Quantum dot modification for solar light photocatalytic H2 production

Time period: 2019-01-01 to 2023-12-31

Project leader: Jiefang Zhu

Funder: Swedish Energy Agency

Type of award: Project grant

Total fundning: 5 000 000 SEK

Photocatalysis utilizes stable catalysts and photon energy (ideally solar energy) to drive redox reactions, which has its potential application in renewable energy (e.g., photocatalytic hydrogen production from water splitting). This application has been largely limited by low photon efficiency and low visible-light absorption (for utilization of solar energy) of current photocatalysts. In this project, a small amount of metal chalcogenide (CdS, CdSe, or PbS) quantum dots will be introduced to improve the photon efficiency and visible-light absorption of ZnO photocatalyst. ZnO represents a wide bandgap (3.2 eV, 380 nm UV response) semiconductor. It has been widely used as a photocatalyst, due to its stability, abundance, and nontoxicity. CdS, CdSe and PbS are narrow bandgap semiconductors with different visible light responses. They, when excited under visible light irradiation, can transfer its photo-generated electrons to ZnO, driving highly efficient photocatalysis.