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Artificial photosynthesis: development of Tandem systems for hydrogen production from water and sunlight

Grant number: 17/18716-3
Support type:Research Grants - Young Investigators Grants
Duration: April 01, 2018 - March 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics
Principal Investigator:Renato Vitalino Gonçalves
Grantee:Renato Vitalino Gonçalves
Home Institution: Instituto de Física de São Carlos (IFSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):19/18724-1 - Development of CuWO4 film and study of electronic properties for application in artificial photosynthesis, BP.IC
18/25705-0 - Study of NaTaO3/Fe2TiO5 and NaTaO3/WO3 tandem junctions for hydrogen production from water and sunlight, BP.MS
18/11059-0 - Study of electronic and structural properties of SrTiO3/Fe2TiO5, SrTiO3 BiVO4 and SrTiO3/CuWO4 junctions for the formation of tandem systems for hydrogen production from water and sunlight, BP.DD


Solar energy is the most abundant, clean and renewable source with real prospects for global energy maintenance. Among the possibilities of using solar energy, the reaction of artificial photosynthesis to the generation of H2 fuel is considered the most promising strategy. However, most semiconductors with suitable band structures to split water into H2 e O2 absorb only UV light (~4%) and the development of efficient and robust semiconductor based-photocatalysts with suitable band structures to absorb visible light (~44%) for the artificial photosynthesis remains a great challenge and a remarkable task. Recently, Tandem junction of two semiconductor materials, with adequate electronic and structural properties for the reaction of artificial photosynthesis, has been considered a promising strategy to overcome the challenges of the reaction. In this way, this project aims to develop semiconductor materials with adequate electronic properties to absorb visible light and high stability in aqueous medium for the formation of Tandem junctions for the artificial photosynthesis reaction. Tandem junctions system will be prepared by a modified magnetron sputtering deposition method. The magnetron sputtering is a physical vapor deposition method, which does not use reducing agents, surfactants or stabilizers to form the junctions, which is highly desired. The morphological, electronic and structural properties of the materials will be investigated using advanced techniques such as X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS), X-ray Emission Spectroscopy (XES), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), Electrochemical Impedance spectroscopy (EIS), UV-Vis spectroscopy, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
RODRIGUES, JOAO E. F. S.; ROSA, WASHINGTON S.; FERRER, MATEUS M.; CUNHA, THIAGO R.; MORENO ZAPATA, MAXIMILIANO JESUS; SAMBRANO, JULIO R.; MARTINEZ, JOSE L.; PIZANI, PAULO S.; ALONSO, JOSE A.; HERNANDES, ANTONIO C.; GONCALVES, V, RENATO. Spin-phonon coupling in uniaxial anisotropic spin-glass based on Fe2TiO5 pseudobrookite. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, v. 799, p. 563-572, AUG 30 2019. Web of Science Citations: 1.

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