Nanointerface-Engineered Heterostructured Photocatalysts to Enhance Light Harnessing and Charge Separation

Project: Monitored by Research Administration

Project Details

Project Description

The research goals of this proposal are to resolve key unanswered questions about fundamental mechanisms that govern the efficiency and output of solar reactors that harness the sun’s energy to produce hydrogen and oxygen fuels directly, or store the sun’s energy by splitting the water molecule. It is belong to a key priority research and technology development area which is emphasized in the Kazakhstan-2050 plan. The photocatalyst semiconductors on which these processes in solar reactors depend are either particle or photo-electrochemical film based systems. The present water-splitting efficiency of single photocatalyst particle systems is about 2%. The US DOE has set 5% as the goal for 2020, and 10% as the ultimate goal for water-splitting efficiency in a photocatalytic particle system. Currently, the performance of most photocatalysts suffers from limited band gap and low absorption coefficient, limiting the incoming solar energy spectrum they can harness. Reaching the DOE goals will require photocatalysts that both harness more wavelengths of visible light, because that is where most incoming solar energy is to be found, and maintain high and efficient charge separation to provide the photogenerated electron-hole pairs needed for water-splitting.
Therefore, the planned theoretical and experimental studies in the proposal offer the best route to design solar reactors via enhanced light harnessing and charge separation.
StatusNot started

Keywords

  • Renewable energy
  • Photocatalysis
  • Solar energy conversion
  • nano-materials

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