Theoretical investigation of solar energy conversion and water oxidation catalysis
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Chemistry.
Troy Van Voorhis.
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Solar energy conversion and water oxidation catalysis are two great scientific and engineering challenges that will play pivotal roles in a future sustainable energy economy. In this work, I apply electronic structure theory and molecular dynamics simulation methods to understand some of the detailed mechanisms behind solar energy conversion and water oxidation catalysis. I will present a detailed atomistic picture of charge separation processes at a donor-acceptor interface between two organic semiconductor materials in an organic photovoltaic device. This will be followed by an investigation of the water oxidation mechanism of a homogeneous ruthenium water-splitting catalyst and a heterogeneous cobalt phosphate water-splitting catalyst. I will also introduce several advances in theoretical methods that allow us to more accurately compute observables that are critically relevant to the operation and performance of these materials and devices.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Chemistry, 2011.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 169-196).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Chemistry.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology