The goal of BISfuel is to construct a complete artificial photosynthetic system for solar-powered production of fuels such as hydrogen via water splitting. Design principles are drawn from the fundamental concepts that underlie photosynthesis.
The Gust-Moore-Moore group designs artificial photosystems wherein synthetic antennas supply energy from light to the reaction centers, which provide the electrochemical potential energy for photochemical processes in the tandem cell: water oxidation (high energy photosystem) or proton reduction (low energy photosystem)
The water oxidation catalyst provides electrons and protons for fuel production and generates oxygen as a byproduct. The Center studies the structure and function of the photosynthetic water oxidation complex and applies the knowledge to the design of artificial mimics based on transition metals.
Artificial hydrogen production complexes mimic the active centers of natural enzymes called hydrogenases. The Ghirlanda and Jones groups construct peptide-based artificial hydrogenases harboring synthetic active centers with increased proton reduction activity.
The Seo group synthesizes nanoporous transparent electrodes of conducting and semiconducting metal oxides that serve as functional supports for water oxidation catalysts on one side of the cell and hydrogen producing or carbon dioxide reducing catalysts on the other side of the cell.
Regular scientific poster sessions allow graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to exchange their research findings and to coordinate collaborative efforts.
The Center and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry established a new graduate seminar course EFRC-501, which helps the graduate students to see how their research fits into the big picture of the Center, and to learn how their work can benefit from the efforts of others.
On average Bisfuel Center appoints 17 graduate students, 9 postdoctoral fellows and 3-4 researchers working on EFRC projects.
EFRC retreats at Camp Tontozona annually gather Center faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for brainstorming of the critical points of the research.

Bisfuel Research in News and Views of Nature Chemistry

Recent Publications

  1. Kupitz, Christopher; Basu, Shibom; Grotjohann, Ingo; Fromme, Raimund; Zatsepin, Nadia A.; Rendek, Kimberly N.; Hunter, Mark; Shoeman, Robert L.; White, Thomas A.; Wang, Dingjie; James, Daniel; Yang, Jay-How; Cobb, Danielle E.; Brenda, Reeder; Raymond, G. Sierra; Liu, Haiguang; Barty, Anton; Aquila, Andrew L.; Deponte, Daniel; Kirian, Richard A.; Bari, Sadia; Bergkamp, Jesse J.; Beyerlein, Kenneth R.; Bogan, Michael J.; Caleman, Carl; Chao, Tzu-Chiao; Conrad, Chelsie E.; Davis, Katherine M.; Fleckenstein, Holger; Galli, Lorenzo; Hau-Riege, Stefan P.; Kassemeyer, Stephan; Laksmono, Hartawan; Liang, Mengning; Lomb, Lukas; Marchesini, Stefano; Martin, Andrew V.; Messerschmidt, Marc; Milathianaki, Despina; Nass, Karol; Ros, Alexandra; Roy-Chowdhury, Shatabdi; Schmidt, Kevin; Seibert, Marvin; Steinbrener, Jan; Stellato, Francesco; Yan, Lifen; Yoon, Chunhong; Moore, Thomas A.; Moore, Ana L.; Pushkar, Yulia; Williams, Garth J.; Boutet, Sébastien; Doak, R. Bruce; Weierstall, Uwe; Frank, Matthias; Chapman, Henry N.; Spence, John C.H., and Fromme, Petra (2014) Serial time-resolved crystallography of photosystem II using a femtosecond X-ray laser, Nature, Published online 09 July 2014, (Read online)
  2. Kupitz, C., Grotjohann, I., Conrad, C.E., Roy-Chowdhury, S., Fromme, R., and Fromme, P. (2014) Microcrystallization techniques for serial femtosecond crystallography using Photosystem II from Thermosynechococcus elongatus as a model system, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, Published online June 9, 2014, (Read online)
  3. Flory, J. D., Simmons, C. R., Lin, S., Johnson, T., Andreoni, A., Zook, J., Ghirlanda, G., Liu, Y., Yan, H., and Fromme, P. (2014) Low Temperature Assembly of Functional 3D DNA-PNA-Protein Complexes, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 136 (23), 8283–8295 (Read online)
  4. Trovitch, R.J. (2014) Comparing Well-Defined Manganese, Iron, Cobalt, and Nickel Ketone Hydrosilylation Catalysts, Synlett, published online May 8, 2014, (Read online)
  5. Jeon, K.-W. and Seo, D.-K. (2014) Concomitant thionation and reduction of graphene oxide through solid/gas metathetical sulfidation reactions at high temperatures, Phosphorus, Sulfur, and Silicon and the Related Elements, Published online Mar 3, 2014, (Read online)
  6. Megiatto, J.D., Méndez-Hernández, D.D., Tejeda-Ferrari, M.E., Teillout, A.-L., Llansola-Portolés, M.J., Kodis, G., Poluektov, O.G., Rajh, T., Mujica, V., Groy, T. L., Gust, D., Moore, T.A., Moore, A.L. (2014) A bioinspired redox relay that mimics radical interactions of the Tyr–His pairs of photosystem II, Nature Chemistry, 6, 423–428 (Read online)

Research News

9 Jul 2014

BISfuel, July 9, 2014 –  Deciphering the puzzles of the natural photosynthetic water oxidation mechanism empowers designers of artificial photosynthesis with knowledge to construct better water oxidation catalysts for solar fuel production. A group of Bisfuel researchers working with collaborators at the DOE free electron laser has achieved an important milestone in understanding the photosynthetic water oxidation catalytic process.

Media and News

EFRC-501 graduate seminar course

Center for Bio-Inspired Solar Fuel Production 
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