Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




William R. McNamara

Committee Members

Judith A. Hand

Kristin L. Wustholz

Nathan M. Kidwell


With rising world energy consumption, the global demand for renewable energy sources is also increasing. Solar energy is one promising solution to the global energy crisis. Through artificial photosynthesis, solar power can be converted to hydrogen fuel. Systems for artificial photosynthesis rely on a combination of catalyst, chromophore, and sacrificial electron donor to reduce protons to hydrogen gas. Our group has previously reported three iron complexes active in homogeneous systems and one iron complex immobilized on a metal semiconductor active in a heterogeneous system. Herein we report a carboxylic acid functionalized iron complex for use in heterogeneous photocatalytic systems. The system is highly active and stable, achieving turnover numbers greater than 12,000 after 36 hours of irradiation. Due to their relative stability and low cost, iron-based catalysts are a cost-effective approach to hydrogen generation in systems for artificial photosynthesis.

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