Running the clock: catalytic reduction of CO2 with 2, 6 and 8 electrons

Prof. dr. Marc Robert
Laboratoire d’Electrochimie Moléculaire
Paris Diderot University

Attention aroused by the reduction of carbon dioxide has as main objective the production of useful organic compounds and fuels  renewable fuels  in which solar energy would be stored. Molecular catalysts can be employed to reach this goal. One route consists in first converting sunlight energy into electricity that could be used to reduce CO 2 electrochemically. Another approach is to directly use the visible photons and photo-stimulate the reduction of the gas in the presence of a sensitizer and a sacrificial electron donor. Molecular catalysts may provide excellent selectivity but usually with less durability and more complex processability than solid materials. Hybrid systems in which a robust molecular catalyst is associated to a porous carbon material as
conductive support may combine the advantages of both homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis. Using Fe and Co complexes, our recent results in these fields will be discussed.


Marc Robert was educated at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Cachan, France) and gained his Ph.D. in 1995 from Paris Diderot University under the guidance of Claude Andrieux and Jean-Michel Savéant. After one year as a postdoctoral fellow at Ohio State University (USA) with Matthew Platz, he joined the faculty at Paris Diderot University as associate professor. He was promoted to professor in 2004
and was awarded the French Chemical Society prize (physical chemistry) in 2006. He became a junior fellow of the University Institute of France in 2007 and a senior fellow in 2017. He was a JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) research fellow in 2015 and received the first international prize Essential Molecules Challenge from Air Liquide in 2016. His interests include electrochemical, photochemical, and theoretical approaches of electron transfer reactions and reactivity, as well as catalytic activation of small molecules.

Prof. dr. Marc Robert

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DeLorean (Aula)