is an emerging green technology using the property of certain materials to
trigger chemical reactions under light irradiation. Pollutant removal from water
and air; hydrogen production by water splitting; high value chemical and fertilizer
production based on CO2 capture are just a few among the potential
applications of this promising technology. While some photocatalysts can only
work under UV irradiation, others are efficient with visible light, making them
even more interesting for future, large-scale applications. However, in all
cases, the microstructure of the photocatalyst has a tremendous influence on
its performance, because not only a large contact surface area is necessary,
but specific crystallographic facets need to be favored as well.
The aim of
this project is to optimize the microstructure of photocatalyst films based on
various materials including ZnO, TiO2 or Bi-ferrites, the latter
being able to work under visible light, and to perform tests of photocatalytic
degradation of typical water pollutants. Large
projects may include the design and manufacture of a test bench for outdoor
During this project you are going to:
films on various substrates using green chemistry deposition techniques.
of your samples by means of X-ray diffraction, optical and electron microscopy,
as well as various spectroscopy techniques.
experiments on water pollutant degradation to evaluate the photocatalytic performance
of your samples.
results using theoretical models and compare them with published data.
At the end of
this project you will be able to:
principles of photocatalysis and of its potential applications.
experimental characterization tools (X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, thermal
analysis, spectroscopy) and explain their basic principles as well as
between processing parameters, microstructure and performance.
efficient literature search and compare your own results to published data.
results to a scientific audience under conditions equivalent to an international
draft of a scientific publication.