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Nanostructured multifunctional membranes for the production of solar fuels by artificial photosynthesis

19th national competition for scientific and technical research

Renewable energy: materials and processes

Senior Researcher : Víctor Antonio de la Peña O’Shea

Research Centre or Institution : IMDEA Energía.


The Art-LEAF project aims to design and build a solar photo(electro)catalytic reactor for the production of fuels and added-value chemicals. Obtaining the following results:

- Development of multifunctional hybrid photo-electrodes. A wide serie of materials have been developed depending on their application as anodes or cathodes based on heterojunctions formed by inorganic semiconductors and conjugated polymers/metal oxides. Thus, a wide variety of inorganic systems have been developed (TiO2, BiVO4, CuO, CuO2 WO3...) including modifications in their chemical and electronic structure. On the other hand, new conjugated polymers based on different photoactive ligands have been synthesized, such as: poly(p-phenylethylene (IEP-20 and IEP-21, from its acronym in English IMDEA Energy Polymers), one based on tetraphenylethylene (IEP-22) and carbazole (IEP-23, IEP-24, IEP-25), following different synthetic routes (mini-emulsion, electro- and photo-deposition) that have allowed their integration into functional photo-electrodes.

- Advanced characterization of in order to determine the reaction mechanism. Considering that these reactions take place on a wide time scale that covers from femto- to seconds, time-resolved experiments have been combined with theoretical studies. Thus, transient absorption and fluorescence, impedance spectroscopy, high-pressure XPS spectroscopy, as well as X-ray absorption both using synchrotron radiation and XFEL have been performed. These studies have allowed us to understand the behavior of these systems, encompassing light absorption processes, charge dynamics, as well as the catalytic mechanisms involved in the production of solar fuels.

- Construction of a photoelectrochemical tandem cell. The hybrid electrodes developed in the project have been evaluated in a reactor specifically designed for the production of H2, as well as other fuels or chemical products, obtaining very competitive results compared to the state of the art.


Scientific Production
Magazine Articles 19
Communications at national conferences 20
Communications at international conferences 11


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Revista FRA Nº 27

Septiembre 2022 Journal

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