Danielle Chirdon

Danielle Chirdon

  • B.S., University of Pittsburgh
    Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University

Research Interests:

Transition Metal Complexes, Photochemistry, Electrochemistry, Catalysis, Solar Fuels

Research Summary:

My research aims to reduce the need for fossil fuels and CO2 greenhouse gas emissions through development of processes for renewable fuel generation. I am especially interested in chemical processes that harness the sun’s energy to drive either conversion of protons into hydrogen fuel or conversion of unwanted CO2 into formic acid fuel and chemical feedstocks. For completing these intricate transformations, transition metal complexes offer a particularly exciting platform; Their metal centers can readily bind substrates like CO2 while their ligands can be tailored to create an environment supportive of transformation. Research projects in my lab focus on controlling the environment around metal centers to enable catalytic fuel generation in different renewable schemes ranging from solution-based photocatalytic reactions to photoelectrochemical devices and electrocatalytic reactions powered by photovoltaics. Students working on this research have the chance to synthesize catalysts and explore their basic properties via voltammetry and spectroscopy. Students also test catalyst performance in fuel production and use computations to help uncover the effects of catalyst design.  

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