As part of the University Special Research Program “Light to Chemical Energy Conversion,” we focus to a large extent on the development and mechanisms of water oxidation catalysts (WOCs) to master the oxygen evolution reaction as the most challenging part of water splitting. While Nature’s Photosystem II with its cuboidal {CaMn4O5} core in a complex environment has provided an evolutionary solution, translating its resilience into robust, heterogeneous catalysts is still challenging. Our research group covers a wide spectrum of catalysts in general to bridge molecular and solid-state strategies  – from bio-inspired molecular systems (e.g. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 8846) over larger polyoxometalate (POM) clusters to nanomaterials and solids (e.g. perovskite WOCs: J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 1527). Within the URPP LightChEC, we will now focus on optimizing heterogeneous WOC performance via tuning synthetic protocols towards self-repair and operational robustness.


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