Self-organized electron transfer

In this rocky, rugged mountain forest at 1700 m altitude that I sometimes frequent, one becomes particularly aware of what nature accomplishes when it removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. Most chemical conversion processes of energy require a transfer of several electrons to obtain the desired product. This presents a major challenge for catalysis. In efficient water splitting, four electrons are removed from water with relatively little energy input. The problem is that already the removal of the first electron requires more than twice this energy.

How can electron transfer be manipulated to achieve minimal energy loss?

The solution I am aiming at is a catalytic system in which the removal of the first electron is coupled to the following removal steps via feedback processes. Mathematical calculations show that the first electron can be made to “enslave” the following ones within an efficient, collective multi-electron transmission, as photons accomplish in a laser¬†(e.g. Refs. 168, 169, 235, 279).