Ultrathin Separation Membranes for Nanoscale Artificial Photosynthetic Units and Nano-Biohybrids


Event details

Date 18.01.2018
Hour 10:3011:30
Speaker Dr. Heinz FREI
Chemist Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Category Conferences - Seminars

Abstract :
Closing of the photosynthetic cycle of water oxidation and carbon dioxide reduction on the shortest possible length scale – the nanoscale – offers the advantage of minimizing efficiency degrading ion transport processes and of chemical side reactions. Inorganic oxide-based core-shell nanotubes featuring ultrathin silica separation membranes with embedded molecular wires for tight control of electron transport are introduced, and charge and proton transport processes evaluated by ultrafast optical spectroscopy and photoelectrochemistry. Such silica membranes enable electronic coupling of other types of incompatible catalytic environments on the nanoscale as will be shown for integration of inorganic with microbial catalysts.   

Bio :
Heinz Frei received his PhD in Physical Chemistry at ETH Zurich. After a postdoctoral stay at the University of California at Berkeley, he started a research group in solar photochemistry at LBNL. Over the past two decades, Frei has established new methods for utilizing visible and near infrared light for the environmentally friendly synthesis of useful chemicals, the chemical storage of solar photons, and has developed time-resolved FT-IR infrared spectroscopic methods for unraveling mechanisms of heterogeneous catalysis under reaction conditions. Currently, his research effort focuses on the scientific challenges of the direct conversion of carbon dioxide and water to a liquid fuel by artificial photosynthesis. He served as Deputy Director of LBNL’s Physical Biosciences Division, the Helios Solar Energy Research Center, and was one of the founding scientists of JCAP. He was elected Fellow of the AAAS in 2014.