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Perspective: How can ultrafast laser spectroscopy inform the design of new organic photoredox catalysts for chemical and materials synthesis?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Original languageEnglish
Article number010901
Number of pages7
JournalStructural Dynamics
Issue number1
DateAccepted/In press - 7 Jan 2019
DatePublished (current) - 23 Jan 2019


Photoredox catalysis of chemical reactions, using light-activated molecules which serve as electron donors or acceptors to initiate chemical transformations under mild conditions, is finding widespread use in the synthesis of organic compounds and materials. The transition-metal-centred complexes first developed for these photoredox-catalysed applications are steadily being superseded by more sustainable and lower toxicity organic photocatalysts. While the diversity of possible structures for photoredox-active organic molecules brings benefits of design flexibility, it also presents considerable challenges for optimization of the photocatalyst molecular architecture. Transient absorption spectroscopy over timescales from the femtosecond to microsecond domains can explore the detailed mechanisms of activation and reaction of these organic photocatalysts in solution, and by linking their dynamical properties to their structures, has the potential to establish reliable design principles for future development of improved photocatalysts.

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