Photocatalysis using quantum confined materials
In our group we work with heterogeneous semiconductor catalysts, using nanoparticles down to dimensions that they become quantum confined. In the photocatalytic process a catalyst absorb light and the energy of the photons cause a charge separation within the material. The created electrons and holes are then used to mediate a chemical reaction at the catalyst surface where the quantum confined materials allow an additional tuning of the energy levels and optical properties of the materials. The charge can be directly transferred to a molecule at the surface or it can be used to create reactive oxygen species which in turn react with molecules close to the surface. The main application is to use photocatalysis of these low dimensional materials for water cleaning, degrading pollutants in contaminated water. Some examples of what we investigate are how the properties of the catalysts depend on quantum confinement and orientation, the electronic levels tuneability, if combination of materials can prolong the lifetime of the charge carriers, and what species that are produced at the catalyst surface.
Jacobsson, T. J., Edvinsson, T. (2012). Photoelectrochemical Determination of the Absolute Band Edge Positions as a Function of Particle Size for ZnO Quantum Dots. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 116(29): 15692-15701