"Next-Generation Materials to Tackle the Energy Challenge" by F. Pelayo García de Arquer (Mon, 17 Dec 2018)
Next-Generation Materials to Tackle the Energy Challengeby F. Pelayo García de Arquer, University of Toronto
Monday, 17 December 2018 @ 12 pm
ICMAB - Sala d'Actes Carles Miravitlles
The ever-growing energy demand and increasing CO2 emissions call for large-scale solutions for renewable energy harvesting and storage. Colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) and metal halide perovskites are solution-processed materials tunable across the solar spectrum, representing a compelling material platform for standalone flexible photovoltaics or as a complement to existing cSi technologies. I will begin by showing how CQD tunability can be exploited to achieve solar-matched multispectral energy harvesting beyond Si bandgap. I will present a new strategy that, using quantum-dot-in-perovskite solids, addresses the major bottleneck in solution-processed materials: their poor stability, showing how lattice-anchoring in cesium-lead halide perovskites leads to enhanced optoelectronic properties and days-to-months extended stability. In the second part of my talk, I will focus on energy storage through the electrochemical upgrade of CO2. An efficient electrocatalyst should combine high selectivity with high productivity (high current density) at low overpotentials. At these conditions most metal catalysts exhibit extensive reconstruction.
I will present a new approach to design electrocatalysts with targeted properties using 2D metal oxyhalides that lead to record activity for CO2 electroreduction. High-performance hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts are needed for the conversion of renewable electricity to fuels. Today’s best HER catalysts show their highest performance in acidic media. Unfortunately, this environment is incompatible with the operation of bacteria capable of efficiently upgrading CO2 to value-added chemicals; and is also far from the characteristics of the largest source of water: seawater. I will conclude by presenting an HER catalyst design strategy that achieves high activity in neutral media through anisotropic surface doping to destabilize the H-OH bond in water molecules.
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