Kenneth Pitzer Lecture: Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer in Catalysis and Energy Conversion
Seminar | March 19 | 4-5 p.m. | 120 Latimer Hall
Proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) reactions play a vital role in a wide range of chemical and biological processes. This talk will focus on recent advances in the theory of PCET and applications to catalysis and energy conversion. The quantum mechanical effects of the active electrons and transferring proton, as well as the motions of the proton donor-acceptor mode and solvent or protein environment, are included in a general theoretical formulation. This formulation enables the calculation of rate constants and kinetic isotope effects for comparison to experiment. Recent extensions enable the study of heterogeneous as well as homogeneous interfacial PCET processes. Applications to PCET in molecular electrocatalysts for water splitting, photoreduced zinc-oxide nanocrystals, and proton discharge on a gold electrode will be discussed. These studies have identified the thermodynamically and kinetically favorable mechanisms, as well as the role of proton relays, and are guiding the theoretical design of more effective catalysts. In addition, recent developments of theoretical approaches for simulating the ultrafast dynamics of photoinduced PCET, along with applications to solvated molecular systems and photoreceptor proteins, will be discussed.
Light refreshments will be served at 3:50 at The Coffee Lab