Project title: The best of both worlds: A new spectoelectrochemical method to study (bio)catalysts
Summary: In this project we will develop a methodology that enables simultaneous electrochemical and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy measurements. EPR spectroscopy is a powerful technique to characterise catalytic intermediates with unpaired electrons, in particular their structure an bonding. On the other hand, electrochemical studies of molecular catalysts immobilised on the electrode surface can provide detailed kinetic and thermodynamic information. The surface confinement is especially important for large biocatalysts since slow diffusion is detrimental for solution-based electrochemistry. By exploring new materials, we will seek to develop the first method that combines EPR spectroscopy with 'film' electrochemistry. Proof-of-concept investigations will be carried out with small transition-metal molecular catalysts, with the ultimate aim to apply the new methodology to investigate the mechanisms of large metalloenzymes such as respiratory complex I.