Description of field of research

The quest for renewable energy sources has led to a significant interest in developing solar-to-fuel conversion technologies. Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting, which converts solar energy into green hydrogen, is one such technology that has shown great promise. However, the efficiency of PEC water splitting is limited by the performance of the photoanode, which absorbs light and initiates the water oxidation reaction, suffering from the sluggish reaction kinetics thus impedes the overall solar to fuel conversion efficiency. In this regard, Bismuth Vanadate (BiVO4) has emerged as a promising material for use as photoanode, owing to its excellent light absorption ability and chemical stability, with great promise to establish a stand-alone solar-to-fuel conversion system.

In this project, surface modification will be conducted to enhance the performance of BiVO4 photoanode for water oxidation, while a solar driven stand-alone green chemical production system will be established by coupling BiVO4 photoanode with efficient photocathodes.

We are seeking a curious and enthusiastic ToR scholar to join the team to work under the supervision of experienced researchers and contribute to the development of novel strategies to enhance the efficiency of photoanodes for solar fuel production.

Research Area

Photoelectrochemistry | Solar fuel conversion

The student will have the opportunity to work in Particles and Catalysis Research Group (PartCat) and the ARC Global Hydrogen Economy Training Centre (GlobH2E) with well-equipped laboratories and experimental facilities for photoelectrocatalysis research under the guidance of Scientia Professor Rose Amal.

The student will work in a multidisciplinary research environment with opportunity to learn various functional skills (i.e., professional development, outreach work, and mentoring) to facilitate future career in academic or industry.

The student is expected to gain experience in photoelectrocatalysis, material characterizations and solar-to-fuel reactor design. This is an extended project based on preliminary results and the generated knowledge and data will result in a publication. The project will also allow the student to work with other research students to gain valuable interdisciplinary experience. Continuing of the research as an 4th year honour thesis project is possible.

  1. Wang, Q.; Pornrungroj, C.; Linley, S.; Reisner, E., Strategies to improve light utilization in solar fuel synthesis. Nat. Energy 2022, 7 (1), 13-24.
  2. Toe, C. Y.; Zhou, S.; Gunawan, M.; Lu, X.; Ng, Y. H.; Amal, R., Recent advances and the design criteria of metal sulfide photocathodes and photoanodes for photoelectrocatalysis. J. Mater. Chem. A 2021, 9 (36), 20277-20319.
  3. Tan, H. L.; Amal, R.; Ng, Y. H., Alternative strategies in improving the photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical activities of visible light-driven BiVO4: a review. J. Mater. Chem. A 2017, 5 (32), 16498-16521.