DTU Chemistry Lecture

'Molecular Assemblies for Artificial Photosynthesis and Solar Energy Conversion'

Associate Professor Peter H. Dinolfo

Director of Graduate Program
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
New York State Center for Polymer Synthesis
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, New York, USA

The primary challenges to widespread utilization of renewable energy are the need for improvement in conversion efficiencies along with the reduction of device cost, and then the integration of these technologies into our current energy distribution mechanisms.

The diffuse and variable nature of most renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, necessitates a mechanism for large scale energy storage. Towards this goal, we are developing bio-inspired, nanoscale molecular devices that will allow for the efficient conversion of sunlight into stored solar energy in the form of chemical fuels. We have identified a series of first-row transition metal coordination complexes that show great promise as catalysts for electrocatalytic proton reduction and water oxidation.

We have also developed a new layer-by-layer fabrication technique for the controlled growth of molecular multilayer assemblies on oxide and electrode surfaces. The flexibility of this process permits us to incorporate a wide variety of individual molecular building blocks, which in in turn allows us to target specific electrochemical and photophysical properties for the multilayer films. Optimization of the energy and charge transfer processes in these films would enable the creation of broadband light harvesting arrays for molecular based solar cells and artificial photosynthetic devices.

Prof. Peter Dinolfo obtained his BS in Chemistry from the State Univ. of New York, College at Geneseo in 1998. He then obtained his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from Northwestern University in 2004, working under Prof. Joseph T. Hupp on the study of electron transfer processes in mixed-valence compounds.

He did his postdoctoral research on bio-mimetic redox catalysts with Prof. James P. Collman in the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University before arriving at RPI in Aug 2007.

He is currently an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Dept. of Chemistry & Chemical biology at RPI. His research interests include the synthesis, electrochemical and spectroscopic characterization of inorganic coordination complexes and thin-film materials, with specific research thrusts in solar energy conversion and artificial photosynthesis.

He is the recipient of a 2013 CAREER award in Chemistry from the National Science Foundation.





tor 16 nov 17
9:30 - 10:30


Building 306
Room 37