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Luminescent Solar Heterostructures for Artificial photosynthesis

Project description

New light harvesting antennas to fast deliver energy to reactive centre

The natural leaf is an inspiring tool to convert the energy of sun light into chemical fuels. In nature, plants and algae are highly efficient at converting CO2 by splitting water into carbohydrates working at low light flux thanks to energy transfer. In multielectron chemistry, the solar light absorption by the sensitizer is the limiting step. Molecular antennas, transferring energy among them, funnel it to a single catalytic reaction centre. This is the inspiring principle of EU-funded LuSH Art project, where new light harvesting antennas based on self-assembly aggregation, either from organic molecules or quantum dots, will be used to fast deliver energy to reactive centers. The resulting light-harvesting antennas will be integrated in a new luminescent solar concentrators to significantly enhance solar conversion efficiency while simultaneously reducing CO2. This project, which involves industrial collaboration, has a multidisciplinary approach and its possible outcomes could impact several other research fields in chemistry and material science.

Objective

LuSH Art aims at developing new heterostructured hybrid nanomaterials which are light powered by energy migration and to fabricate new luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) taking inspiration from a tree leaf. Reduction of CO2 level in atmosphere is a crucial problem for the life survival on Earth and most of the countries, included EU, has challenging goals to decrease it in the future decades. The production of solar fuels (e.g. H2, CH4) from water splitting and CO2 reduction by photocatalysis can be a key tool in this direction. Although the progresses in this field have a high pace, both scientific and technical important issues are still opened. In multielectron chemistry, the solar light absorption by the sensitizer is the limiting step. In nature, plants and algae are highly efficient at converting CO2 in fuels working at low light flux thanks to energy transfer. Molecular antennas, transferring energy among them, funnel it to a single catalytic reaction center. This is the inspiring principle of LuSH Art, where heterostructured nanomaterials based on colloidal quantum dots (QDs) and J-aggregates will be applied. New light harvesting antennas based on self-assembly aggregation, either from organic molecules or QDs, will be used to fast deliver energy to reactive centers. By controlling the morphology and the chemical composition, non-toxic core/shell QDs will be applied either as sensitizer or as photocatalyst, in colloidal and in film form. These heterostructures will be integrated in a new LSC for artificial photosynthesis. This project, which involves industrial collaboration, has a multidisciplinary approach and its possible outcomes could impact several other research fields in chemistry and material science. The experience and the skills that I gained during my period abroad will be crucial for this project, which would have a great positive impact on my researcher career, allowing me to start my research field.

Coordinator

POLITECNICO DI TORINO
Net EU contribution
€ 171 473,28
Address
CORSO DUCA DEGLI ABRUZZI 24
10129 Torino
Italy

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Region
Nord-Ovest Piemonte Torino
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 171 473,28