"Nanocarbon Materials for Solar Energy Conversion Schemes"
Dirk M. Guldi, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Pharmacology
Carbon is the key to many technological applications that have become indispensable in our daily life. Altering the periodic binding motifs in networks of sp3-, sp2-, and sp-hybridized C-atoms is the conceptual starting point for a wide palette of carbon allotropes. To this end, the past two decades have served as a test-bed for measuring the physico-chemical properties of low-dimensional carbon with the advent of fullerenes (0D), followed in chronological order by carbon nanotubes (1D), carbon nanohorns, and, most recently, by graphene (2D). These species are now poised for use in catalysis.
Expanding global needs for energy have led to a significant effort to develop alternatives to fossil fuels. While alternative sources for energy are already in use, they comprise a small percentage of the energy demands needed to carry us through the 21st century. No single source will solve the global needs, but the development of photocatalysis has vast potential as a point-of-use power source.