Defect engineering enabling efficient solar hydrogen production

April 1st, 2022

R&D Focus Areas:
Photochemical and photocatalytic processes

Lead Organisation:
University of Queensland

Not Applicable


Start date:
January 2021

Completion date:
January 2023

Key contacts:
Zhiliang Wang:

Australian Research Council

Project total cost:
AUD$396,948 cash contribution

Project summary description:
This project aims to achieve sustainable and clean hydrogen generation by photoelectrocatalytic water splitting, taking advantage of Australia’s abundant solar energy. Upon sunlight irradiation, water splitting is able to process on semiconductor-based photoelectrode. Yet, the efficiency is largely dependent on the property semiconductors, which can be tuned via the defects in the photoelectrodes.

Defect engineering will be implemented in this project to precisely control the defect state and therefore the water splitting performance. This project will not only develop novel method for effective water splitting strategies but also advance the material science knowledge of defect structure-performance relationship.

Up to now, we have carried out the machine learning assisted defect engineering to explore the selection criteria for doping strategy. This research has demonstrated the effectiveness of combining data science with the renewable energy development.

Related publications and key links:
Some highly impacted papers have been achieved:

  1. Photocatalytic and Photoelectrochemical Carbon Dioxide Reductions toward Value-Added Multicarbon Products, ACS ES&T Engineering, 2021, DOI: 10.1021/acsestengg.1c00336
  2. Non-noble metal-based cocatalysts for photocatalytic CO2 reduction, Journal of CO2 Utilization, 2022, 55, 101817.
  3. Machine Learning Guided Dopant Selection for Metal Oxide based Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting: The Case Study of Fe2O3and CuO, Advanced Materials, 2022, 34, 2106776.
  4. Photoelectrocatalytic hydrogen peroxide production based on transition-metal-oxide semiconductors, 2022, 43, 1204.

Higher degree studies supported:
One PhD student has been enrolled to assist to implement this project.


April 2022