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Reference Number EP/S030727/1
Title Interface Engineering for Solar Fuels
Status Started
Energy Categories HYDROGEN and FUEL CELLS (Hydrogen, Hydrogen production) 50%;
RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES (Solar Energy) 50%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Chemical Engineering) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr S Eslava
No email address given
Chemical Engineering
University of Bath
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 November 2019
End Date 31 October 2024
Duration 60 months
Total Grant Value £1,056,132
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region South West
Programme NC : Physical Sciences
 
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr S Eslava , Chemical Engineering, University of Bath (100.000%)
Web Site
Objectives
Abstract The use of fossil fuels and resulting CO2 emissions are exacerbating global climate change. The alternative use of hydrogen could cut CO2 emissions and improve air quality of urban areas, since burning hydrogen generates harmless water. To realise this potential we need to find clean ways to produce hydrogen fuel. Water splitting into hydrogen (and oxygen) can be achieved cleanly with electrolysers running on electricity from renewable sources such as solar, wind or hydropower. In a more direct manner, water can also be cleanly split using sunlight and semiconductor absorbing layers integrated in photoelectrodes of photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells. PEC solar water splitting is limited by both poor lifetime of photo-induced charges and poor catalytic properties of semiconductor surfaces to split water at the electrolyte interface.This fellowship aims to develop novel approaches to engineer the interface between semiconductors and electrolytes, in order to optimise the performance of the semiconductors and achieve efficient solar energy devices. We will develop fabrication methods to tune those interfaces and boost their PEC final performance. Photoelectrodes will be prepared oriented and with exposed active crystal facets, or with extra layers on their surface to mediate with aqueous electrolytes. A systematic approach involving novel syntheses, advanced electrochemical characterisation and solar water splitting performance tests will be carried out to establish the optimal conditions for the formation of photoelectrodes and the characteristics which make them better performing. Finally, best photoelectrodes will be integrated in tandem cells for more efficient solar water splitting.Preparing semiconductors with engineered interface will have a considerable impact on the research of (photo)electrochemistry, photocatalysis, photovoltaics and on their energy application. This will ensure important advances towards a more sustainable energy mix of clean energy for current and future generations.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 11/10/21