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Special Issue "Artificial Photosynthesis: Recent Progress in Solar Energy Utilization"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Photochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Björn Åkermark

Department of Organic Chemistry, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Website | E-Mail
Interests: artificial photosynthesis; heterogeneous catalysis; homogeneous catalysis; oxidation; photochemistry; water oxidation
Guest Editor
Dr. Eric V. Johnston

Department of Organic Chemistry, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Website | E-Mail
Interests: artificial photosynthesis; heterogeneous catalysis; homogeneous catalysis; oxidation; water oxidation
Guest Editor
Dr. Markus D. Kärkäs

Department of Organic Chemistry, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
E-Mail
Interests: artificial photosynthesis; homogeneous catalysis; nitrogen-centered radicals; photocatalysis; water oxidation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Solar energy constitutes an alternative and sustainable energy source. Realizing an efficient method for converting sunlight into chemical energy is a key step towards large-scale solar energy utilization. For several decades, the natural photosynthetic system has been a source of inspiration for the development of artificial systems that are able to harness sunlight and store the energy in chemical bonds. Artificial photosynthesis is currently a topic of intense interest with the aim of producing carbon-neutral fuels through light-driven water splitting. In this Special Issue, recent achievements in water oxidation, hydrogen production and CO2 reduction using heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysts will be highlighted.

Prof. Dr. Björn Åkermark
Dr. Eric V. Johnston
Dr. Markus D. Kärkäs
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • artificial photosynthesis
  • CO2 reduction
  • electrocatalysis
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • homogeneous catalysis
  • O–O bond formation
  • water oxidation
  • water splitting

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Recyclable Magnetic Titania Nanocomposite from Ilmenite with Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity
Molecules 2017, 22(12), 2044; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22122044
Received: 19 October 2017 / Revised: 9 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
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Abstract
Using ilmenite as a raw material, iron was converted into Fe3O4 magnetic fluid, which further was combined with titanium filtrate by a solvothermal method. Finally Fe3O4/TiO2 nanocomposites with the uniform size of 100–200 nm were
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Using ilmenite as a raw material, iron was converted into Fe3O4 magnetic fluid, which further was combined with titanium filtrate by a solvothermal method. Finally Fe3O4/TiO2 nanocomposites with the uniform size of 100–200 nm were prepared. This approach uses rich, inexpensive ilmenite as a titanium and iron source, which effectively reduces the production cost. The crystal structure, chemical properties and morphologies of the products were characterized by SEM, TEM, XRD, FTIR, BET, UV-Vis, XPS and VSM. The novel photocatalyst composed of face-centered cubic Fe3O4 and body-centered tetragonal anatase–TiO2 exhibits a spherical shape with porous structures, superparamagnetic behavior and strong absorption in the visible light range. Using the degradation reaction of Rhodamine B (RhB) to evaluate the photocatalytic performance, the results suggest that Fe3O4/TiO2 nanocomposites exhibit excellent photocatalytic activities and stability under visible light and solar light. Moreover, the magnetic titania nanocomposites displayed good magnetic response and were recoverable over several cycles. Based on the trapping experiments, the main active species in the photocatalytic reaction were confirmed and the possible photocatalytic mechanism of RhB with magnetic titania was proposed. The enhanced photocatalytic activity and stability, combined with excellent magnetic recoverability, make the prepared nanocomposite a potential candidate in wastewater purification. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Iron Is the Active Site in Nickel/Iron Water Oxidation Electrocatalysts
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 903; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23040903
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 14 April 2018
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Abstract
Efficient catalysis of the oxygen-evolution half-reaction (OER) is a pivotal requirement for the development of practical solar-driven water splitting devices. Heterogeneous OER electrocatalysts containing first-row transition metal oxides and hydroxides have attracted considerable recent interest, owing in part to the high abundance and
[...] Read more.
Efficient catalysis of the oxygen-evolution half-reaction (OER) is a pivotal requirement for the development of practical solar-driven water splitting devices. Heterogeneous OER electrocatalysts containing first-row transition metal oxides and hydroxides have attracted considerable recent interest, owing in part to the high abundance and low cost of starting materials. Among the best performing OER electrocatalysts are mixed Fe/Ni layered double hydroxides (LDH). A review of the available experimental data leads to the conclusion that iron is the active site for [NiFe]-LDH-catalyzed alkaline water oxidation. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessLetter Concentration Effect on Quenching of Chlorophyll a Fluorescence by All-Trans-β-Carotene in Photosynthesis
Molecules 2017, 22(10), 1585; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22101585
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 20 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
Absorption, fluorescence spectra of chlorophyll a (Chl-a) and all-trans-β-carotene (β-Car) mixing solution are investigated in different polarity and polarizability solvents. The carotenoids regulate the energy flow in photosynthesis by interaction with chlorophyll, leading to an observable reduction of Chl-a fluorescence. The fluorescence red
[...] Read more.
Absorption, fluorescence spectra of chlorophyll a (Chl-a) and all-trans-β-carotene (β-Car) mixing solution are investigated in different polarity and polarizability solvents. The carotenoids regulate the energy flow in photosynthesis by interaction with chlorophyll, leading to an observable reduction of Chl-a fluorescence. The fluorescence red shifts with the increasing solvent polarizability. The energy transfer in the Chl-a and β-Car system is proposed. The electron transfer should be dominant in quenching Chl-a fluorescence rather than the energy transfer in this system. Polar solvent with large polarizability shows high quenching efficiency. When dissolved in carbon tetrachloride, Chl-a presents red shift of absorption and blue shift of fluorescence spectra with increasing β-Car concentration, which implies a Chl-a conformational change. Full article
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