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Computational simulation of redox processes in complex environments

Grant number: 17/13401-4
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2018 - January 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Gustavo Troiano Feliciano
Grantee:Gustavo Troiano Feliciano
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The aim of the present work is to characterize model systems for the description of electrochemical phenomena in condensed matter, through atomistic, molecular and electronic structure computational simulation. The main applications to be highlighted in the models studied will be the electrochemical sensing (done experimentally by electrochemical impedance / capacitance measurements) and the biological long range charge transport, for the design of new efficient materials and easy to obtain. One of the model systems mimics bacterial conducting proteins in order to identify the specific contributions of the physicochemical characteristics of the biomolecule to efficient electronic transport over long distances. Bacteria of the genus Geobacter and Shewanella already use this biochemical machinery to carry out its metabolism, transporting load to an extracellular electron acceptor, while at the same time oxidize organic compounds and reduce metallic redox ions. Applications range from bioleaching of heavy metals and decontamination of environments through chemical precipitation to the generation and transportation of electrical energy from simple organic compounds, and the manufacture of microbial fuel cells.Another electrochemical model to be studied are metal electrodes modified by self - assembled monolayers of organic molecules containing a redox group immobilized at one extremity. In this system, non-classical contributions to electron transfer are observed, due to the confinement, and this is explored in the problem of molecular recognition, sensing and biomolecule mediated eletron transfer itself. In addition to the methodological character, aiming to extend the classical electrochemical science, the work aims to characterize the changes in thermodynamic and structural properties in the electroactive monolayer, in the presence of disturbances in the electrostatic environment caused by the application of external electrical potentials as well as by the aqueous environment, in the vicinity of the electrode. (AU)