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Luxembourg National Research Fund

FNR Awards 2021: Toward clean hydrogen production


The FNR Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis rewards young researchers making an impact. 2021 winner Giuseppe Bengasi engineered porphyrins – chemical compounds – for functional applications. The colourful material could one day turn solar light and electricity into clean hydrogen.

Bengasi worked with porphyrins, a chemical compound common in nature. They for example play a key role in photosynthesis in plants or in the respiration for humans. This is due to their unique chemical and physical properties.

“If you form a chains out of porphyrin units, you obtain a new compound with amazing electrical and chemical properties. Single porphyrins are in insulant, while long chains of porphyrins are a highly conductive material. It can be compared to bricks: There is not much you can do with a single brick, but with a lot of bricks you can make a very strong wall.” – Giuseppe Bengasi

The long chains of porphyrins are known as porphyrin tapes. In Giuseppe’s PhD project, the team invented a process that for the first time made it possible to create thin films made of conductive porphyrin tapes.

Discover more in the video below!

Giuseppe Bengasi’s PhD project was funded under the FNR CORE project POLYMORPH, lead by Nicolas Boscher at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), in collaboration with the University of Mainz.

Discover more about the 2021 FNR Awards below


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