Development of fast, efficient and device compatible antenna

This project aims to synthesize dendrimer-based light-absorbing antenna systems that can efficiently inject electrons into a substrate for charge separation across an organic-inorganic interface and simultaneously transfer a hole to an oxygen evolving catalyst.

Dendritic structures with several light-harvesting antennas surrounding a single core are ideal building blocks for artificial photosynthetic systems. Dendrimers -branched molecules- can enable sequential energy transfer to the center, followed by charge separation across an organic/inorganic interface, mimicking the natural photosynthetic systems. Two key issues are addressed:
1. Efficient capture of light from the solar spectrum and unidirectional energy transfer to a central unit at the surface of a Si nanowire, and
2. Fast injection of an electron into the inorganic substrate and hole injection into an oxygen evolving catalyst combined with slow recombination of these charges.
In the dendrimer, the building blocks are covalently connected for improved robustness and durability over the supramolecular approach of project C1.4. The focal point of the dendritic structure will be designed in such a way that on one side it has an anchoring point for attachment to a silicon surface, while on the other side an organometallic oxygen evolving catalyst can be attached.

This project will be a success if:
- Dendritic light-absorbing antenna systems are synthesized that can efficiently inject electrons into a substrate for charge separation across an organic-inorganic interface
- The antenna can simultaneously transfer a hole to an oxygen evolving catalyst

The work in this project is primarily done at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Delft University of Technology

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