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Plasmon Induced Photoelectrochemistry for artificial photosynthesis

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF 09TT39
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Tanner Research Inc.
825 S. Myrtle Ave. Monrovia, CA 91016-3424
View profile »
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Plasmon Induced Photoelectrochemistry for artificial photosynthesis
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA9550-10-C-0073
Award Amount: $99,999.00


The Air Force has a strategic need for a fuel source that is renewable (and which does not rely on foreign petroleum sources). Several approaches to a renewable fuel source have been investigated; with "artificial photosynthesis" being one example. At its core, the photosynthesis reaction is a photoinduced charge separation reaction with light being concentrated by antenna complexes onto a catalyst with molecular resonance; and most artificial photosynthesis systems are derived from this approach. However, this approach suffers from a generic problem in that catalysts with molecular resonances tend to degrade rapidly when exposed to light. Tanner Research and Caltech are proposing to leverage recent developments in plasmon-induced photoelectrochemistry catalysis to develop a low cost artificial photosynthesis system that can generate charge separation as the first step, and which uses that charge buildup to generate fuel as the second step. In Phase I, we will demonstrate a low cost artificial photosynthesis system with incident photon to converted electron (IPCE) efficiency of 20%. In Phase II, we will demonstrate a complete system that generates fuel with 10% efficiency. BENEFIT: Renewable fuel sources will significantly improve the strategic security of the USAF.

Principal Investigator:

Ravi Verma
Senior Scientist

Business Contact:

Kevin Dinniene
Small Business Information at Submission:

Tanner Research, Inc.
825 S. Myrtle Ave. Monrovia, CA 91016

EIN/Tax ID: 954163780
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
California Institute of Technology
1200 E California Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106
Contact: David Boyd
Contact Phone: 6266954123