1. Hydrogen production via photoelectrochemical water splitting

Hydrogen generation from photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting represents a holy grail in chemistry and energy science. Compared to bulk semiconductors, nanostructured photoelectrodes  could potentially improve the solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency due to their large surface area and short diffusion length for minority carriers. We conduct a new line of research directed towards (1) designing PEC devices using dense and vertically aligned metal oxide nanowire arrays as photoanodes, and (2) creating novel hybrid semiconductors with high solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency.   
Current projects include:  
●Rational design of self-assembled colloids as photoanodes
●Hierarchical bottom-up approach to a new generation of photoanodes
●Fabrication of nanostructured photoanodes via reactive angle deposition

2. Fuel generation by photocatalytic CO2 reduction

Utilizing the abundant solar energy to convert CO2 into fuels such as methane or methanol could provide a convenient means of energy storage and positively impact the global carbon balance. There remain great challenges in the selectivity of photogenerated electrons for CO2 reduction in the presence of H2O. We are interested in (1) designing online detection devices for CO2 photoreduction (2) creating novel semiconductors with high conversion efficiency and selectivity for CO2 reduction. Current projects include:    
●Rational design of mesoporous photoanodes to achieve a high adsorption ability of CO2
●Investigation on the relationship between selectivity and CO2 reduction co-catalyst
●Surface modification of the photocatalysts to reduce the activation energy or overpotential for CO2 reduction