Active, Stable, and Abundant Photocatalytic Materials for Hydrogen Fuels

A fundamental challenge to the worldwide adoption of solar energy is its intermittent nature. Solar energy must be transformed and stored. The most abundant agent to store solar energy is water. Photocatalysis for Water Splitting (PWS) with sunlight is an essentially limitless and greenhouse-gas free way to store and transform solar energy. The products of PWS are either hydrogen gas, or they are combined with CO2 to make fuels such as alcohols, methane, or higher alkanes. These fuels can be distributed with existing infrastructures and combusted with existing technology in an entirely CO2 neutral system. The activity, stability, and efficiencies of state-of-the-art PWS catalysts do not allow for widespread adoption.


In collaboration with the other groups in the UAlberta and UCalgary, we will combine fundamental studies and cutting-edge, greatly accelerated photocatalyst development with leads/guidance from the Machine-Learning/Materials Genomics Initiative. This unique, combined approach will develop next generation, earth abundant photocatalysts with seismic improvements in activity, efficiency, stability, and longevity over the current state-of-the-art systems.


A key objective is to replace precious metals like Platinum and Iridium with earth-abundant alternatives. The fundamental studies, will develop highly advanced molecular, polymeric, and materials photocatalysts/co-catalysts made of earth-abundant atoms. Co-catalysts will be developed that significantly reduce the kinetic barriers to water oxidation or CO2 reduction, thereby increasing by orders of magnitude the activity and efficiency of the photocatalysts. Hits identified by the Materials Genomics Initiative will be combined with the results from the fundamental studies. The resulting new photocatalysts will be incorporated into advanced prototype units by collaboration with academic and industrial groups within the University, the Province, and across Canada.

Active, Stable, and Abundant Photocatalytic Materials for Hydrogen Fuels: Solar fuels by tandem photocatalysis

Steven Bergens, Octavio Perez, Chao Wang, Mona Amiri

Activity

Modular Construction of Water Oxidation Photoanodes by Covalent Bonding and Self-Assembly

Steven Bergens, Octavio Perez, Chao Wang, Mona Amiri

Activity

Modular Construction of Water Oxidation Photoanodes by Covalent Bonding and Self-Assembly

Steven Bergens, Chao Wang, Mona Amiri

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Optical Modelling of Non-Lithographically Fabricated Photonic Crystal- and Plasmonic- Photocatalysts

Karthik Shankar, Collin VanEssen, Ehsan Vahidzadeh, Sheng Zeng, Piyush Kar, Ajay Manuel, Yun Zhang

Activity

Photoelectrochemical solar cells for water oxidation and CO2 reduction

Steven Bergens, Octavio Perez, Chao Wang, Mona Amiri

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Photoelectrochemical solar cells for water oxidation and CO2 reduction reactions

Steven Bergens, Octavio Perez, Chao Wang, Mona Amiri

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Photoelectrochemical solar cells for water oxidation and CO2 reduction systems

Steven Bergens, Chao Wang, Mona Amiri

Activity

There’s more than enough solar power to meet our energy needs: the problem is storing it

Steven Bergens, Mona Amiri

Activity

TiO2 nanotube and nanorod arrays: Playgrounds to study unusual heterojunctions, hot electron phenomena and nanophotonic effects

Karthik Shankar

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Tsinghua University and UAlberta Student Workshop

Steven Bergens, Chao Wang

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Visible Light Responsive, Earth-Abundant Heterojunction Photocatalysts

Karthik Shankar

Activity

Active, Simple Iridium--Copper Hydrous Oxide Electrocatalysts for Water Oxidation

Chao Wang

Publication

All-solid-state formation of titania nanotube arrays and their application in photoelectrochemical water splitting

Karthik Shankar, Pawan Kumar, Najia Mahdi, Yun Zhang

Publication

Arrays of TiO2 nanorods embedded with fluorine doped carbon nitride quantum dots (CNFQDs) for visible light driven water splitting

Karthik Shankar, Ryan Kisslinger, Sahil Patel, Ujwal Thakur, Pawan Kumar, Kazi Alam, Sheng Zeng, Piyush Kar

Publication

Core-shell titanium dioxide-titanium nitride nanotube arrays with near-infrared plasmon resonances

Karthik Shankar, Najia Mahdi, Piyush Kar

Publication

Heterojunctions of mixed phase TiO2 nanotubes with Cu, CuPt, and Pt nanoparticles: interfacial band alignment and visible light photoelectrochemical activity

Karthik Shankar, Ryan Kisslinger, Najia Mahdi, Piyush Kar, Yun Zhang

Publication

Modular Construction of Photoanodes with Covalently Bonded Ru- and Ir-Polypyridyl Visible Light Chromophores

Steven Bergens, Octavio Perez, Chao Wang, Mona Amiri

Publication

Sunlight-driven water-splitting using two dimensional carbon based semiconductors

Karthik Shankar, Pawan Kumar

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