Special Issue "Photocatalytic Water Splitting—the Untamed Dream"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 May 2016)
Prof. Dr. Nick Serpone
F. EurASc, Visiting Professor, PhotoGreen Laboratory, Dipartimento di Chimica, Università di Pavia, ViaTaramelli 12, Pavia 27100, Italy
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Interests: Fundamentals and systematization of heterogeneous photocatalysis; photochemistry and photophysics of semiconductor metal oxides; Applied heterogeneous photocatalysis for environmental remediation; Photochemistry of physical (TiO2, ZnO) and chemical (e.g. oxybenzone, octlymethoxycinnamate, etc.) UV filters; Microwave-assisted organic reactions and nanoparticle syntheses.
Water splitting to produce dihydrogen and dioxygen by the assistance of some catalyst activated by sunlight has been a dream of many researchers ever since Jules Verne first introduced the idea in his book, “The Mysterious Island”, nearly 150 years ago: “Yes, but water decomposed into its primitive elements, and decomposed doubtless, by electricity, which will then have become a powerful and manageable force, for all great discoveries, by some inexplicable laws, appear to agree and become complete at the same time. Yes, my friends, I believe that water will one day be employed as fuel, that hydrogen and oxygen which constitute it, used singly or together, will furnish an inexhaustible source of heat and light, of an intensity of which coal is not capable. Someday the coal rooms of steamers and the tenders of locomotives will, instead of coal, be stored with these two condensed gases, which will burn in the furnaces with enormous calorific power. There is, therefore, nothing to fear. As long as the earth is inhabited it will supply the wants of its inhabitants, and there will be no want of either light or heat as long as the productions of the vegetable, mineral or animal kingdoms do not fail us. I believe, then, that when the deposits of coal are exhausted we shall heat and warm ourselves with water. Water will be the coal of the future." The notion of using sunlight to carry out many photochemical reactions for the benefit of mankind was later taken up by the Italian chemist, Giacomo Ciamician, some 100 years ago at the University of Bologna. The last 40 years has witnessed a frenzy of research activities, ever since the seminal paper by Fujishima and Honda (Nature, 1972), that showed that water could be split photoelectrochemically into its two elements in the presence of titanium dioxide. We believe it is appropriate at this time to take stock of the efforts and results of the many that have shared in this untamed dream in the search for the “holy grail” photocatalysts or photocatalytic composites that might realize Jules Verne’s dream that water will indeed be the fuel of the future—and this in one Special Issue “Photocatalytic Water Splitting—the Untamed Dream” in Molecules.
Prof. Dr. Nick Serpone
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Water splitting
- Solar fuels
- Photocatalyst nanocomposites
- Metal oxides