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Welcome Dr. Kai Zhang to our lab

报告题目: Conjugated Nanoporous Polymers for Visible Light Photocatalysis: a metal-free alternative

Kai Zhang (Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research)

报告时间:2016614 下15



Sunlight is a clean and inexhaustible source of renewable energy. Especially, the visible range of the solar spectrum accounts for 44% of the total energy as opposed to only 3% from the ultraviolet (UV) light. Inspired by nature’s ability to convert solar energy in photocatalytic processes, organic  chemists  have  developed  a  vast  number  of photocatalysts  in  order  to mimic  the  nature  process.  As  a  result,  many  molecular  inorganic,  transition  metal-based complexes or organic dye compounds that absorb significantly in the visible spectrum were intensely  studied  to  harvest  solar  energy  and  catalyze  organic  photochemical  reactions. Nevertheless, there are still some intrinsic drawbacks associated with these homogeneous systems, for instance, high cost, toxicity of these rare metals, as well as limited availability in nature, and their additionally required post-reaction purification step for catalyst removal. It is therefore of great desire to develop stable, reusable and transition metal-free photocatalysts for organic synthesis. Compared to homogeneous catalysts, heterogeneous catalysts enjoy the advantage that they  can  be  easily  recycled  by  simple  filtration  due  to  their  insoluble nature.

In this talk, a new class of non-metallic, polymer-based materials, in particular, conjugated nanoporous  polymers,  combining  photoactive  π-electron  backbone  and  highly  porous properties,  will  be  presented  as  an  efficient  and  stable  platform  for  heterogeneous visible light-promoted chemical transformations, such as molecular oxygen activation reaction, C-C or C-N bond formations, reductive dehalogenation reaction, visible light-initiated free radical polymerization, and direct bromination reaction on aromatic compounds.


Kai Zhang did his undergraduate and master study from 2002 to 2007 in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cologne, Germany. He completed his PhD in 2010 under the supervision of Professor Bernd Tieke in Cologne, and also in the group of Professor Peter Skabara at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, working on novel conjugated polymers. From 2011 to 2013, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher with Professor Markus Antonietti at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam, Germany. In the beginning of 2013 he joined the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) as a research group leader. Currently, Kai is leading the laboratory Photocatalysis at MPI-P. His research activity is mainly focused on photo- or electroactive porous polymer materials for catalytic studies.