.; Zakeeruddin, S. M.; Grätzel, M.; Nazeeruddin, M. K.; Delcamp,
J. H. Adv. Energy Mater. 2014, Early View, DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201401629.
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536. (b): Vaughan, J. G.; Reid, B. L.; Wright, P. J.; Ramchandani, S.; Skelton, B.
W.; Raiteri, P.; Muzzioli,