Periodic Reporting for period 3 - HyMAP (Hybrid Materials for Artificial Photosynthesis)
Berichtszeitraum: 2018-07-01 bis 2019-12-31
The synthesis of innovative assemblies between inorganic semiconductor oxides and conducting organic polymers was proposed. In this sense, band engineering has been exploited to obtain new inorganic semiconductor formulations. Afterwards, metal SPR-NPs have been supported over these modified systems in order to obtain more effective photocatalysts for artificial photosynthesis under sunlight. With this approach, high selectivities towards hydrocarbons vs. carbon monoxide has been achieved with these metal/semiconductor systems. In addition, commercial conductive organic polymers and organic semiconductors have been incorporated, thus achieving one class of the target organo-inorganic hybrid photocatalysts. These materials have led to an improvement in activity with respect to the purely inorganic systems, but their stability for long-term use is doubtful. Therefore, the HyMAP team has faced the synthesis of new, tailor-made monomers and polymers with the aim of combining high photocatalytic activity with improved stability under reaction conditions. In this respect, conjugated microporous polymers can offer new photoactivities if the selection of monomers from assorted chromophoric units used in their synthesis is adequate, as well as new stability pathways versus the linear ones. The preparation of hybrid assemblies from both organic and inorganic has been carried out successfully. These hybrid modified heterojunctions have improved light absorption, charge separation and photocatalytic activity, and they have also introduced stretchability properties with a view on the development of photocatalytic devices. All of them have been characterized and evaluated as artificial photosynthesis catalysts and in some cases they have overpassed the current state-of-the-art photocatalytic activities.
Moving to a third kind of materials, the rational design and synthesis of new metal organic frameworks (MOFs) with well separated reduction /oxidation active sites as alternative to traditional photocatalysts has been explored. At present, the elucidation of the structure of these new MOFs, as well as studies on their implementation as Artificial Photosynthesis catalysts are under way.
During the next years on of the main important task to improve the photocatalytic activity will be focused in the fundamental understanding of the structure-reactivity relationship. A great effort will be realized on the study of the structural and surface catalytic properties under reaction conditions through the use of innovative In-situ and operando characterization techniques including synchrotron techniques.
Finally, the photoreactor and the catalyst conformation are also crucial in this process and numerous technical challenges must be considered. HyMAP proposes the design and assembling of solar photoreactor that allow good transmission, uniform distribution and maximize the light harvesting in the overall spectra.
The most significant advances will be published in international high impact SCI journals. Important efforts will also be devoted to the scientific dissemination of the most appealing results obtained, trying to communicate and interact with the society. In addition, it would be important to remark that patent applications will be presented when significant advances are achieved with potential industrial scope.
This project envisages impacts in different domains, with scientific, environmental, social and economic benefits at a worldwide level.
- Scientific-technological benefits are based in the improvement of the production of solar fuels from CO2 conversion that strongly contribute to the H2020 challenges and those identified by “The Energy Challenge”, related to Low Carbon Technologies with the main objective to develop and bring to market affordable, cost-effective and resource-efficient technology solutions to decarbonize the energy system in a sustainable way, secure energy supply and complete the energy internal market.
- Environmental and health benefits. HyMAP will have a direct impact on reducing the anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere and therefore on the fight against climate change that has a direct impact in the environment and health as is summarized in EU challenges and policies, such as: Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials challenge and Health 2020.
- Economic and social benefits. The combination of technologies presented in this project may have a huge economic potential. Nowadays, worldwide efforts are being devoted to the development of new materials for emerging applications as proposed here. It would be important to remark that application patents will be presented when significant advances are achieved with potential industrials.
From a social point of view, in addition to the benefits related to environment and health, HyMAP will contribute to the socialization of Science, in general, and of the challenges faced in the project, in particular, through intense outreach and dissemination activities in our web-site or other national or international events such as: European Researcher's Night, ERC week, Week of science…