Supramolecular Artificial Photosynthesis

  • Mirco NataliEmail author
  • Franco Scandola
Part of the Lecture Notes in Chemistry book series (LNC, volume 92)


The conversion of light energy into chemical fuels by artificial means is a challenging goal of modern science, of great potential impact on long-term energy and environmental problems. As such, Artificial Photosynthesis is one of the most active research areas in applied photochemistry. In this tutorial review the basic ingredients of a biomimetic, supramolecular approach to Artificial Photosynthesis are outlined. First, a brief summary of the relevant structural-functional aspects of natural photosynthesis is provided, as a guide to plausible artificial architectures. Then, candidate energy converting reactions are examined, focusing attention on water splitting. The main functional units of an artificial photosynthetic system are dealt with in some detail, namely, charge separation systems, light harvesting antenna systems, water oxidation catalysts, and hydrogen evolving catalysts. For each type of system, design principles and mechanistic aspects are highlighted with specifically selected examples. Some attempts at integrating the various units into light-to-fuels converting devices are finally discussed. Throughout the review, the emphasis is on systems of molecular and supramolecular nature.


Hydrogen Evolution Electron Transfer Process Water Oxidation Photoinduced Electron Transfer Reorganization Energy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Financial support from the Italian MIUR (FIRB RBAP11C58Y “NanoSolar”, PRIN 2010 “Hi-Phuture”), and COST action CM1202 “PERSPECT-H2O” is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of Ferrara, and Centro Interuniversitario per la Conversione Chimica dell’Energia Solare (SOLARCHEM), sezione di FerraraFerraraItaly

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