The use of sunlight to produce fuels is emerging as an important strategy to develop a sustainable and environmentally benign economy. However, the quest for systems to efficiently produce solar fuels poses major challenges. This proposal addresses some of these challenges by investigating novel photocatalytic membranes based on self-assembled nanorods which are functionalized on opposite sides by reduction and oxidation catalyst nanoparticles. These composite nanostructured membranes hold promise as water-splitting photocatalytic systems, as they synergistically combine spatially separated oxidation and reduction functionalities with efficient photoinduced charge separation in the nanorods upon sunlight absorption.
Project leader: Dr. Celso de Mello Donega