On December 3, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) welcomed Sun Licheng, a
foreign academician of , to campus. He gave the 246th lecture in the SUSTech Lecture Series on the topic of “Solar Energy Conversion and Water Splitting Catalysis: From Natural to Artificial Photosynthesis.”
is a Professor in Molecular Devices, , , and a Distinguished Professor at the .
His research is at the cutting edge of solar fuel and solar cell science. Prof. Sun’s current research focuses on the frontiers of catalytic and renewable energy conversion materials, such as catalytic water oxidation and the O-O bond formation mechanism. He has specifically looked at photo-driven hydrogen production materials, photoelectrochemical carbon dioxide reduction materials, photoelectrochemical nitrogen reduction materials as well as the design and synthesis of electron/hole transport materials for solar cells.
It is well known that photosynthesis is vital to the majority of life formed on Earth. Firstly, Professor Sun Licheng introduced the studies of water oxidation mechanisms in OEC and synthetic molecular water oxidation catalysts such as Ru(bda) series. He went on to explain a new proposal for the mechanism of water splitting in OEC with a full catalytic cycle. His team’s studies proved that high-valent manganese is an essential intermediate element for the catalytic cycle. They were able to show that the catalytic cycle of water oxidation by these oxides have similar mechanisms of O-O bond formation.
Professor Sun Licheng took many questions from the audience of staff, students, and faculty members at the end of his lecture.