Date Thesis Awarded

4-2015

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Chemistry

Advisor

William R. McNamara

Committee Member

Robert D. Pike

Committee Member

Kristin Wustholz

Committee Member

William R. McNamara

Abstract

Developing an efficient and cost-effective method of harvesting solar energy will greatly help to solve the global energy crisis, as the sun provides more energy in an hour than the world uses in an entire year. One of the most promising solutions to this problem is artificial photosynthesis, a process that mimics photosynthesis in plants to store energy in the chemical bonds of hydrogen gas. In order to develop systems for artificial photosynthesis, stable and active catalysts that can reduce protons must be identified. The new complexes, [NiII(Httfasbz)] and [NiII(L2)] (where L2 = (2E, 2'E)-dibenzyl 2,2'-(1,2-diphenylethane-1,2-diylidene)bis(hydrazinecarbodithioate)), were characterized and then analyzed as electrocatalysts for hydrogen generation. Both were found to be active catalysts for electrochemical proton reduction, with [NiII(Httfasbz)] giving an ic/ip of 6.4 and [NiII(L2)] giving an ic/ip of 42.9 in solutions of CH3CN. [NiII(Httfasbz)] was further studied in a system for photochemical hydrogen generation. As a photocatalyst, [NiII(Httfasbz)] is both active and stable, producing TONs over 1100 after 18 hours and continuing to generate hydrogen for over 70 hours.

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