Artificial photosynthesis -- creating renewable fuels from sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide in the laboratory -- has the potential to transform the way our energy needs are met today.
In this Hot Topics session, Tanja Cuk of University of California, Berkeley (USA) describes work in artificial photosynthesis. Her group is investigating several spectroscopic tools in its efforts to create renewable fuels from sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide in the lab.
The Cuk Lab investigates the machinery of transition metal based light absorbers and catalysts in sunlight to fuel systems with tools that access the microscopic environment of chemically active photo-excited states. In particular, three complimentary spectroscopic tools they use are: 1) transient optical/IR spectroscopy 2) valence band and ambient pressure photoemission and 3) transient x-ray spectroscopy.
Tanja Cuk obtained her PhD in Applied Physics at Stanford University in 2007, then began her postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley on a Miller Postdoctoral Fellowship. In 2010, after completing her fellowship, Cuk became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Berkeley and a Faculty Scientist for the Chemical Sciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Her research focuses on the fundamental mechanisms involved in converting charge into fuel at solid-liquid interfaces, for which she applies multiple time-resolved spectroscopies. She received the Air Force Office of Research Young Investigator Award and the Bakar Fellowship. She currently serves on the scientific advisory board of the ARC CBBC Consortium for a Sustainable Future in the Netherlands.