A suspected derivative morphology for pheophytin and the enhanced hydrogen decomposition it caused

  • Jyun-Lin Huang
  • Wen-Bing Lai
  • Chungpin Liao
  • Li-Shen Yeh
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Photonic Science and Engineering on the Micro/Nano Scale


A new class of unorthodox morphologies of pheophytin, called the semi- and fully-derivative forms, was suspected to have existed all along in the electron transfer pathway of photosystem-II (PS-II) in plants. More importantly, as likely a natural pre-form of the latter, the semi-derivative morphology was further conjectured to play a catalytic role in the hydrogen fuel cells owing to its particular structural features. In this research, the proposed new class of derivative morphologies was speculated to be energetically more favorable, than the orthodox one in textbooks, in supporting a proton current within its porphyrin ring and in interacting with hydrogen gas molecules. This supposition appeared to be viable according to the spectral comparison among results from 1st-principle quantum calculations, measurements and literatures, as well as to the need for a proton current to address existing NMR spectra of pheophytin. Then, indirect proof of existence of such derivative’s features was provided by our experimental effort that pheophytins could efficiently getter hydrogen gas. Lastly, processed pheophytin samples were experimentally shown to be capable of catalyzing the hydrogen decomposition in fuel cells.


Catalysis Porphyrin ring Pheophytin Proton transport Derivative morphology of pheophytin 






The authors acknowledge the full financial support of ARBL for this research work.

Author contributions

The manuscript was written through contributions of all authors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Electro-Optic and Materials ScienceNational Formosa University (NFU)HuweiROC
  2. 2.Advanced Research and Business Laboratory (ARBL)TaichungROC

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