Jump Main Menu. Go directly to the main content

Sección de idiomas


Fin de la sección de idiomas

Access / Registration

Sección de utilidades

Fin de la sección de utilidades

Secondary menu End of secondary menu

Research projects

Start of main content

Development of Mimics of Hidrogenases Modulated by Transition Metal Complexes to Produce Hydrogen in the Absence of Molecular Reducing Agents

18th national competition for scientific and technical research

Renewable energy: materials and processes

Senior Researcher : Miguel A. Sierra Rodríguez


Hydrogenases are enzymes that can be encountered in several anaerobic microorganisms that are able to generate hydrogen from water. The initial hypothesis of this project is the possibility of building a simple device by incorporating metals to bio-functional molecules (essentially DNA or RNA segments) suitable to mimic the hydrogenase mode of action. The metal must be able to modulate the activity of the device. The joining of the segment mimicking the enzyme (the hydrogen generator moiety) to an electroactive surface (the moiety that transfers the energy by pumping electrons to the hydrogen generator moiety) completes the device. The surface will be recharged using a solar cell. Therefore, the complete device must be able to generate hydrogen using just sunlight and water.

During 2020 we have successfully completed the development of novel methodologies to prepare systems possessing several nuclei of hydrogenase mimics. These approaches include metathesis reactions, phosphorous ligands having several [FeFe] moieties, polysilanes, etc. The goal of developing these approaches is to anchor hydrogenase mimic in surfaces and nanoparticles. In collaboration with the group of Prof. Adelina Vallribera (UAB) we have completed the preparation and chemical and electrochemical characterization of Ni, Pt and Pd nanoparticles decorated with several [FeFe] moieties. These nanoparticles fulfill one of the main requisites to produce hydrogen, namely the reduction potential of the nanoparticle is anodically displaced around ½ V respect to the free ligand and maintaining their electrocatalytic properties against strong and weak acids. Finally, we are still pursuing the functionalization of surfaces (at this moment mainly silica) doped with mimics of hydrogenase.


Scientific Production
Magazine Articles 5
Communications at national conferences -
Communications at international conferences -


  • Activities related
  • Projects related
  • Publications related

see all

End of main content