Abstract: Investigating the Electron Transfer Kinetics of Eosin Y Photosensitizers Using Single Molecule Spectroscopy

This summer, my research will analyze the electron transfer kinetics of Eosin Y (EY) within the context of dye-sensitized photocatalysis technology. As climate change continues to threaten our planet, finding viable renewable energy sources becomes increasingly important, especially as the global energy demand will increase by 25% by 2040. Dye-sensitized photocatalysis (DSP) offers a promising solution to this problem by using solar energy to generate hydrogen fuel, but at the moment it is not efficient. Our research group will work to understand the underlying electron transfer processes in order to move forward with DSP. This understanding will be achieved through single-molecule spectroscopy (SMS) techniques. We will investigate EY on a titanium dioxide (TiO2) substrate, a semiconductor that allows us to understand how EY would function in a real DSP system. Furthermore, we will compare results from single molecules in the presence of oxygen to those in the absence of oxygen (nitrogen) to understand how environment affects electron transfer.