At PartCat, we have engineered photoelectrodes for selectively producing valuable chemicals such as H2, (oxy)hydron-carbons, ammonia and organics. Benefitting from the advanced photovoltaic technologies, we implement the semiconductor interface design, surface catalytic site regulation and photoelectrochemical system optimisation to understand the underlying reaction mechanism and demonstrate novel photoelectrochemical systems.                                                                          

Competitive advantage

  • Fully equipped laboratory and world-leading research experts in photoelectrode and catalyst design.
  • Development of highly efficient photoelectrochemical systems for green chemical production via a range of energy conversion reaction including water splitting, CO2 reduction, ammonia synthesis biomass reforming, etc.
  • Demonstration of innovative standalone solar-to-chemical conversion system with world-leading solar-to-chemical conversion efficiency


  • Enhanced energy security by using infinite and inexhaustible solar energy to produce valuable green chemicals.
  • Produce platform chemicals (such as glucaric acid) and decarbonise the production of commodities chemical (ammonia, formic acid, etc).
  • Using the optimised photoelectrodes with suitable surface catalyst design, we have demonstrated:
    • Efficient CO2 reduction reaction with controllable reaction pathway
    • Hydrogen production via water splitting with the word-leading solar to hydrogen conversion efficiency.
    • Standalone photoelectrochemical ammonia synthesis system for decentralized fertiliser production
    • Biomass conversion to produce value-added organics (such as glucaric acid and gluconic acid) from waste biomass (such as glucose).

Successful applications

  • Lab scale unbiased solar to hydrogen production system with more than 3% overall solar to hydrogen conversion efficiency
  • Artificial leaf of solar to ammonia conversion coupled with biomass reforming system to produce valuable chemicals simultaneously from both photocathode and photoanode.
  • Innovative photoelectrochemical reactor design, including liquid flow cells and gas diffusion electrode.

Capabilities and facilities

  • Nanoparticle and thin film synthesis and characterisation techniques
  • Multiple photoelectrochemical reactors and light sources for performance evaluation
  • Closely collaborate with advanced photovoltaic technologies
  • Product detection capabilities (HPLC, NMR, GC/MS, PL, UV-Vis)


  • Prof Rose Amal
  • Dr Shujie Zhou

Collaborator: Dr Cuiying Toe (Univ of Newcastle) and Prof Xiaojing Hao (SPREE, UNSW)