Reaction intermediates and mechanisms in photocatalysis and electrocatalysis
START-UP 2018 (NWO Grant, 2019 - 2024)

The aim of this project is to find ways to study photochemical and electrochemical reactions using mass spectrometry and to apply these tools to solve urgent questions in these fields. Many powerful photocatalytic and electrocatalytic reactions were developed in recent years, but the mechanisms are often unclear. We are developing a suitable electrospray ionization interface that will allow studying intermediates in photocatalytic and electrocatalytic reactions. We are studying reaction mechanisms in collaboration with other scientists in order to support development of new reactions. Based on our mechanistic studies, we will also screen for new reactions using alternative transition metals.

The upper figure shows the degree of information that we can extract on a photochemical reaction.

  • The reaction is initialized right before the electrospray ionization to trap short lived intermediates.
  • We characterize the structure of short lived intermediates by infrared photodissociation spectroscopy.
  • We can measure the vis photodissociation spectra of ions and thus make a link to colors