/Development of three dimensional and high surface area chalcogenides for photoelectrocatalysis

Development of three dimensional and high surface area chalcogenides for photoelectrocatalysis

Genk | More than two weeks ago

In pursuit of highly active stable photoelectrocatalyst for synthetic fuel production

Electrochemical CO2 conversion and water splitting provides attractive approach to synthesize valuable fuels and chemical feedstocks using renewable energy. Semiconducting materials are particularly interesting to selectively drive chemical reactions of interest. Currently, the pursuit to obtain a stable and efficient semiconducting material is on-going. Chalcogenide based materials have gained immense interest in the field of photovoltaics due to its suitable semiconducting properties. Additionally, high surface area is desirable for higher catalytically active sites. Nanostructured chalcogenide materials (sulfides and selenides of Mo, W, Ni, Co etc.) are extremely promising for photocatalytic reduction of hydrogen and CO2. However, their potential remains largely unexplored.   

The master thesis topic consists of fabricating and screening of transition metal chalcogenides prepared by sulfurization/selenization of metal sheets. Structural, optical and electrical characterizations will be performed on thin films. XRD and Raman spectroscopy will be done to characterize the structure and phase. Composition and elemental analysis will be performed using electron microscopy and mass spectroscopy. Optoelectronic properties will be studied by optical absorption and photoluminescence measurements. Finally, photoelectrochemical performance of chalcogenide photocathode films will be evaluated by I-V testing in a 3-electrode configuration of an electrochemical cell. Stability of the photocathodes will be tested by galvanostatic or potentiostatic measurements and an attempt will be made to model the degradation kinetics. Relation between material properties and electrochemical performance will be evaluated to gain insights on the functional relationship.

Type of project: Combination of internship and thesis, Thesis, Internship

Duration: 6 months

Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Energy, Materials Engineering, Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Physics

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Sudhanshu Shukla (Sudhanshu.Shukla@imec.be) and Bart Vermang (Bart.Vermang@imec.be)

Imec allowance will be provided for students studying at a non-Belgian university.

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