Shigeyuki Masaoka, Assistant Professor Mio Kondo, Dr. Masaya Okamura, Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Institute of Molecular Science, Institute of Natural Sciences (Graduate University for Advanced Studies), as part of the JST Strategic Creative Research Promotion Project A research group of graduate students has succeeded in artificially developing an oxygen generation catalyst that is more efficient than photosynthesis in plants using inexpensive iron ions.

 Artificial photosynthesis technology, which converts solar energy into storable chemical energy, has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years for the construction of a sustainable energy circulation system.The obstacle to this realization was the inefficiency of the oxygen evolution reaction due to the decomposition of water.Since the oxygen evolution reaction in which water molecules are decomposed into oxygen molecules, hydrogen ions, and electrons is extremely unlikely to occur simply by shining light on water, the development of a catalyst that helps the decomposition of water and efficiently generates oxygen has been developed. It was a big challenge.

 The joint research group of the Institute for Molecular Science, Institute for Molecular Science, Kumamoto University, Fukuoka University, and Saga University has focused on the complex existing in the protein complex that is responsible for oxygen generation catalyst in photosynthesis of plants, and its function. I designed an iron complex that combines iron ions and organic molecules.As a result of verifying its oxygen evolution catalyst function, it was found that both the processing capacity and durability of the catalyst exceed those of plants.Furthermore, as a result of studying the catalytic reaction mechanism through joint research between the Institute for Molecular Science, Institute for Molecular Science, and Kumamoto University, it was found that it has a major role in achieving a highly efficient oxygen evolution reaction.

 The catalyst molecule design strategy unique to this research will greatly advance the progress of artificial photosynthesis technology.In the future, it is expected to contribute to the development of artificial photosynthesis technology that will lead humankind to solve energy and environmental problems by further optimizing catalyst molecules.

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Founded in 1934, Fukuoka University is one of the leading comprehensive universities in western Japan, with 9 faculties, 31 departments, 10 graduate schools, and about 20,000 people gathered on one campus.A variety of departments work together to provide unique and highly specialized educational programs."Liberal arts seminars" and modern society to learn with a small number of people […]

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