Composite oxides as next-generation photocatalysts for solar energy capture

May 2nd, 2022

R&D Focus Areas:
Photochemical and photocatalytic processes

Lead Organisation:
The University of Sydney

Not Applicable


Start date:
January 2019

Completion date:
December 2022

Key contacts:
Chris Ling:
Brendan Kennedy:
Thomas Maschmeyer:

AUD$670,000 – Australian Research Council – Discovery Projects

Project total cost:
AUD$670,000 (cash contribution)

Project summary description:
The aim of this project is to make new photocatalysts that use the energy from solar photons to split water into oxygen and hydrogen – to produce clean and renewable fuel from sunlight. The project will use a “bottom- up” nanoscale self-assembly approach, in which compounds with different chemical and electronic properties – but compatible crystal structures in at least one dimension – fit together in a single synthetic step to form a well- ordered composite.

By making composites of compounds whose band gaps (crucial to capturing light) and surfaces (crucial to evolving hydrogen and oxygen gas) complement each other, the project can deliver higher performing materials at a lower cost than can be achieved by conventional top-down modification.

Related publications and key links:

  1. Selective interstitial hydration explains anomalous structural distortions and ionic conductivity in 6H-Ba4Ta2O91/2H2O” FP Marlton, AJ Brown, M Sale, A Maljuk, B Büchner, W Lewis, I Luck, ML Wood, RA Mole and CD Ling, Chemistry of Materials 35, 2740–2751 (2023). DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.2c02653
  2. “Expanded chemistry and proton conductivity in vanadium-substituted variants of γ-Ba4Nb2O9” AJ Brown, B Schwaighofer, M Avdeev, B Johannessen, IR Evans and CD Ling, Chemistry of Materials 33, 7475–7483 (2021). DOI: 1021/acs.chemmater.1c02340
  3. “Lattice disorder and oxygen migration pathways in pyrochlore and defect-fluorite oxides” FP Marlton, Z Zhang, Y Zhang, TE Proffen, CD Ling and BJ Kennedy, Chemistry of Materials 33, 1407–1415 (2021). DOI: 1021/acs.chemmater.0c04515
  4. “Structure evolution of Na2O2 from room temperature to 500 ºC” C-H Wang, D-Y Gui, Q Xia, M Avdeev, CD Ling and BJ Kennedy, Inorganic Chemistry 59, 14439–14446 (2020). DOI: 1021/acs.inorgchem.0c02234
  5. “Synthesis and crystal structures of two polymorphs of Li4–2xMg1+xTeO6” AJ Brown, J Liu, FP Marlton, M Avdeev, BJ Kennedy and CD Ling, Journal of Solid State Chemistry 287, 121385 (2020). DOI: 1016/j.jssc.2020.121385
  6. “Oxygen dynamics in transition metal doped bismuth oxides” J Wind, RA Mole and CD Ling, Journal of Physical Chemistry C 123, 15877–15884 (2019). DOI: 1021/acs.jpcc.9b01346
  7. “Squeezing electrons out of 6s2 lone-pairs in perovskite-type oxides” C-H Wang, P Kayser, BJ Kennedy, HE Maynard-Casely, Q Gu and CD Ling, Chemical Communications 55, 3887– 3890 (2019). DOI: 1039/C8CC09608B

 Higher degree studies supported:
Three PhD students are supported by this project


Reviewed: October 2023