Multiferroic nanostructured oxides for solar fuel generation

Lead Research Organisation: Loughborough University
Department Name: Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


The economic conversion of solar energy into chemical fuels is one of the most promising paths to meet the future energy demand in a sustainable manner. Solar-driven energy generation relies on the efficient absorption and conversion of the energy of the sunlight by a semiconductor material. Control and development of unique and tailored nanostructured architectures whilst preventing the degradation of photocatalytic activity using polar semiconductors could lead to major technological benefits and ultimately efficient and cost-effective conversion of solar energy. Polar multiferroic ceramics can promote efficient separation and transport of photoexcited charge carriers. Of particular interest is unique composite nanostructures of these polar ceramics that could prohibit bulk and surface recombination pathways hence leading to significant improvements in overall solar to fuel conversion efficiency. This project will investigate synthesis and processing of controlled nanostructures of multiferroic ceramic materials using low temperature microwave hydrothermal methods and examine the effect of processing parameters on photocatalytic performance in a particulate-based artificial photosynthesis system. The detailed investigation carried out in this work will contribute to the development of fundamental understanding of the role of polarisation and nanostructure architecture in the performance of powder based systems. This will significantly impact and accelerate the utilisation of such systems in practical applications of sustainable fuel generation.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513088/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2305256 Studentship EP/R513088/1 01/10/2019 30/06/2023 Thomas Clarkson