Question: Will tuning transmembrane proton transfer dynamics alter Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer (PCET) reaction pathways ?
Motivation: PCET reactions are fundamental to biological and artificial energy conversion processes such as nitrogen fixation and photosynthesis.
Challenge: The complex reaction mechanisms of interfacial PCET processes hinder the development of catalysts that generate a single desired product.
Strategy: The ET lab will construct lipid-modified electrodes to control the reaction pathways and map the reaction energy landscape of PCET processes. The mechanistic understanding gained from this surface functionalization approach will guide the development of next-generation self-assembling catalytic materials.