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Clean hydrogen production via solar activated water splitting

Project Description

Project Aim

To produce, using magnetron sputtering deposition techniques, efficient visible-light active thin film photocatalysts capable of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen


1. Evaluate the viability of a range of visible-light active photocatalysts with the correct band positions for hydrogen production via water splitting based on literature review (e.g. MoS2, doped TiO2, vanadium-based compounds and ternary semiconductors).
2. Select the most promising material(s) and deposit via magnetron sputtering onto a range of substrates (glass, Si, Stainless Steel)
3. Characterise the crystallinity and morphology of the coatings (i.e. Raman spectroscopy, XRD, SEM, profilometry)
4. Analysis of band gap (spectrophotometry) and positions (electrochemistry) and the production of charge carriers under illumination, ultimately testing water splitting activity via hydrogen evolution test cells
5. Evaluate the best deposition process conditions to achieve the correct coating structures for optimised properties
6. Deposition of optimum coatings onto particulates or mesh to create large surface areas
7. Demonstrate water splitting ability under UV- and visible light radiation via H2 evolution in a test cell and compare to TiO2 as a benchmark.
8. Working with industrial collaborators, explore routes to scaling up production of optimised coatings

Funding Notes

DTA3/COFUND participants will be employed for 36 months with a minimum salary of (approximately) £20,989 per annum. Tuition fees will waived for DTA3/COFUND participants who will also be able to access an annual DTA elective bursary to enable attendance at DTA training events and interact with colleagues across the Doctoral Training Alliance(s).
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801604.

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