First Advisor

Theresa McCormick

Date of Publication

Spring 6-5-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Chemistry






Tellurium, Catalysis, Hydrogen peroxide -- Synthesis, Photoelectrochemistry



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 52 pages)


Growing concerns over climate change and demand for energy worldwide have made development and implementation of alternative energy sources more necessary than ever. Many of the leading energy alternatives suffer from inconsistent energy production due to fluctuations in availability of natural resources, and the current methods of addressing the issue have tremendous ecological and social ramifications of their own. While fuels like hydrogen gas are providing some promise of relief, the scope of infrastructure changes necessary for implementation and the implicit hazards of the use of such fuels complicate their application as an immediate solution. However, hydrogen peroxide carries far fewer direct hazards than hydrogen gas, while producing comparable output. Additionally, since it exists as a liquid at room temperature and atmospheric pressure its potential application with existing infrastructure is far more attainable. While already in use in certain rocket technologies, peroxide fuel cells are still periphery energy production technology mainly due to the relatively high cost of producing hydrogen peroxide. In order for peroxide fuel cells to enter the mainstream and fulfill their potential as an alternative energy source, better and more efficient catalytic methods must be found for synthesis of hydrogen peroxide.

A class of chromophores known as tellurorhodamines have shown promise of providing an alternative approach to production of hydrogen peroxide. Specifically, 3,6-diamino-9-mesityl-telluroxanthylium, in a class of chromophores known as tellurorhodamines, has been shown to produce hydrogen peroxide by photocatalysis. This work describes the combination of properties that make tellurorhodamines viable for photochemical catalytic production of hydrogen peroxide as well as in-operando production of a working current via electrochemical reduction of the catalyst within the same system, effectively creating a photoelectrochemical cathode. The amalgamation of photocatalytic and electrochemical methods in the simultaneous production and storage of energy is extremely desirable, though unprecedented, in the field of alternative energy. In that way, tellurorhodamines present a unique opportunity among existing photoelectrochemical systems, which if applied could represent a new approach to addressing the looming energy crisis.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier

Included in

Chemistry Commons