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Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 12:15pm to 1:15pm
Prof. Louis Piper
Director: MSE & IME, Associate Professor, Physics Department, Binghamton University
Accelerating Water Splitting for Energy Harvesting and Storage
ABSTRACT: The generation and storage of clean energy is one of the grand challenges of the 21st century. The hydrogen economy is expected to replace the current oil-based economy; with a low carbon fuel source that can be easily stored and transported as a compressed gas, which can then be employed on demand using fuel cells emitting water as the waste product. However, the majority of hydrogen is primarily produced by steam reforming of natural gas with significant CO2 emissions. The disproportionation of H2O into H2 and O2, or water splitting, is a promising strategy for clean hydrogen generation with CO2 emissions but requires the concerted action of absorption of photons, separation of excitons, and charge diffusion to catalytic sites and catalysis of redox processes.
In this talk, I will discuss the rational design of a new class of hybrid photocatalysts that combine promising quantum dot (QD) light harvesters with metal oxide nanowires to induce efficacious hydrogen evolution. Intercalating lone-pair active post-transition metal ions in the nanorod host oxide promotes hole transfer from the QD to the water oxidation catalyst at energies close to the H2O/O2 redox level. I will use this work to illustrate how high through-put methods (both experimental and computational) are used to accelerate material solutions in energy harvesting and storage.
BIO: Louis Piper is an Associate Professor of Physics and the Director of Materials Science & Engineering at the State University of New York at Binghamton. He received his PhD in Physics in 2006 at University of Warwick (UK). He joined Binghamton in 2010, after his post-doctoral studies at Boston University. Dr Piper employs a range of synchrotron-based spectroscopy techniques to explain optical, transport and electrochemical phenomena of functional metal oxides, including flexible transparent electronics; photocatalysts; next-generation intercalation batteries; and, neuromorphic computing. He has published over 125 journal articles.