Project Area B

Project area B develops advanced catalytically active materials by integrating molecular photosensitizers and catalysts into soft matter matrices. Molecular component immobilization will be developed based on electrostatic, supramolecular and covalent connectivity to gain critical insights into linkage stability, site selectivity and catalytic activity. Project Area B targets colloidal model systems, thin films as well as porous membranes featuring hierarchical structuring on a nm-to-µm length scale

Project B1

Ulrich S. Schubert, Tanja Weil

Structure-Property Relationships of Functional Copolymers on DNA Nanosheets


B1 will incorporate photocatalytically relevant moieties such as dyes/photo¬¬¬sen¬si¬tizers, catalysts and electron relays, in soft matter matrices with nm precision. The use of the DNA origami technique will allow the precise spa¬tial assembly of these molecules (e.g. rylene dyes, ruthenium photosensitizers, cobalt catalysts) and copolymers containing these moieties on DNA nanosheets

Project B2

Sven Rau, Ulrich S. Schubert

Integration of Photoredox-active Complexes in Redox-active Polymers for Light-induced Charging and Discharging by Additional Integrated Molecular Catalysts


B2 designs visible light sensitized multi-electron storage materials. Photoredox-active ruthenium chromophores with extended polyaromatic ligands are incorporated into redox-active polymers via non-covalent supramolecular interactions, enabling the light-induced charging of the redox-active polymer components. The discharging process will drive molecular catalysts, which will be co-integrated into the polymer assemblies.

Project B3

Felix H. Schacher, Carsten Streb

“POMbranes” – Incorporation of Catalytically Active Polyoxometalates into Integral Asymmetric Block Copolymer Membranes


B3 develops composites capable of light-driven water oxidation or proton reduction. This is achieved by incorporation of polyoxometalate catalysts for water oxidation catalysis or hydrogen evolution together with molecular photosensitizers into nanostructured block copolymer membranes.

Project B4

Maria Wächtler, Tanja Weil

Bioinspired Polydopamine/Sensitizer Thin Films for Self-regulated Photocatalytic Water Splitting


B4 designs model systems for a photocatalytically active thin film for proton reduction. The systems feature the unique capability to self-regulate their activity for light-driven catalysis in dependence on the pH of the surrounding medium induced by interactions between a pH-sensitive and redox-active matrix and the incorporated sensitizer. Therefore, an organic/inorganic hybrid material will be designed by embedding sensitizers, CdSe@CdS dot-in-rod nanostructures (NRs), in bioinspired polydopamine thin films by electropolymerization

Project B5

Alexei R. Khokhlov, Felix H. Schacher

Self-regulating Photocatalytic Materials Based on pH-responsive Block Copolymers


B5 develops tunable photocatalytic materials where activity or accessibility of the catalytic center is controlled by external parameters such as pH or temperature. Ultimately, such ensembles are capable of maintaining optimum reaction conditions for (photo)catalysis over longer time periods by preventing reaction conditions which would eventually lead to catalyst degradation.

Project B6

Radim Beranek, Benjamin Dietzek, Timo Jacob

Molecular Functionalization of Carbon Nitride Polymers for Light-driven Water Splitting


B6 develops a fundamental mechanistic understanding of the interaction of polymeric carbon nitride (CNx) materials with molecular redox catalysts and molecular photosensitizers, with a particular focus on elucidating factors governing the dynamics of charge separation, charge recombination and catalytic turnover. Such knowledge is crucial to construct effective photo(electro)catalytic systems for the light-driven multi-electron redox transformations involved in water splitting, where all processes (i.e. charge separation, charge accumulation, redox chemistry) must occur faster than charge recombination.

Project B7

Max von Delius, Andrey Turchanin

Carbon Nanomembranes as Asymmetric, Two-dimensional Matrices for the Immobilization and Dynamic Covalent Regeneration of Molecular Photosensitizers and Hydrogen Evolution Catalysts


B7 develops regenerative photocatalytic materials consisting of carbon nanomembranes (CNMs), immobilized photosensitizers and immobilized catalysts. CNMs can simultaneously act as an asymmetric soft matter platform for photosensitizer/catalyst architectures and as a separation membrane for hydrogen and oxygen evolution in a potential “artificial leaf”, CNMs possess a unique potential for light-driven catalysis.

Project B8

Andrea Pannwitz

Compartmentalization of Light-Induced Reactions Using Vesicles


In project B8, synthetic concepts for unidirectional energy transfer across bilayer membranes are developed using integrated molecular photoactive components. The nanometer-thin membranes are assembled into vesicles which will be used for the compartmentalization of light-driven chemical reactions, so that directed energy transfer and spatially separated chemical reactivity can be combined in one nanostructured soft matter system.