Summary: The sun is a boundless source of clean energy, but it goes down every night. We and many others are trying to design solar-driven...
Summary: The sun is a boundless source of clean energy, but it goes down every night. We and many others are trying to design solar-driven molecular machines that could be used on a global scale to store solar energy by splitting water into its elemental components, hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen is a clean fuel that could be used directly or combined with carbon dioxide to produce methanol, a liquid fuel. We are working on rugged light absorbers and catalysts made from Earth abundant materials that have the potential to split water as efficiently as natural photosynthesis. We have recruited hundreds of students to join a Solar Army whose mission is the discovery of brand new metal-oxide catalysts for solar water splitters.
Harry B. Gray, Ph.D.
Harry Gray received his B.S. in Chemistry from Western Kentucky University in 1957. He began his work in inorganic chemistry at Northwestern University, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1960 working under Fred Basolo and Ralph Pearson. He spent a year (1960–61) as an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Copenhagen, where, along with Dr. Walter A. Manch, he collaborated with Carl J. Ballhausen on studies of the electronic structures of metal complexes. After completing his NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Copenhagen, he went to New York to take up a faculty appointment at Columbia University. He became an Assistant Professor from 1961 to 1963, Associate Professor from 1963 to 1965 and Professor from 1965 to 1966. In 1966, Prof. Gray moved to the California Institute of Technology, where he is the Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry and Founding Director of the Beckman Institute.
In 2004, Prof. Gray won the Wolf Prize in Chemistry for "pioneering work in bioinorganic chemistry, unraveling novel principles of structure and long-range electron transfer in proteins." Prof. Gray has made seminal contributions to the understanding of chemical bonding of metal complexes, mechanisms of inorganic reactions, spectroscopy and magneto-chemistry of inorganic compounds. His study of the first trigonal prismatic complexes is one such example. His most significant work lies at the interface between chemistry and biology. As a pioneer of the important and thriving field of bioinorganic chemistry, he has made many key contributions, the most important of which is the development of fundamental understanding of electron transfer in biological systems, at the atomic level.