Lattice disruption

Materials World magazine
1 Dec 2017

Turkish artist Pinar Yoldas seeks to break down complex scientific processes into works of art.

The transformation of CO2 into useful chemicals inspired Turkish artist Pinar Yoldas to produce an art book depicting steps within the complex processing of CO2 conversion. Yoldas said, ‘Each object talks about or refers to a chapter of the project. For example, one is inspired by the nanodiamond lattice.’

Yoldas, who won bronze medal in organic chemistry in the National Science Olympiad as a teenager in Turkey, looked to carbon capture for the work, Lattice Disruption. A wireframe lattice structure showing the platform of the CO2 breaking down under synthetic diamond, Lattice Disruption was recently on display at the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, Belgium. ‘I did programming to show how a lattice diamond structure can be distorted and turned into a visual experience,’ said Yoldas. 

Inspired by ‘the possibility of capturing CO2 from the air to turn it into fuel and useful chemicals’, Yoldas collaborated with DIACAT, an EU Future and Emerging Technologies project using man-made diamonds to mirror the photosynthesis of plants for CO2 conversion. The DIACAT project is exploring direct photocatalytic conversion of carbon into fine chemicals and fuels using sunlight and the characteristics of synthetic diamond. 

Although some knowledge of high-energy solvated electrons at diamond surfaces exists, the photocatalytic reduction of CO2 using diamond materials remains a widely unknown field. ‘I thought their project was super crucial, given the fact that we are all confronted with climate change,’ said Yoldas. ‘Education is the only mass weapon we have to address our global problems and bring solutions to them. In that sense, I try not only to communicate the science, but an ideology for a better future.