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Seed IV

New Semiconductors for Solar Fuel Synthesis (Seed 4)

Principal Investigators
Robert J. Cava (Chemistry)
Andrew B. Bocarsly (Chemistry)

* This seed is inactive.

No artificial photosynthesis process has yet been industrialized to economically produce chemical fuels from renewable feedstock. Our long‐term goal for this project is to find new semiconductor‐photocatalysts to increase the diversity and efficiency of energy converting materials while addressing the issue of the excess greenhouse gas CO2 in the atmosphere. One PI has extensive knowledge in solid‐state materials design, while the other is an expert in photoelectrochemistry. Specific goals of this project are: 1) To look for new semiconductor photocatalysts with robust corrosion resistance and suitable band‐gaps for water photolysis or CO2 reduction catalysis under visible light irradiation, with a focus on bandgap engineering through systematic doping and nitriding/sulfiding; 2) to develop synthetic methods that optimize photocatalysts’ efficiency in water photolysis and COreduction and study their structural/physical‐photocatalytic property relationships; 3) to establish a straightforward electrochemical methodology to screen potential semiconductor‐photocatalysts by using a custom‐built photoelectrochemical cell that directly compares samples’ current density under dark and illuminated conditions and performs bulk electrolysis analysis.