Photocatalyst

  • There are two old fashioned methods for obtaining hydrogen such as reforming fossil fuels and electrolysis of water. Reforming fossil fuels is not environmentally friendly because carbon dioxide is generated during hydrogen production. Also, in terms of using fossil fuels, we eventually have to rely on their limited reserves. Currently, water decomposition uses electric energy to decompose water, so the production cost of hydrogen is very high, which is uneconomical. Accordingly, research is being conducted to produce hydrogen using solar energy, an eco-friendly and economical energy source.

  • There have been many studies to develop diverse photocatalysts sine the fact that inorganic catalyst such as TiO2 can electrolysis under light irradiation was reported in 1972. But there is serious limit that inorganic catalyst cannot be absorb visible light. Because UV light only occupies 5% of solar spectrum, they produce hydrogen with an energy efficiency of less than 5%.

  • Accordingly, in our laboratory, nanoparticles are made using organic semiconductors and dispersed in water to be used as photocatalysts.

  • In the case of organic semiconductors, the absorption area can be tuned, thereby preventing energy loss from the limited absorption area.

  •  In addition, since it is possible to artificially synthesize the reaction place according to the reactants, there is a great advantage in synthesizing the energy source through oxocarbon.

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