Photosynthesis is better two by two

Categorie(s) : Industry, News, Research

Published : 3 December 2018

Artificial photosynthesis systems present a major shortcoming: Their photosensitizer delivers electrons one by one while the catalyst uses them two by two. A team of researchers from Grenoble and Germany* recently found a solution to this problem. They developed a ruthenium-based photosensitizer that stores two electrons and two protons reversibly, similar to the plastoquinones in living organisms.

It took the researchers three years to find a suitable structure and the optimal process for synthesizing it, and then characterize it. The pattern they selected is planar and consists of eight conjugated aromatic cycles. The next steps toward preparing the technology for future applications will be to improve the photosensitizer so that it can store more energy and test it for use in catalytic processes.


*CEA (including BIG and INAC), Grenoble-Alpes University, and Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany)

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