One-dimensional Photoactive Nanostructures to harvest solar energy

Supervisors: Dr. Yun Hau Ng

Abstract:

Converting unwanted CO2 into useful products using sunlight and water is the most ideal and cleanest way to tackle energy and environmental issues. In this project, we approach this topic by developing innovative nanostructures that can absorb sunlight and induce redox reactions to drive the CO2 conversion and hydrogen generation.

Novelty and Contribution:

Distinct electron transport properties with improved light scattering ability for light harvesting have made one-dimensional photoactive nanostructures over their nanoparticles counterpart in the areas of photovoltaics and photocatalysis. In this project we are designing novel one-dimensional TiO2 nanotubes functionalised with metal nanopartilces to harvest light energy and convert the unwanted CO2 into useful products such as methane and simple alcohol. The TiO2 nanotubes will be decorated with single or bi-component metal using various methods such as chemical bath deposition (CBD), successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction (SILAR), photodeposition and electrodeposition.

Expected Outcome:

Student undertaking this project will be working at the Particles and Catalysis Research Group, School of Chemical Engineering, under the guidance of Dr. Yun Hau Ng. The project would allow student to gain a multitude of experience in nanocomposites synthesis (chemical bath deposition, hydrothermal/solvothermal methods) and nanomaterials characterizations (TEM, XRD, UV-Vis spectroscopy and photoelectrochemical work station).   Contact Dr Yun Hau Ng for more information.

NOTE: Possibility to continue project for THESIS A

Reference:

(1)      Y. Tang; P. Traveerungroj; H. L. Tan; P. Wang; R. Amal; Y. H. Ng. Scaffolding an Ultrathin CdS Layer on ZnO Nanorods Array using Pulsed Electrodeposition for Improved Photocharge Transport under Visible Light Illumination. J. Mater. Chem. A2015, 3 (38), 19582-19587.

(2)      Y. Tang; J. H. Yun; L. Wang; R. Amal; Y. H. Ng. Complete Surface Coverage of ZnO Nanorod Arrays by Pulsed Electrodeposited CuInS2 for Visible Light Energy Conversion. Dalton Transaction2015, 44 (16), 7127-7130.