Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.Sc.)




William McNamara

Committee Member

John C. Poutsma

Committee Member

Nathan M. Kidwell


Fossil fuels are a critical component of the world’s current energy system and have sustained a 10-fold global population growth since the Industrial Revolution. However, the combustion of fossil fuels has negatively impacted the health of the environment and atmosphere. Artificial photosynthesis (AP) is a promising energy alternative to fossil fuels that can generate hydrogen gas as a fuel source from aqueous solutions with a catalyst, chromophore, and electron donor system. Hydrogen is a highly desirable fuel source, as the only products from hydrogen fuel cells are electricity and pure water. It is vital to discover novel catalysts for hydrogen generation. Precious metal catalysts are cost prohibitive and rare, which can restrict scaling hydrogen production up to industrial levels. Optimizing catalysts using earth-abundant first row transition metals to be covalently bonded to TiO2 nanoparticles (NP) can be a stable, efficient, and cost-effective alternative to precious metal catalytic systems. By immobilizing effective molecular catalysts on TiO2, the catalyst can be recycled after the degradation of the chromophore and electron donor for additional hydrogen generation, and can be utilized in sea water to produce fuel and pure water from impure water systems.



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Available for download on Monday, May 19, 2025

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