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Unraveling the effect of size and composition over the photoelectrocatalytic activity of hybrid systems containing CuO and plasmonic nanoparticles

Grant number: 21/08184-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2021
Effective date (End): July 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal researcher:Lucia Helena Mascaro Sales
Grantee:Hugo Leandro Sousa dos Santos
Supervisor abroad: Pedro Henrique Cury Camargo
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Helsinki, Finland  
Associated to the scholarship:19/26860-2 - Synthesis and modification of CuO/Ga2O4 and Cu2O/Ga2O4 nanostructured films applied in H2 production from water photoelectrochemical reduction of water, BP.DR

Abstract

The conversion of solar into chemical energy using inexpensive technologies such as photochemical reactors and photoelectrochemical cells (PEC) has been intensively studied. Cupric oxide (CuO) has attracted considerable attention due to its high abundance, easy synthesis, low toxicity, and its semiconductor properties. Although this material has some good characteristics as a photocatalyst, such as low price, band structure suitable for water and CO2 reduction, and bandgap that allows the absorption of visible light, CuO has high recombination of charge carriers and low stability that limit their application as photocathodes for photoelectrochemical reactions. The functionalization of the CuO nanostructures with cocatalyst and plasmonic nanoparticles (NPs) is a good way to overcome these deficiencies. These NPs act as an additional component for visible light capture due to their surface plasmonic resonance. In this context, this project involves the synthesis of hybrid materials containing CuO and plasmonic nanoparticles comprising Au and MoO3-x for applications in plasmonic photoelectrocatalysis. Therefore, the project is focused on the investigation of structure performance relationships based on the size of plasmonic NPs and the composition of the hybrid systems. The proposal will cover activities involving the synthesis and characterization of these nanomaterials, as well as systematic investigation on their plasmonic electrocatalytic performances. This project will be carried out at the University of Helsinki under the supervision of prof. Pedro H. C. Camargo, which has strong expertise in the areas of plasmonic nanomaterials synthesis, characterization, and studies involving plasmonic photocatalysis. (AU)

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