Project Area A

Project Area A develops the molecular components used in CataLight for light-absorption, charge-separation and catalytic turnover, and develop concepts to enable their soft matter integration. Specifically, the following materials classes are targeted:

• Molecular Photosensitizers: metal complexes and organic chromophores

• Molecular catalysts: metal complexes and metal chalcogenide clusters

Project A1

Benjamin Dietzek, Sven Rau

Strategies for Molecular Repair and Self-regulation in Light-driven Catalysis for Hydrogen Evolution


A1 will step beyond the current design concepts for molecular photocatalysts; based on a thorough understanding of the photocatalytic mechanism, we want to improve the overall catalytic activity by developing active repair strategies that recycle of the catalyst and by creating self-regulating supramolecular light-harvesting complexes, which funnel excitation energy to the photocatalyst.

Project A2

Peter Bäuerle, Wolfgang Weigand

Noble Metal-free Photosensitizer-Catalyst Hybrids for Photocatalytic Hydrogen Generation under Visible Light


A2 aims at the synthesis, characterization, and application of a series of molecular, noble metal-free, and highly catalytically active water reduction catalysts for the photo- and photoelectrocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction under visible light. The overall goal of the project is the development of unique hybrid photosensitizer-catalyst dyads, where the visible light absorbing organic photosensitizer the catalytically active hydrogenase mimic are strongly covalently coupled.

Project A3

Kalina Peneva

Rylene Dyes as Photosensitizers and Antenna Systems


A3 focuses on the design and preparation of novel metal-free chromophores to explore their application as antenna systems and sensitizers in molecular light-driven catalysis. The project will exploit strategies for covalent incorporation in catalyst-sensitizer dyad molecules as well as the integration into soft matter matrixes. Towards this aim, we will prepare functional rylene chromophores including naphthalene and perylene mono- and diimides, push-pull rylene dyes and water-soluble perylene dyes decorated with pH responsive groups.

Project A4

Sven Rau, Carsten Streb

Covalently Linked Photosensitizer-Catalyst Dyads for One-step Materials Integration


A4 will develop covalent photosensitizer-catalyst dyads as electronically coupled molecular devices, where each component can be designed and optimized independently. These systems will enable the efficient coupling of molecular metal-complex light absorbers to molecular molecular metal oxides as hydrogen evolution or water oxidation catalysts. This could lead to advanced PS-CATs, which overcome detrimental effects such as photodegradation, electrostatic aggregation and colloid formation.

Project A5

Timo Jacob, Carsten Streb

Experimental and Theoretical Studies on Molecular Molybdenum Sulfide Hydrogen Evolution Reaction Catalysts


A5 will perform correlated experimental and theoretical studies on molecular molybdenum sulfides to link structural and electronic features with their light-driven hydrogen evolution activity, thereby rationalizing the connection between structure and reactivity. Modification of the chemical structure will be used to target optimized, more stable catalysts where reactivity can be increased and deactivation can be inhibited. The heterogenization of these model catalysts on solid light-absorbers will be explored.