Hybrid Materials for Photoelectrocatalysis

Dr. Dogukan Apaydin

dogukan.apaydin@tuwien.ac.at

As a greenhouse gas, CO2 contributes to global warming significantly. Creating a carbon-neutral cycle via converting CO2 back to value added chemicals such as carbon monoxide, methane, methanol etc. contributes to the efforts in curbing the effects of global warming.

The Haber-Bosch process is the main industrial process for the artificial fixation of nitrogen. This process consumes 1-2% of the world’s energy supply and indirectly contributes to the 3-5% release of annual anthropogenic CO2. In recent years, researchers have been attempting to find a catalyst that is able to realize this process in ambient temperature and pressure.

Our research aims to benefit from the advantages of organic/inorganic materials and metals by building hybrid photoelectrodes that convert carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons and nitrogen into ammonia.

The field of photoelectrocatalysis focuses on the effect of light on electrochemical systems. Photoelectrochemical cells convert light energy, together with the help of electrical input into chemical energy. A semiconductor (p- or n-type) serves as the photoanode/cathode to drive a certain reaction.