Improved Understanding of Photocatalysts for Selective Organic Transformations

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Chemistry


Photocatalysts absorb light to drive chemical reactions. Metal oxide photocatalysts are cheap, corrosion resistant and have tremendous potential to contribute to low carbon emission technologies. For example, nanoparticles of TiO2 are used commercially for water remediation and self-cleaning surfaces. There is also significant work investigating related materials for selective chemical synthesis such as oxidation, reduction and radical chemistry. However, the understanding of structure and photochemical reactivity is severely lacking. The role of defects in particular is critical to solar-to-chemical conversion efficiency losses via electron-hole surface recombination, and defects play a critical role in catalysis. The aim of this project is to use a combination of structural and spectroscopic techniques to investigate defect concentration and structure and correlate this with light absorption and catalytic reactivity. This work will contribute to more generally applicable theoretical models of defect structure and function in metal oxide nanopowders to form guiding principles for modification of metal oxides for synthetic photocatalysis.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509802/1 30/09/2016 30/03/2022
1941524 Studentship EP/N509802/1 30/09/2017 30/03/2021 William Swansborough-Aston