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Sunlight on nanocatalysts to lower global energy use, emissions and pollution

18th national competition for scientific and technical research

Renewable energy: materials and processes

Senior Researcher : María González Béjar

Research Centre or Institution : Instituto de Ciencia Molecular. Universidad de Valencia.


This project aim was to design new nanocatalysts able to absorb light and convert it into chemical or thermal energy. New processes that take place from these light-nanosystem interactions have been studied.

It is worth mentioning the design of new upconversion nanohybrids able to absorb NIR-irradiation and emit in the visible. In particular, we have synthesized several nanohybrids combining upconversion nanoparticles with chromophores (fluorescein, methylene blue, natural porphyrin and a 1,8-naphthalimide), ions (e.g. neodymium) and nanoparticles (e.g. perovskites). Indeed, when exploring new ways to get coated upconversion nanoparticles stable in very acidic medium for further catalytic purposes, we have discovered that polysulfonates offer superior stability than other polymers (polyethylene glycol, etc.).

Thanks to this project, we have fully explored the use of a scanning multiphoton microscope to evaluate the homogeneity of the nanohybrids under study and their lifetime instead of its traditional use for multiphoton microscopy for chromophores in biological samples. As a result, multiphoton laser scanning microscope has proven useful not only to determine luminescence lifetimes but also to easily visualize the colocalization of a fluorophore and UCNPs in nanohybrids, to evaluate nanoassembly homogeneity as well as the efficiency of resonant energy transfer processes by obtaining only one image upon multiphoton excitation.


Scientific Production
Magazine Articles 8
Communications at national conferences 2
Communications at international conferences 9


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