Stable, Organic Homogenous Photocatalysts Without Expensive, Rare Metals

Case ID:

Novel carbenium-based molecules have been designed, synthesized, and tested for use in homogenous photocatalysis. These compounds are redox active, stable, earth-abundant, easy to synthesize, and the molecular design is tunable. These compounds may also be used as highly fluorescent dyes with long lifetimes.

Heterogeneous photocatalysts are limited by system constraints, including inefficiencies in energy utilization, turnover, chemical species mass transport, and need for surface area for photon exposure. Homogenous and heterogenous catalysts may require rare and expensive materials. Use of toxic metals may necessitate expensive downstream separations to remove trace impurities. Removing such limitations can reduce costs and enable new chemicals routes, including supporting applications in green chemistry and renewable energy.


  • Inexpensive homogenous catalysts without toxic or rare metals
  • Artificial photosynthesis for direct conversion of sunlight to chemicals
  • Fluorescent reagents or dyes
  • Novel organic molecule synthesis


  • Stable homogenous catalyst
  • Earth abundant molecular catalyst
  • Efficient light absorption
  • Tuneable via a variety of molecular designs
  • Use of low energy light (> 500nm)
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Jonathan Larson
Senior Licensing Manager, College of Science
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Thomas Gianetti