/Redox probes for fundamental understanding of the CO2 reduction photo-electrocatalysts

Redox probes for fundamental understanding of the CO2 reduction photo-electrocatalysts

Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Reducing carbon footprint with semiconductors
Fueling the ever-increasing demand for energy has contributed to much higher CO2 emissions as we continue to release an equivalent of 625 million balloons of CO2 with each passing second. CO2 being a greenhouse gas, tackling global warming and the associated consequences of it has become one of the biggest challenges that our society collectively faces today. While policies are in place to limit its emission and promote adoption of sustainable sources of energy, these are in no way enough to meet the goal (Paris Agreement) of limiting the temperature rise to 2oC compared to the pre-industrial levels. Hence, carbon capture and utilization to create a circular economy where we reduce CO2 into other products of value has great potential. 

 

The photo-electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 (CO2RR) to CO, CH4, HCOOH and other short chain alcohols holds great promise as these reaction products have high industrial-value. But current CO2RR electrodes lack efficiency and selectivity towards a certain product and yield mixtures of many. Since many of these electrodes constitute a semiconductor material, the current efforts in our lab are directed towards developing a fundamental understanding of the semiconductor|electrolyte interface to see if selectivity can be introduced in the CO2RR products. Knowing the electronic band edges of these semiconductors hence becomes an important study.  

 

In the project the master student will be working with thin films of TiO2 and ZnO to investigate the use of different redox probes as a strategy to locate their band edges. A systematic study of the effect of film thickness, solution concentrations and pH will be done using cyclic voltammetry experiments. The entire project will be carried out at the imec facilities. 



Type of project: Thesis, Internship

Duration: 1 year

Required degree: Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Nanoscience & Nanotechnology

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Divyansh Khurana (Divyansh.Khurana@imec.be)

Only for self-supporting students.

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