An important element in synthetic organic chemistry has been the development and application of organic excited states in solution, either by sensitization or electron transfer catalysis. Exploitation of organic excited states has evolved from the bench scale to the photochemical reactor scale.
In a parallel effort, with a different focus, advances have also been made in exploiting nanoparticle oxide surfaces for energy conversion applications based on chemically bound molecular reactants, which has the advantage of maximization of the local microscopic surface volume for enhancing efficiencies.
In a collaborate effort between the Nicewicz and Thomas Meyer groups, published in PNAS, researchers describe here the integration of the two areas with the goal of creating stable photochemical environments that minimize reaction volumes in photooxidation reactions. The results presented, provide a basis for extension to larger scales and to catalyst–oxide assemblies with potential applications for larger-scale organic reactions.