Photophysics of Iron Complexes: Development of Sustainable Solar Energy Solutions

Name of applicant

Christina Wegeberg


University of Lund, Sweden


DKK 700,000



Type of grant

Internationalisation Fellowships


My research focuses on using transition metal complexes as catalysts in light-triggered reactions. Upon photoexcitation a transition metal complex reaches an excited state, which is more reactive than the electronic ground state. As a result, the transition metal complex can in its excited state drive challenging chemical transformations that would otherwise not be possible. In this research project I aim at using transition metal complexes based on iron in light-driven catalytic processes. Iron is an Earth-abundant transition metal and is therefore an attractive candidate for the development of sustainable photocatalytic systems.


The conversion of solar energy into chemical energy is interesting because it allows for the production of challenging chemicals, potentially useful in our everyday life. This research project targets iron as the photoactive transition metal, and from a fundamental point of view this is very interesting as iron complexes just entered the landscape of photoactive molecular complexes some years ago. Understanding the synergy between the photophysical and the photochemical properties of iron complexes is a crucial aspect of the project, which will enable further development of this novel class of iron complexes for photosensitized organic synthesis.


This research project will be carried out at the University of Lund in Sweden, where I will collaborate with Prof. Petter Persson and Prof. Arkady Yartsev. The main body of the work will be to perform time-resolved laser spectroscopy on time scales from femtoseconds to milliseconds following chemical transformations catalyzed by photoactive iron complexes. Through systematic variations in the reaction conditions, key factors controlling the activity will be unveiled and optimized.

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