Synthetic and Structural Synergy Towards Advanced Heterogeneous Photoredox Catalysis
  Progetto attivo [2023-2025]
Capo Progetto: Prof. Paolo Fornasiero - Università degli Studi di Trieste
Responsabile IMEM: Lucia Nasi (

Traditional dual photocatalysis relies on the use of homogeneous photocatalysts such as precious metal complexes or organic dyes. The excessive cost and non-recyclable nature of these catalysts are significant obstacles for a breakthrough in the industry. As an alternative, the development of cost-effective heterogeneous photocatalysts based on abundant elements, such as carbon nitride derivatives incorporating single transition metal ions (CN-M-SAC), is progressing rapidly. SYSSY-CAT aims to develop novel and increasingly efficient carbon nitride single atom catalysts by understanding and exploiting the fundamental photo-physical processes involved in light-matter interaction in these systems.

SYSSY-CAT will converge towards the following objectives:

i) A mechanism-guided synthetic design of three types of CN-M-SAC (with the target being M = Ni, Co or Cu), each type connected to a specific photocatalytic reaction class. 

ii) The understanding of the structure/activity relationship regarding organic synthesis through the use of advanced spectroscopic and microscopic techniques. 

iii) The realization of highly challenging photocatalytic reactions where organic synthesis may be combined with parallel energy-related processes, such as H2 evolution or CO2 fixation. 

Research at IMEM focuses on employing advanced transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques to investigate the morphological, structural, and chemical properties at the nano- and atomic-scale of carbon nitride single atom catalysts. Their correlation with photocatalytic activities will be used to optimize the CN-M-SAC photocatalysts.

Project participants: Università degli Studi di Trieste, Università degli Studi di Torino, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche-IMEM.