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Research
Thrusts

THRUST 2

Nucleotide Driven Electron Transfer

Combining energy stored in chemical bonds with electrochemical potential in electron transfer reactions to efficiently drive difficult chemical bond forming reactions. We are using the complex metal containing enzymes nitrogenase that uses chemical bond energy in the hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate to adenosine diphosphate to effectively lower the oxidation reduction potential of reducing equivalents and direct them toward demanding reductive H-H, C-H, and N-H bond forming reactions. The research in this thrust involves delineating specific parameters associated with both chemical bond energy and reducing equivalent inputs in optimal product production at a fundamental level. Key to this line of research are 1) the sequence of electron transfer event 2) the role of chemical bond energy inputs in low potential electron transfer reactions, and 3) the processes associated with the coupling of light energy in the production of chemical bond energy inputs. Key technical approaches and capabilities include 1) steady state and presteady state kinetics, 2) electron transfer network analysis, 3) molecular modeling, 4) calorimetry and surface plasmon resonance, and mass spectrometry.