University Reader, Co-director nanoDTC and the Head of the Christian Doppler Laboratory,
Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge
Erwin Reisner and his lab are interested in applying principles from the traditional field of Biological Inorganic Chemistry to Renewable Energy research. They design artificial photosynthetic systems to produce a so-called solar fuel - a sustainable fuel derived from solar energy and an effectively inexhaustible raw material. A major goal is to mimic photobiological energy generation by using enzymes and biomimetic synthetic compounds incorporated into technologically relevant hybrid systems. To achieve this aim, a solar light-harvesting component is coupled to a suitable redox catalyst to drive the energetically uphill redox transformations.
A current focus lies on the photocatalytic production of the high specific energy carrier hydrogen from water and we will soon explore novel routes of converting the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into valuable carbon feedstocks. The laboratory and department house state-of-the-art facilities for their work, which covers a wide range of disciplines - from anaerobic Synthetic to Biological Chemistry, with an emphasis somewhere at the Interface of Inorganic Chemistry, Enzymology, Electro-, Photochemistry, Materials and Nanoscience.