Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NanoINCAGE (Luminescent Nanocrystals in a Cage for Solar-to-Fuel Conversion)
Reporting period: 2016-09-01 to 2018-08-31
In natural photosynthesis light absorption and catalysis occur in different sites of the leaf. In a simplified scenario, the energy harvested by the light absorbing pigments is funnelled towards a reaction center through a cycle of reactions called the Calvin cycle. Herein, the idea is to realize an energy conversion device based on Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) antenna as light absorber. Specifically, A FRET antenna based on the recently discovered all-inorganic perovskite quantum dots (PeQDs) has been chosen as a model system. In this project, the encapsulation with an amorphous alumina matrix deposited by atomic layer deposition (ALD) was successfully implemented as an effective strategy to stabilize PeQDs of different composition against air, water, heat and light. Finally, this project has offered the chance to carry out a highly multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary program and the obtained results on the synthesis and physical characterizations of these novel hybrids in the near future will impact other research fields in chemistry, material science and engineering.
In the second step to move towards the realization of the proposed device, the energy transfer distance dependence in PeQD bilayer structures and in PeQD/metal catalyst structure has been studied. Data not yet published by the candidate show that an efficient energy transfer is possible in such systems. Moreover in collaboration with a group in the Molecular Foundry (Berkeley) by means of advanced optical spectroscopies, an exciton diffusion length of 200 nm was measured for an ordered PeQD@AlOx monolayer suggesting that PeQD@AlOx nanocomposite are ideal candidate for the realization of the proposed device.
This project has certainly helped the European society in the various ways. First by allowing the reintegration of a researcher from USA, thereby ensuring that competitive researcher do not stay overseas. Second, by forming an excellent scientist and letting her acquire competitive know-how in an extremely important area with a wide impact on the society. Third, the performed studies and results have certainly a huge impact on different major areas of contemporary research of interest for the European Commission that is the need to create a sustainable society. Moreover, the carried out research on the synthesis of hybrid materials and their integration in a new concept device is of general interest of chemistry, physics, biology and engineering scientific community.