Princeton University and collaborators have received funding from the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish an Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) with a focus on “bioinspired light-escalated chemistry (BioLEC).”: DOE Energy Frontier Research Center at Princeton to focus on bioinspired light-escalated chemistry
The award will be funded at a total of $10.75 million over a four-year award period beginning with fiscal year 2018. On June 29, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced $100 million in funding for 42 Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) to accelerate the scientific breakthroughs needed to strengthen U.S. economic leadership and energy security.
Under the leadership of Gregory Scholes, the William S. Tod Professor of Chemistry, the research center will seek to “employ light harvesting and advances in solar photochemistry to enable unprecedented photo-induced cross-coupling reactions that valorize abundant molecules.” The center aims to revolutionize chemist’s ability to make new molecules, fuels, and materials by using the collective energy of two packets (quanta) light to break and make strong chemical bonds. A new range of chemical building blocks will be picked apart, aided by the sun’s energy, and crafted into new structures with valuable functions.
Princeton University is the lead institution, and the collaboration includes Princeton colleagues Abigail Doyle, the A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Chemistry; Robert Knowles, professor of chemistry; David MacMillan, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry; and Barry Rand, associate professor of electrical engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.