Skip to main content


Biologically-inspired Light Escalated Catalysis

BioLEC (Bioinspired Light-Escalated Chemistry) is a DoE-sponsored Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) that funds some of the research in the Castellano lab. The goal of BioLEC is to take inspiration from the way nature harvests the energy of two or more photons to perform challenging chemical reactions that are only possible with the energetic contributions of two photons. BioLEC projects lead by members of the Castellano lab include:

Triplet-triplet annihilation initiated photocatalysis

By pooling the energies of two photons through a process of photosensitization followed by triplet triplet annihilation, potent highly oxidizing and reducing photocatalysts can be generated.

Recent article: Visible-Light-Initiated Free-Radical Polymerization by Homomolecular Triplet-Triplet Annihilation — Chem

Domain separation for light absorption and photochemistry

By encapsulating sensitizers in a micelle assembly, the energy from light absorption can be shuttled into an aqueous environment for photochemistry.

Recent article: Photochemical Upconversion in Water Using Cu(I) MLCT Excited States: Role of Energy Shuttling at the Micellar/Water Interface — ACS Applied Energy Materials