University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Materials Chemistry Research Interest Group > Hadean, pre-biotic Photosynthesis and Enzyme-like Heterogeneous Catalysts: Mimicking a state we do not know

Hadean, pre-biotic Photosynthesis and Enzyme-like Heterogeneous Catalysts: Mimicking a state we do not know

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Polymeric graphitic Carbon Nitride is made from urea under early-Earth conditions, as reported already by Justus Liebig in 1832. It just recently turned out to be a valuable extension to current semiconducting organic materials, which is due to the ease of synthesis, but also due to its extreme chemical stability. It serves as a novel catalyst which- among other reactions- can even chemically activate CO2 or photochemically turn water into hydrogen and oxygen. I will also present first schemes on chemical reactions where the electronic properties of C3N4 are generalized to other reactions, with C/N-nanostructures successfully mimicking oxidation enzymes with high conversions and selectivity. Copolymerization, but also new alternative condensation are here used to adjust electronic properties and coupled reactivity. Such polymers can be “hybridized” with enzymes to generate more complex molecules photochemically via cofactor coupling, as shown by the chiral reduction of ketones by light.

This talk is part of the Materials Chemistry Research Interest Group series.

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