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CBES: Center for Bio-Inspired Energy Science

Emily Weiss

  • Mark and Nancy Ratner Professor of Chemistry
  • Professor of Materials Science & Engineering

PhD (2005), Northwestern University

The Weiss group has demonstrated that quantum dots (QDs) outperform the most widely used infrared complexes as sensitizers for CO2 reduction, to photocatalyze C–C coupling without sacrificial reagents, and to achieve the 6-e/6-H+ photoreduction of nitrobenzene to aniline. In recent work sponsored by CBES, Weiss found that QD nanoassemblies are more photocatalytically active for multi-electron chemistry (CO2 and H+ reduction) than are isolated sensitizer–catalyst pairs of their colloidal and molecular components. This activity is influenced by the size, connectivity, geometry, and inter-component interactions of the aggregate. These aggregates are therefore hierarchical photocatalytic structures with properties tunable by composition and environment.

Weiss is building on these solution-phase demonstrations to improve the catalytic efficiencies of these structures, expand their reaction scope, and encapsulate them in molecule-permeable supramolecular gels to create robust hierarchical, photocatalytic materials tunable through the mechanical and chemical properties of the soft material. These systems can be modified by changing the compositions of their building blocks and by controlling the interparticle structure and order within the assemblies.

Key Publications

Energy-Transfer Enhanced Photocatalytic Reduction of Protons within Quantum Dot Light Harvesting–Catalyst Assemblies
Kodaimati, M.; Lian, S.; Jiang, Y.; Schatz, G.C.; Weiss, E.A. 
PNAS, 115, 8290-8295, 2018

Photocatalytically Active Superstructures of Quantum Dots and Iron Porphyrins for Reduction of CO2 to CO in Water
Lian, S.; Kodaimati, M.; Weiss, E.A. 
ACS Nano, 12, 568–575, 2018

Light-Responsive Organic Electron Flashing Ratchet
Kedem, O.; Lau, B.; Ratner, M.A.; Weiss, E.A. 
PNAS, 114, 8698-8703, 2017.

CBES Publications

See all CBES publications authored by Emily Weiss

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