Photocatalysis and photoelectrochemistry for solar energy conversion


Artificial photosyntheis, solar energy conversion directly to chemicals (H2) by overall water splitting using heterogeneous photocatalysts, is one of the most beneficial technologies in large-scale production of solar fuels.

Our group first identifies properties involved in complex reaction sequence of photocatalysis. Recent Review paper in ACS Catalysis describes the impotance of quantiative approaches to elucidate kinetic bottleneck of photocatalysis (ACS Catal. 7 (2017) 8006-8022).

Development of novel material synthesis of visible light responsive photocatalysts is undertaken. Synthesis of nano-sized metal (oxy)nitrides and (oxy)sulfides are attempted in controlled manners, together with surface modification with metal and organic complexes. Advanced photocatalytic tests as well as photoelectrochemical measurements provide extensive knowledge in the photocatalysis. We need to develop highly crystalline semiconductor photocatalyst as well as efficient cocatalyst particles for hydrogen and oxygen evolution. How to enhance charge separation of the excited carriers (semiconductor-electrolyte, metal-semiconductor, and metal-electrolyte interface) is crucial to achieve water splitting at high efficiency.

Our group and KAUST Catalysis Center make a team to challenge this complex reaction processes involved at different scales. As the below picture demonstrates, the study involves designed cocatalyst synthesis in nanoscale, highly crystalline semiconductor materials synthesis in sub-micron to micron scale, and photocatalyst arrangement and reactor engineering in millimeter to meter scale. Our group therefore consists of researchers with various expertise in heterogeneous catalysis, nanomaterials inorganic materials synthesis as well as electrochemistry.

Ref. ACS Catal. 7 (2017) 8006-8022.


Prof. Kazunari Domen at The University of Tokyo, Japan.

Dr. Tangui Le Bahers at ENS Lyon, France.


ACS Catal. 2017, 2016, Sci. Rep. 2016, J. Chem. Phys. 2016, Adv. Mater. 2016, Phys. Status Solidi b 2016, Appl. Catal. B 2016,

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Nature Commun. 2013, Adv. Mater. 2013, ChemCatChem 2012, Green 2011