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Dr. Nathan Lewis presents the McRae Lecture

Friday, April 20, 2018
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Chernoff Hall
Room: 117
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Materials by Design Principles in Artificial Photosynthesis: Discovery and Synergistic Integration of Light Absorbers, Electrocatalysts and Membranes for a Complete, Stable, Efficient, and Safe Solar Fuels Generator

Abstract: We are developing an artificial photosynthetic system that will utilize sunlight and water as the inputs and produce hydrogen and oxygen as the outputs. We are taking a modular, parallel development approach in which three distinct primary components-the photoanode, the photocathode, and the product-separating but ion-conducting membrane-are fabricated and optimized separately before assembly into a complete water-splitting system. The design principles incorporate two separate, photosensitive semiconductor/liquid junctions that will collectively generate the 1.7-1.9 V at open circuit necessary to support both the oxidation of H2O (or OH-) and the reduction of H+ (or H2O). The photoanode and photocathode will consist of rod-like semiconductor components, with attached heterogeneous multi-electron transfer catalysts, which are needed to drive the oxidation or reduction reactions at low overpotentials. The high aspect-ratio semiconductor rod electrode architecture allows for the use of low cost, earth abundant materials without sacrificing energy conversion efficiency due to the orthogonalization of light absorption and charge-carrier collection.... Abstract continued, please see website below

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