The production of clean energy has always been considered an important topic in chemistry. The significant contributions to clean energy come mainly from natural resources, such as wind, tide, and solar. However, these renewable energy sources are spread across the entire territory of Taiwan, making them dilute on a power-per-unit basis. Hence, innovative methodologies for generating and storing renewable energy in chemical bonds are required. Electrocatalysis enables direct conversion of the energy in chemical bonds into electrical energy or vice versa, which significantly improves clean energy conversion efficiency compared to traditional combustion reactions.
Global warming is a severe problem in the 21st century due to the increasing greenhouse effect. The effective utilization of greenhouse gases in fuels and fine chemicals has been considered a crucial chemical transformation topic. Not only can various economically valuable products be made from these greenhouse gases, but it also provides an opportunity to diminish the contemporary greenhouse effect. The abundance of sunlight has inspired scientists to pursue the photocatalytic transformation of greenhouse gases into valuable products such as liquid fuels and fine chemicals with visible light. However, only limited progress has been made using homogeneous approaches in the literature.
Research in the YHW group aims to address challenges associated with producing clean energy and valuable chemicals. We are particularly interested in exploring electrochemical and photochemical strategies to achieve these two targets with the assistance of molecular catalysts under homogeneous conditions. Kinetic, spectroscopic, and electrochemical studies will be performed to gain mechanistic insights on a molecular level, aiming to further improve the catalyst performance to meet sustainability goals.