Special Issue "Advanced Materials for Artificial Photosynthesis and Photoredox Catalysis"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy and Catalysis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2022) | Viewed by 2728

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Jacinto Sá
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry-Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University, 75120 Uppsala, Sweden
Interests: plasmonic hybrid systems; artificial photosynthesis; solar cells; ultrafast spectroscopy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Proficient conversion of light into storable energy and chemicals is vital for sustainable human development. Nature has mastered this in its photosynthesis process, which has been subsequently used as inspiration for manmade processes to convert solar light into chemical bonds, which guarantees storable energy deprived of greenhouse gas emission. Manmade developments or also called artificial photosynthesis include processes, such as water splitting and CO2 reduction. The concept was recently expanded to photoredox catalysis, where light is used to create complex molecules.

Advanced materials have been central to artificial photosynthesis and photoredox catalysis processes developments, either as light absorbers, charge particles relays and/or storage, catalysts, or as combination of them. Significant advances have been made when achieved when materials are combined with molecular structures, namely improvement of light harvesting, prolonging charge separation state lifetime, and increase in catalytic activity and selectivity. Additionally, they provide perfect platforms for fundamental studies of light interaction with matter and photocatalysis.

This Special Issue aims to capture the most recent developments on artificial photosynthesis and photoredox catalysis with advanced materials. These reports can cover aspects from photocatalysis to photophysics and photochemistry studies.

Prof. Dr. Jacinto Sá
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • light to chemicals
  • photocatalysis
  • spectroscopic studies
  • reactor engineering
  • advanced materials

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Fabrication and Characterization of Nanostructured Rock Wool as a Novel Material for Efficient Water-Splitting Application
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(13), 2169; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12132169 - 24 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 867
Abstract
Rock wool (RW) nanostructures of various sizes and morphologies were prepared using a combination of ball-mill and hydrothermal techniques, followed by an annealing process. Different tools were used to explore the morphologies, structures, chemical compositions and optical characteristics of the samples. The effect [...] Read more.
Rock wool (RW) nanostructures of various sizes and morphologies were prepared using a combination of ball-mill and hydrothermal techniques, followed by an annealing process. Different tools were used to explore the morphologies, structures, chemical compositions and optical characteristics of the samples. The effect of initial particle size on the characteristics and photoelectrochemical performance of RW samples generated hydrothermally was investigated. As the starting particle size of ball-milled natural RW rises, the crystallite size of hydrothermally formed samples drops from 70.1 to 31.7 nm. Starting with larger ball-milled particle sizes, the nanoparticles consolidate and seamlessly combine to form a continuous surface with scattered spherical nanopores. Water splitting was used to generate photoelectrochemical hydrogen using the samples as photocatalysts. The number of hydrogen moles and conversion efficiencies were determined using amperometry and voltammetry experiments. When the monochromatic wavelength of light was increased from 307 to 460 nm for the manufactured RW>0.3 photocatalyst, the photocurrent density values decreased from 0.25 to 0.20 mA/mg. At 307 nm and +1 V, the value of the incoming photon-to-current efficiency was ~9.77%. Due to the stimulation of the H+ ion rate under the temperature impact, the Jph value increased by a factor of 5 when the temperature rose from 40 to 75 °C. As a result of this research, for the first time, a low-cost photoelectrochemical catalytic material is highlighted for effective hydrogen production from water splitting. Full article
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Article
Effect of Morphology and Plasmonic on Au/ZnO Films for Efficient Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(9), 2338; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11092338 - 08 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1340
Abstract
To improve photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting, various ZnO nanostructures (nanorods (NRs), nanodiscs (NDs), NRs/NDs, and ZnO NRs decorated with gold nanoparticles) have been manufactured. The pure ZnO nanostructures have been synthesized using the successive ionic-layer adsorption and reaction (SILAR) combined with the chemical [...] Read more.
To improve photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting, various ZnO nanostructures (nanorods (NRs), nanodiscs (NDs), NRs/NDs, and ZnO NRs decorated with gold nanoparticles) have been manufactured. The pure ZnO nanostructures have been synthesized using the successive ionic-layer adsorption and reaction (SILAR) combined with the chemical bath deposition (CBD) process at various deposition times. The structural, chemical composition, nanomorphological, and optical characteristics have been examined by various techniques. The SEM analysis shows that by varying the deposition time of CBD from 2 to 12 h, the morphology of ZnO nanostructures changed from NRs to NDs. All samples exhibit hexagonal phase wurtzite ZnO with polycrystalline nature and preferred orientation alongside (002). The crystallite size along (002) decreased from approximately 79 to 77 nm as deposition time increased from 2 to 12 h. The bandgap of ZnO NRs was tuned from 3.19 to 2.07 eV after optimizing the DC sputtering time of gold to 4 min. Via regulated time-dependent ZnO growth and Au sputtering time, the PEC performance of the nanostructures was optimized. Among the studied ZnO nanostructures, the highest photocurrent density (Jph) was obtained for the 2 h ZnO NRs. As compared with ZnO NRs, the Jph (7.7 mA/cm2) of 4 min Au/ZnO NRs is around 50 times greater. The maximum values of both IPCE and ABPE are 14.2% and 2.05% at 490 nm, which is closed to surface plasmon absorption for Au NPs. There are several essential approaches to improve PEC efficiency by including Au NPs into ZnO NRs, including increasing visible light absorption and minority carrier absorption, boosting photochemical stability, and accelerating electron transport from ZnO NRs to electrolyte carriers. Full article
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