Morphologically and structurally well-defined nanostructures composed of TiO2/NiO particles arranged in electronically dissymmetrized Janus-type arrangements will be prepared and developed for the photocatalytic splitting of H2O. For this purpose the wet chemical processing of sol-gel deduced preparation conditions will be developed to allow the synthesis of starting particles with well defined shapes but varied concentration of prototype facets which can be joined to heterostructures allowing vectorial separation of electron hole pairs. For this purpose experiments using the supercritical fluid route and template based interface formation techniques will be applied.

The electronic properties of the different facets and their possible contact properties will be analysed based on surface science model studies employing single crystalline surfaces and well defined textured particles and in situ formed heterostructures using in-situ deposition of the relevant contact phases. The results of the model experiments will be compared to nanostructured heteroparticles and size and procedure related effects in the obtained electronic properties will be characterized and design rules for optimized properties will be deduced.

Finally the performance for light induced water splitting reactions will be analysed and optimized with the application of co-catalysts. As co-catalysts metals (e. g. Pt) and metal oxides (e. g. RuO2) may be applied depending on the contact properties as again derived from surface science studies. Different techniques will be tested for the manufacturing of well-structured photocatalysts testing template but also photochemically induced deposition reactions.

This project will associate the recognized expertises of UB1 in the fields of sol-gel methods, synthesis in supercritical fluids and Janus-particle synthesis with those of DUT in chemical and electronic charcaterization of surfaces, films and interfaces, and in photocatalysis for water-splitting. 

Project partners and their Roles

Institute for Molecular Science, Uni Bordeaux (ISM, UB1): sol-gel synthesis, synthesis in supercritical fluids, Janus-particle synthesis, Chemical modification of semi-conducting oxide surfaces, SEM-TEM studies.

Surface Science Group, Dept of Materials Science, TU Darmstadt (MS, TUD); magnetron sputter deposition of metals, oxides and passivation layer materials, structural, chemical and electronic characterization of surfaces, films and interfaces.

Industry Partner: EVONIK