Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Painkiller by Photosynthesis

Selective and effective: silicon nanowires as photoelectrodes for carbon dioxide fixation
Selective and effective: silicon nanowires as photoelectrodes for carbon dioxide fixation

Abstract:
During photosynthesis, plants capture solar energy and use it to drive chemical reactions. Their carbon source is the CO2 in air. Now, in new work, American scientists have proposed a new reaction mechanism that binds CO2 and strongly resembles photosynthesis. In this process, light energy is captured by silicon nanowires. It was successfully used to synthesize two precursors of the anti-inflammatory, pain reducing drugs ibuprofen and naproxen.

Painkiller by Photosynthesis

Germany | Posted on June 14th, 2012

Natural photosynthesis involves two processes, the light and dark reactions. In the light reactions, photons are captured and their energy stored in the form of chemical compounds like NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) and ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which subsequently are used to bind CO2 for the synthesis of complex sugar molecules. At the heart of the dark reactions, on the other hand, is the binding of CO2 to a sugar phosphate (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate). This results in formation of a β-keto acid, which gets converted to a central building block for sugar synthesis.

A team led by Kian L. Tan and Dunwei Wang at Boston College (Chestnut Hill, USA) has been inspired by the mechanisms of the dark reactions. To capture sunlight, the scientists used p-doped silicon nanowires as a photocathode. These very effectively convert solar energy to electrical energy, are easy to produce, and are amazingly stable under the reaction conditions needed. Captured photons release electrons from the atoms in the nanowires. These electrons can easily be transferred to organic molecules to trigger chemical reactions.

The researchers chose aromatic ketones as their starting materials. Transfer of electrons from the photocathode "activates" these molecules so that they can attack and bind CO2. Over several steps, the reaction produces an α-hydroxy acid. This allowed the team to produce precursors of ibuprofen and naproxen with high selectivity and in high yield.

This reaction sequence closely resembles natural photosynthesis and is completely different from previous approaches to binding CO2 with the aid of sunlight. This finally solves a problem: The very poor selectivity that automatically accompanies all traditional attempts at the direct photoreduction of CO2 has limited previous methods to the production of fuels. This new strategy delivers the selectivity required for the production of complex organic intermediates for the production of pharmaceuticals and high-value fine chemicals.

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Wiley-VCH Materials Science Journals

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Link to the original paper on Wiley Online Library:

Related News Press

News and information

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

University of Akron researchers find thin layers of water can become ice-like at room temperature: Results could lead to an assortment of anti-friction solutions August 30th, 2016

Nanocatalysis for organic chemistry: This research article by Dr. Qien Xu et al. is published in Current Organic Chemistry, Volume 20, Issue 19, 2016 August 30th, 2016

Continuous roll-process technology for transferring and packaging flexible LSI August 29th, 2016

Meteorite impact on a nano scale August 29th, 2016

Chemistry

Nanocatalysis for organic chemistry: This research article by Dr. Qien Xu et al. is published in Current Organic Chemistry, Volume 20, Issue 19, 2016 August 30th, 2016

Nanomedicine

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins August 29th, 2016

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

50 years after the release of the film 'Fantastic Voyage,' science upstages fiction: Science upstages fiction with nanorobotic agents designed to travel in the human body to treat cancer August 25th, 2016

Discoveries

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

University of Akron researchers find thin layers of water can become ice-like at room temperature: Results could lead to an assortment of anti-friction solutions August 30th, 2016

Nanocatalysis for organic chemistry: This research article by Dr. Qien Xu et al. is published in Current Organic Chemistry, Volume 20, Issue 19, 2016 August 30th, 2016

Meteorite impact on a nano scale August 29th, 2016

Announcements

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

University of Akron researchers find thin layers of water can become ice-like at room temperature: Results could lead to an assortment of anti-friction solutions August 30th, 2016

Nanocatalysis for organic chemistry: This research article by Dr. Qien Xu et al. is published in Current Organic Chemistry, Volume 20, Issue 19, 2016 August 30th, 2016

Meteorite impact on a nano scale August 29th, 2016

Energy

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche: New findings published in the Journal of Electrochemical Society about the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions could lead the way to more energy-efficient glas August 24th, 2016

New flexible material can make any window 'smart' August 23rd, 2016

Researchers reduce expensive noble metals for fuel cell reactions August 22nd, 2016

Solar/Photovoltaic

Let's roll: Material for polymer solar cells may lend itself to large-area processing: 'Sweet spot' for mass-producing polymer solar cells may be far larger than dictated by the conventional wisdom August 12th, 2016

NREL technique leads to improved perovskite solar cells August 11th, 2016

Making a solar energy conversion breakthrough with help from a ferroelectrics pioneer: Philadelphia-based team shows how a ferroelectric insulator can surpass shockley-queisser limit August 9th, 2016

Tiny high-performance solar cells turn power generation sideways August 5th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic