2014 Fall Physics Colloquium Series: Ying Li, Ph.D.

DateOctober 29, 2014Time4:00 - 5:00 pm
LocationBaylor Sciences Building, Room E.125
Ying Li, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Texas A&M University

Photocatalytic Reduction of CO2 with Water for Solar Fuel Production: Advanced Materials Design and Reaction Mechanism Investigation

Converting CO2 to chemical fuels such as carbon monoxide, methane, and/or methanol is an attractive idea for sustainable energy, in that it not only provides alternative fuels but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The major obstacle preventing efficient conversion of CO2 is the lack of a catalyst that can readily couple an abundant energy source (e.g. solar radiation) with inexpensive electron donors (e.g. water). Despite increasing efforts in the recent few years in the area of photocatalytic CO 2 reduction, there are still some major challenges: 1) fast recombination of photoinduced electron-hole pairs, 2) limited utilization of the solar spectrum when using large band-gap photocatalysts, 3) difficulty in controlling product selectivity and limited understanding in reaction mechanism, and 4) poor long-term stability of the photocatalyst. In this talk, I will present our approaches to overcome those challenges. We have designed and engineered TiO 2 -based photocatalysts with novel compositions and advanced nanostructures, for example, copper clusters or silver nanoparticles deposited on the surface of TiO2, iodine doped in the lattice of TiO2, TiO2 with engineered surface oxygen vacancies, anatase/brookite bicrystalline TiO 2 with unique interfacial sites, TiO2/MgO and TiO 2/MgAl-LDH hybrid multifunctional materials to enhance simultaneous CO2 adsorption and catalytic reduction. We have also conducted comprehensive material characterization such as XRD, BET, UV-Vis, SEM/EDX, TEM, HRTEM, Raman, and XPS to investigate the material properties and correlated them to the photocatalytic CO2 conversion activity. Labeled 13CO2 reduction experiments using in situ diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) are applied to probe the surface chemistry and CO2 reduction pathways. We have also conducted in situ x-ray absorption spectroscopy (including XANES and EXAFS) at the Argonne National Laboratory to understand the catalyst stability under photocatalytic reaction conditions.

For more information, please contact: Dr. Anzhong Wang 254-710-2276

PublisherDepartment of Physics
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