Sculpting Photocatalysts on the Nano Scale: Nano Seminar Series

Seminar: Micro/Nano Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS): EE | August 30 | 2-3 p.m. | 120 Latimer Hall

 Prof. Lilac Amirav, Technion University, Chemistry

 Berkeley Nanosciences and Nanoengineering Institute

The solar-driven photocatalytic splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen is a potential source of clean and renewable fuels. However, four decades of global research have proven this multi-step reaction to be highly challenging. The design of effective artificial photocatalytic systems will depend on our ability to correlate the photocatalyst structure, composition, and morphology with its activity.

I will present our strategies, and most recent results, in taking photocatalyst production to new and unexplored frontiers. I will focus on unique design of innovative nano scale particles, which harness nano phenomena for improved activity, and methodologies for the construction of sophisticated heterostructures. I will share our design rules and accumulated insights, which enabled us to obtain a perfect 100% photon-to-hydrogen production efficiency, under visible light illumination, for the photocatalytic water splitting reduction half reaction. Finally, I will describe our future designs of systems capable of overall water splitting and genuine solar-to-fuel energy conversion.

Lilac Amirav did her PhD at Technion and postdoc here at UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) in the Alivisatos lab. She joined the Technion faculty in 2011.