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.
EFRC retreats at Camp Tontozona annually gather Center faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for brainstorming of the critical points of the research.

Recent Publications

  1. 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)
  2. 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, Published online 9 Feb, 2014, (Read online)
  3. Mukhopadhyay, T.K., Flores, M., Groy, T.L., and Trovitch, R.J. (2014) A highly active manganese precatalyst for the hydrosilylation of ketones and esters, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136 (3), 882–885 (Read online)
  4. Medpelli, D., Seo, J.-M., and Seo, D.-K. (2014) Geopolymer with hierarchically meso-/macroporous structures from reactive emulsion templating, J. Amer. Ceram. Soc., 97 (1), 70-73 (Read online)
  5. Faiella, M., Roy, A., Sommer, D., Ghirlanda, G. (2013) De novo design of functional proteins: Toward artificial hydrogenases, Biopolymers, 100, 558 - 571 (Read online)

Online Media about Center Research

Research News


by Jenny Green:      In a recent early online edition of Nature Chemistry, ASU scientists, along with colleagues at Argonne National Laboratory, have reported advances toward perfecting a functional artificial leaf. Designing an artificial leaf that uses solar energy to convert water cheaply and efficiently into hydrogen and oxygen is one of the goals of BISfuel, the Energy Frontier Research Center, funded by the Department of Energy, in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Arizona State University.

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EFRC-501 graduate seminar course

Center for Bio-Inspired Solar Fuel Production 
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