September 8, 2008
Plant-inspired molecule boosts
Copy part of an enzyme that plants use
in photosynthesis and wrap it in a plastic used in fuel cells, and
you have a catalyst that extracts oxygen from water. The catalyst
is a step toward an economically viable way of generating hydrogen
from water using sunlight.
The catalyst is a cube-shaped molecule with a core of manganese
and oxygen atoms.
There are two steps remaining to get the system ready for
prime time. A second catalyst is needed to extract hydrogen gas from
the left over hydrogen ions. And the catalysts must be integrated
with a solar cell to power the process directly from sunlight.
Water Oxidation Photocatalysis by a Bioinspired Manganese Cluster
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, September 8, 2008
G. Charles Dismukes
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September 8/15, 2008
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