Synthesis of Ru(bpy)2-iodo-bdppz2+ Elena Hunanyan and Bryan Hunter
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Our research is directed toward the solar-energy conversion of water to molecular hydrogen. A cheap method of producing H2 would not only provide an abundant energy source, but would also alleviate many of the environmental problems associated with current energy sources, as H2 burns in air to form H2O. We have adapted a ?supramolecular? approach, in which a multifunctional molecule (a ?supramolecule?) harnesses and stores solar energy, then drives a series of electron transfers that ultimately produces H2. This supramolecule is comprised of three main components: (1) a photoactive ruthenium complex that captures the solar energy; (2) a phenylene-ethynylene molecular wire that can transport electrons and; (3) a catalytic surface that uses the photogenerated excited-state electrons to reduce H<sup>+ </sup>to H2. Synthesizing and assembling the supramolecule on the platinum catalytic surface is the current area of interest.