Electron transfer

Definition

Electron transfer is a process by which an electron moves from one atom or molecule to another. It is a key concept in redox chemistry – the chemistry of reactions where one reaction partner loses electrons (oxidation) while the other gains electrons (reduction).

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    The conversion efficiency of organic solar cells suffers from their low open-circuit voltages. Here, the authors expose a link between electron-vibrations coupling and non-radiative recombinations, derive a new limit for the efficiency of organic solar cells, and redefine their optimal optical gap.

    • Johannes Benduhn
    • , Kristofer Tvingstedt
    • , Fortunato Piersimoni
    • , Sascha Ullbrich
    • , Yeli Fan
    • , Manuel Tropiano
    • , Kathryn A. McGarry
    • , Olaf Zeika
    • , Moritz K. Riede
    • , Christopher J. Douglas
    • , Stephen Barlow
    • , Seth R. Marder
    • , Dieter Neher
    • , Donato Spoltore
    •  & Koen Vandewal
    Nature Energy 2, 17053
  • Research | | open

    The next level of miniaturization of electronic circuits calls for a connection between current single-molecule and traditional semiconductor processing technologies. Here, the authors show a method to prepare metal/molecule/silicon diodes that present high current rectification ratios exceeding 4,000.

    • Albert C. Aragonès
    • , Nadim Darwish
    • , Simone Ciampi
    • , Fausto Sanz
    • , J. Justin Gooding
    •  & Ismael Díez-Pérez
  • Research |

    A pump–push–probe time-resolved technique is developed to characterize the dynamics of photoexcitations at buried, disordered interfaces. Applied to organic bulk heterojunctions, the method provides insight on charge separation in photovoltaic films.

    • Andreas C. Jakowetz
    • , Marcus L. Böhm
    • , Aditya Sadhanala
    • , Sven Huettner
    • , Akshay Rao
    •  & Richard H. Friend
    Nature Materials 16, 551–557
  • Research |

    Electron-transfer-mediated decay (ETMD) is a recently discovered type of electronic relaxation that involves the refilling of a core hole by an electron from a neighbouring species. It has now been observed in LiCl solution, when previously it had only been seen in rare-gas clusters. Spectra generated during ETMD are observed to be sensitive to the immediate environment of the initially ionized ion.

    • Isaak Unger
    • , Robert Seidel
    • , Stephan Thürmer
    • , Marvin N. Pohl
    • , Emad F. Aziz
    • , Lorenz S. Cederbaum
    • , Eva Muchová
    • , Petr Slavíček
    • , Bernd Winter
    •  & Nikolai V. Kryzhevoi
  • Research | | open

    Thanks to its base stacking structure, DNA can behave as an electric wire, but external control of its electronic properties has not been achieved yet. Here, the authors show that DNA conductance can be switched electrochemically when a DNA base is replaced by the redox molecule anthraquinone.

    • Limin Xiang
    • , Julio L. Palma
    • , Yueqi Li
    • , Vladimiro Mujica
    • , Mark A. Ratner
    •  & Nongjian Tao

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Helium, the 'most noble' of the noble gases, had only been coaxed into forming molecular ions or van der Waals compounds. It has now been seen in a stable solid compound, Na2He, under high pressure.

    • Maosheng Miao
    Nature Chemistry 9, 409–410
  • News and Views |

    Charge transfer through DNA has been well studied over recent decades from both a biological and electronics perspective. It has now been shown that charge transfer can be accelerated one hundredfold by using highly energetic 'hot holes', revealing a new mechanism that could help to create useful electronic biomaterials.

    • D. N. Beratan
    •  & D. H. Waldeck
    Nature Chemistry 8, 992–993
  • News and Views |

    Electron transfer is ubiquitous across both life and modern technologies, and thus being able to control it is an attractive goal. Now, targeted infrared excitation has been used to modulate the efficiency of electron transfer in a series of donor–bridge–acceptor molecules.

    • Igor V. Rubtsov
    Nature Chemistry 7, 683–684
  • News and Views |

    Molecules can transfer charge between electron donors and acceptors, and can also transport charge when connected between metallic electrodes. These processes are assumed to show generally similar trends, however, a significant departure from this has now been observed in a series of biphenyl bridges.

    • Gemma C. Solomon
    Nature Chemistry 7, 621–622
  • News and Views |

    The synchronous movement of protons and electrons orchestrated by enzymes gives rise to highly efficient catalytic processes in nature, such as photosynthesis. Now, researchers have choreographed similar reactivity for a metal hydride complex, setting the stage for efficient solar fuel production in artificial systems.

    • Jillian L. Dempsey
    Nature Chemistry 7, 101–102