Figure 1 Ni(OH)2 structureInorganic Materials Chemistry for Solar Energy Conversion and Storage
Shannon Boettcher, Chemistry
The continued prosperity of our current civilization will require replacing fossil fuels with renewable, sustainable energy sources. Using sunlight, by far the largest power source on the planet, to generate portable, energy-dense fuels via a closed-loop chemical cycle is arguably the most attractive solution. The simplest cycle imaginable would involve the photo-driven splitting of water into molecular oxygen and hydrogen. The Boettcher group synthesizes and studies solid-state inorganic materials that may be useful for facilitating this process. Students working on this project will use solution-phase inorganic chemistry to synthesize oxide-based semiconductors. The relevant physical/structure properties will characterized using a variety of materials analysis techniques (x-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, etc.) and correlated to photo- and electrocatalytic behavior.