The Transregio-SFB CATALIGHT addresses fundamental challenges in the development of photocatalytically active materials for the use of solar energy. Inspired by the structural and functional principles of natural photosynthesis in green plants, CATALIGHT investigates the embedding of molecular photocatalysts in functional, hierarchically structured soft materials and provides fundamental insights into the reactivity of these systems. To this end, CATALIGHT is developing general synthesis strategies to control the reactivity of molecular light absorbers and catalysts. Complementary synthesis routes towards functional polymer matrices are developed to realize site-specific embedding of molecular components, enabling synergistic reactivity and stability control by modulating molecule-matrix interactions. Experimental and theoretical studies over a wide time and length range will be used to gain insight into photochemical reactivity and to understand physicochemical effects of matrix integration. This will lead to novel material properties and give us access to systems that can, for example, regulate their photocatalytic activity or allow novel repair mechanisms at the molecular or material level. CATALIGHT will lead to a paradigm shift by building a bridge between molecule-based reactivity and the integration of molecular components into soft matter. Fundamental new insight-driven material development concepts for light-driven productive chemistry will become possible, opening new research fields for chemistry, biology and materials science. IPHT: The project develops 2D correlation spectroscopy methods using a range of spectroscopic methods and different external stimuli. Thus, mechanistic details of photocatalytic processes such as the formation of catalytically active species, catalytically active intermediates as well as catalyst decomposition processes are investigated by in situ measurements in miniaturized measuring cells using continuous molecular spectroscopy. The project thus provides in operando information of the reactivity, stability and degradation of molecular photocatalysts.

The project is funded by the DFG grant TRR 234 and co-financed by the project management organization DFG-CRC-SFB. 

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