499th Brookhaven Lecture on Wednesday, 11/19: 'Artificial Photosynthesis: Making and Breaking Bonds with Protons and Electrons'

Dmitry Polyansky enlarge

Dmitry Polyansky

It's not really fair to compare plants with people. Plants can't earn expensive four-year degrees, and they don't keep up with the latest studies linking carb-heavy diets and obesity. But when it comes to creating energy and fuels from renewable sources—namely sunlight—plants have humans beat. 

For eons, plants have used "chloroplast" power stations to create energy from water, carbon dioxide, and light. Comparatively, scientists—including researchers at Brookhaven Lab—only began realizing the components for artificial photosynthetic systems in recent decades. And their efforts become more crucial as worldwide energy demands increase year after year. 

Join Dmitry Polyansky of the Chemistry Department for the 499th Brookhaven Lecture, titled "Artificial Photosynthesis: Making and Breaking Bonds with Protons and Electrons," in Berkner Hall at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19. All are invited to attend this free talk, which is open to the public. Refreshments will be offered before and after the lecture. Visitors to the Lab 16 and older must carry a photo ID while on site. Add to calendar

During his talk, Polyansky will discuss the outlook for global energy demands in the next two decades before providing an overview of renewable energy sources and storage strategies. He will then explain how artificial photosynthesis, inspired by plants' natural ability to convert sunlight to usable energy, can help meet those future energy demands. He will also highlight his and his team's progress, challenges, and new strategies for developing catalysts that transfer protons and electrons to convert solar energy into energy-packed fuels as efficiently as possible.

To join Polyansky for dinner at a restaurant off site after the talk, contact Linda Sallustio (Ext. 4303).

About the Speaker

Polyansky joined Brookhaven Lab's Chemistry Department in 2005, the same year he earned a Ph.D. in photochemical sciences at Bowling Green State University. He earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1998 and his master's degree in materials science in 2000, both at Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology of Russia. Since arriving at the Lab as a research associate, Polyansky has moved up the ranks and was named chemist in 2013. Today, he uses various techniques—including lasers and radiolysis pulses—to determine how light and radiation affect chemical reactions and solar energy conversions. 

Polyansky currently serves as a reviewer for more than 10 scientific journals and funding agencies, including the Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and Iowa Energy Center.

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