A predictive, ab initio design of enhanced plasmonic photocatalysts

March 28th, 2022

R&D Focus Areas:
Photochemical and photocatalytic processes, Computational modelling

Lead Organisation:
University of New South Wales (Sydney)

Not Applicable


Start date:
May 2021

Completion date:
May 2024

Key contacts:
Dr. Priyank Vijaya Kumar: priyank.kumar@unsw.edu.au

AUD$360,000 – Australian Research Council (DECRA)

Project total cost:

Project summary description:
Hydrogen is expected to play a key role as an energy carrier in our society. Producing hydrogen using renewable methods would be desirable to this end. Sunlight-driven hydrogen production using plasmonic-metal/semiconductor catalyst technology is a way to achieve this goal because plasmonic metals can absorb sunlight strongly. Although prototype devices that utilize this concept already exist, they continue to suffer from poor efficiencies, and fall short in other figures-of-merit such as product selectivity in photocatalysis.

These shortcomings can be primarily attributed to the limited understanding of the fundamental processes at the metal/semiconductor interface and as a result, to the lack of performance optimization. The objective of this project is to thoroughly understand such fundamental processes using theoretical approaches, and consequently design a suitable metal/semiconductor plasmonic photocatalyst interface that can achieve high efficiencies.

Related publications and key links:

Higher degree studies supported:
One PhD student based at University of New South Wales (Sydney)


March 2022