Research Check-In Part 3

It has been confirmed by spectroscopy techniques that my desired ligand has been synthesized, although in small quantity. The next step is to attach the ligand to a metal in order to form a catalytic compound. The chemical reaction which combines the ligand and the metal was performed and the resulting substance was allowed to sit undisturbed in an attempt to crystallize. In the method of crystallization I am using, the substance is dissolved in a liquid solvent #1, which is placed either below or on top of a liquid solvent #2 in a vial. The substance cannot be dissolved in solvent #2. As solvents #1 and #2 begin to mix, the substance slowly travels from #1 to #2 and precipitates out into solid crystals. Once the crystals have precipitated, they can be electrochemically tested for hydrogen oxidation.

Abstract — Oxygen Reduction by Iron Complexes for Solar Energy Conversion

There is evidence in nature that suggests that the energy supplies primarily in use, notably coal, contribute to pollution and emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. The abundance of these gases, which leads to climate change and global warming, continues to rise due to the consumption of fossil fuels. The McNamara Lab seeks to harness solar power, since the sun provides as much energy to the earth in one hour as is used in a year. Our lab focuses on the production and storage of clean and renewable energy using solar-powered fuel cells. Although there is already a market in solar energy, it is often criticized for its high price. My project focuses on whether or not certain earth abundant metal complexes are active for oxygen reduction, vital to green energy production within the fuel cell. The summer’s work should result in information designed for an academic paper on the subject, which would share our findings and progress on solar energy with the scientific community.