Rationally designed transition metal hydroxide nanosheet arrays on graphene for artificial CO2 reduction

Read about a recent publication in Nature Communications on the synthesis of novel materials capable to capture CO2 and transform it into useful chemicals:

The performance of transition metal hydroxides, as cocatalysts for CO2 photoreduction, is significantly limited by their inherent weaknesses of poor conductivity and stacked structure. Herein, we report the rational assembly of a series of transition metal hydroxides on graphene to act as a cocatalyst ensemble for efficient CO2 photoreduction. In particular, with the Ru-dye as visible light photosensitizer, hierarchical Ni(OH)2 nanosheet arrays-graphene (Ni(OH)2-GR) composites exhibit superior photoactivity and selectivity, which remarkably surpass other counterparts and most of analogous hybrid photocatalyst system. The origin of such superior performance of Ni(OH)2-GR is attributed to its appropriate synergy on the enhanced adsorption of CO2, increased active sites for CO2 reduction and improved charge carriers separation/transfer. This work is anticipated to spur rationally designing efficient earth-abundant transition metal hydroxides-based cocatalysts on graphene and other two-dimension platforms for artificial reduction of CO2 to solar chemicals and fuels.

Read more at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-18944-1

PhD Award for James Railton

Our group member James Railson successuflly defended his PhD dissertation entitled: “Developing the synthesis of novel TiO2 and Nb2O5 supports and their applications to the selective oxidation of alkanes”. Well done Dr. Railton!

The theme of this project was based on selective alkane oxidation with oxygen as the sole oxidant in a solvent-free system by means of shape selective catalysis. This was to provide a competitor for the application of ‘green’ synthesis of linear primary alcohols, which are exceptionally relevant compounds for the fine chemicals industry from surfactants and coatings to cosmetics.

Microporous metal oxides with an additional metal within the framework were developed for their potential to create confined metal active sites.

Sensing aromatic pollutants in water with catalyst-sensitized water-gated transistor

One of our group members, Changyan Zhou, recently published a paper in Chemical Papers (in press).

Some materials that are active heterogeneous catalysts for the breakdown of non-ionic aromatic solutes in water are found to act as potentiometric sensitizers for same solutes. The present work establishes an application for catalysts beyond catalysis itself. The use of catalysts as sensitizers is recommended for wider uptake and in reverse, to screen candidate catalysts.

Read more at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11696-020-01212-3

Dr. Marco Conte 01/07/2020