Light-induced water splitting in nature: On the way to artificial photosynthesis
The highly complex oxidation of water by means of sunlight is realized in nature by the photosystem II of oxygenic photosynthesis and leads there to the release of molecular oxygen and protons. Natural photosynthesis uses this process to store solar energy in chemical compounds that we use as food and fuel. The great advances in Structural Analysis,  Spectroscopy,  and theory  have led to a fundamental understanding of the mechanism of light-induced water splitting that occurs on a tetranuclear manganese cluster (Mn 4
Ca ) occurs in the so-called photosystem II of green plants, algae and some bacteria. The generation of molecular hydrogen as "solar fuel" from the released protons is made possible by hydrogenases. The lecture gives an overview of the current status of light-induced water splitting and discusses opportunities and problems of technological use.
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