Small Molecule Thiophene Based [fefe]-Hydrogenase Mimics as Photocatalysts

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Richard Glass
Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Dennis Lichtenberger
Professor, 26 Chemistry & Biochemistry
Managed By
John Geikler
Asst. Director, Physical Science Licensing (520) 626-4605

Title: Small Molecule Thiophene Based (FeFe)-Hydrogenase Mimics as Photocatalysts


Invention: The invention is a photocatalytic method to produce a hydrogen gas by UV-irradiation of a transition metal catalyst. The transition metal reduces the proton at an active site when exposed to ultraviolet lights. The transitional metal catalysts coordinate with substituted thiophene ligands to produce these photocatalysts.


Backgrounds: Current hydrogen production methods rely on fossil fuels for production. Photocatalytic water splitting is progress towards clean and renewable energy sources. Unfortunately, there is a need for better catalysts to efficiently improve hydrogen yield.



  • Renewable energy industry
  • Hydrogen fuel
  • Automotive industry
  • Transportation industry



  • Zero greenhouse gases
  • Renewable source
  • Low cost
  • Greater efficiency
  • High flexibility to scale


Licensing Manager:

Paul Eynott

(520) 626-1557