Nano-engineered Inorganic and Hybrid Materials
Currently, the main energy source of the society is based on the fossil fuels; nevertheless, a sustainable energy supply is needed by considering the rising demand for the energy and also related environmental issues. Among all renewable alternative energies, solar energy has the largest potential to achieve this target, since the sun delivers enormous amount of the energy as irradiation to the earth’s surface. The solar energy can be converted to electrical energy by using a photovoltaic cell; however, the main drawback of this process is that the energy cannot be stored. Solar water splitting that results in clean hydrogen is an applying strategy to converts the solar energy to chemical energy for the storage. In spite of decades of research, a material that fulfills all the technical and economic requirements for effective solar energy conversion to fuel production has not been discovered yet. Thus, novel materials are needed to be designed and engineered.
In this lecture, design of nanostructured materials for all aspects of water splitting, namely photochemical, and electrochemical and photoelectrochemical water splitting will be presented. For the photocatalysis part, the main emphasis will be on preparation of various nanostructured composite tantalates semiconductor where influence of textural parameters, crystallinity and crystal structure on the performances of the photocatalysts will be demonstrated. In case of the electrochemical water splitting part, nanocasting methodology will be presented for the electrocatalysts preparation and a model system based on ordered mesoporous cobalt and mixed oxides will be discussed that allows evaluating importance of some physical and chemical parameters for electrolysis of water. At the end, for a more effective light harvesting efficiency a tandem cell consists of inverse opal BiVO4 and organometal trihalide perovskites for photochemical water splitting will be introduced and discussed.
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