|Seyed Farshad Motevalizadeh
Iterative synthetic procedures are standard in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, but these can be wasteful, slow and expensive. A cascade reaction is a promising method to overcome such issues. The heart of a cascade reaction is the multifunctional catalyst. A leading option for multifunctional catalysts are yolk-shell nanoparticles, the design of which forms the objective of Farshad’s project.
Yiqun’s research area is electrochromic materials for smart windows. Electrochromic materials are able to change their optical properties persistently and reversibly by the application of a small voltage. His main focus is on electrochromic materials such as WO3 and TiO2.
Wu-qiang’s research project aims to synthesize thin films of various TiO2-based nanostructures with controllable morphology, composition, optical and electrical properties. These resultant films are applied as efficient electron transporting layers in perovskite solar cells, giving outstanding solar-to-electric power conversion efﬁciencies. An understanding of the intrinsic morphology-performance relationship and effective interfacial engineering will guide further optimization of the thin film fabrication process and pave the way for the development of optoelectronic and photovoltaic devices.
Lithium-sulphur batteries could increase the efficiency of energy storage remarkably due to their much higher capacity and superior performance. Hao’s primary research focus is the synthesis and investigation of suitable materials, especially titanium-based and carbonaceous materials, with optimized nanostructure and porosity for potential application in energy conversion and storage.
|Jeannie Ziang Yie Tan
Photocatalysis is a cheap and emerging technology for environmental clean up. Catalyst recovery, which refers to the separation, recapture and recycling of the catalyst after a catalysis process, is a costly and time consuming process in the catalysis industry. Immobilising photocatalysts on flexible film substrates is an effective way to solve the catalyst recovery issue. Hence, developing a high performance, stable, easy to handle and cheap photocatalyst immobilized on a light weight substrate is the aim of Jeannie’s research.
As solar energy contributes more of our energy needs, energy storage becomes critical. Solar energy captured by photovoltaic cells can be stored in batteries. Solar energy captured using photocatalysis can be stored directly in chemical forms such as hydrogen and methane, and used to generate electricity on demand or replace fossil fuels. Scaling up photoreactors introduces mass transfer requirements. David’s work shows how it can be reduced or avoided by careful catalyst and reactor design without introducing unacceptable pressure drops.
Quantum dots (QDs) are thought to be ideal candidate sensitisers for highly efficient and low cost solar cells. Standard and modified colloidal methods will be used to synthesize QDs in water and ethanol, which will be attached to titania via their ligands, and also grown directly onto the surface of the titania. These particles will be made primarily from cadmium chalcogenides in a variety of configurations to achieve the desired heterostructure. The physical properties of the resulting materials are then studied via a variety of methods, including constructing working solar cells.