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Photocatalytic redox reactions at the surface of liposomes

Promotor: Prof.dr. E. Bouwman, Co-promotor: S. Bonnet

B. Limburg
12 november 2015
Thesis in Leiden Repository

Current energy-sources in the form of fossil fuels are quickly being depleted, while the demand of energy by society is increasing. In order to sustain this growth in energy demand, alternatives for the production of energy in a usable form are needed. One of such alternatives is to employ photocatalysis in order to use sunlight for the production of chemical fuels such as for example H2 or methanol. For the production of fuels, electrons are required that can be obtained by oxidizing water, as done by nature in a process called photosynthesis. The work in this thesis was inspired by this natural process; photosensitizers and water-oxidation catalysts were bound to lipid bilayers and their ability to photocatalytically oxidize water was studied in different conditions. The anchoring of compounds to a lipid bilayer leads to large differences in reactivity compared to homogeneous systems. In some cases, even the mechanism of the photocatalytic reaction changed upon membrane-anchoring of the constituents. In general, detailed experiments are described that fully characterize photocatalytic systems, because the mechanism of a reaction involving two different catalytic species is not straight-forward, and cannot be described by a single set of turn-over numbers.

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