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Synthesis and characterization of high-performance haematite-based electrodes for photoelectrochemical water splitting

Grant number: 19/26005-5
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): June 29, 2020
Effective date (End): June 12, 2021
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Rodnei Bertazzoli
Grantee:Nathália Carolina Verissimo
Supervisor abroad: Michael Graetzel
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Mecânica (FEM). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland  
Associated to the scholarship:18/13243-2 - Synthesis and characterization of nanostructured photocatalyst films of TiO2@±-Fe2O3 deposited by InkJet-Printing: application for decomposition of benzoadiazepine organic compounds, BP.PD


The increasing demand for renewable energy has been encouraging the research for more efficient and economically viable technologies. Renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydropower and biomass are gaining more attention in research for energy generation. The strategy of this project is to consider hydrogen as a dense energy carrier to be generated under artificial photosynthesis process. Photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) is one of the most prominent processes for energy generation and water decontamination, due to its environmental friendless approach with minimal impact and capable of converting solar energy into sustainable energy such as hydrogen, and to carry out another simultaneous process, called as heterogeneous photocatalysis. This technique has been widely studied mainly over the past two decades as it involves activation of a semiconductor through sunlight, being a long-term sustainable technique, enabling the formation of highly oxidizing agents, which can react with a wide variety of compound classes promoting their full mineralization. The aim of this work is to evaluate the efficiency of self-orientated mono and multilayers of hematite-based nanostructured films, allowing the synthesis of maghemite quantum dots (QDs) with particle size 2.3 nm (±0.2 nm) and high magnetic properties. The objective is, therefore, to fill this literature gap related to development of hydrothermal synthesis, with a proposal of a collaborative and multidisciplinary project. For this main objective, pure and doped maghemite quantum dots will be characterized in relation to its morphology by HR-TEM, XDR and Raman. Photoelectrochemical and photodegradation tests will be carried out using potentiostat/galvanostat under standard conditions of AM 1.5 (100mW/cm2) solar radiation. At the end of this project, it is expected to have implemented a new research related to the development of new photocatalytic and photodegradation of materials and processes thus contributing to the INCT-DATREM, FEM-UNICAMP and EPFL - LPI group goals, mainly with the knowledge and state of art of high-performance electrodes for PEC cells