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Towards an Artificial Leaf

4 April 2011

Plants are able to use the energy of sunlight to reduce carbon dioxide and oxidise water simultaneously, in the process known as photosynthesis.  Chemists have known for some decades how to carry out these two photochemical transformations separately, but coupling them to make an “artificial leaf” has proven to be very difficult.  Now, work from the Cardiff School of Chemistry, led by Professor Barry Carpenter in the Physical Organic Chemistry Centre, has revealed a new strategy for accomplishing this goal.  It relies on the development of a recyclable redox agent.

Towards an Artificial Leaf

This research is showing great promise, and has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and in Nature Chemistry, and the work has been highlighted by Josef Michl, also in Nature Chemistry.

R. D. Richardson and B. K. Carpenter, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2008, 130, 3169

R. D. Richardson, E. J. Holland and B. K. Carpenter, Nature Chemistry, 2011, , 3, 301

J. Michl, Nature Chemistry, 2011, 3, 268