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Nano@Energy Report Summary

Project ID: 278779
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Israel

Final Report Summary - NANO@ENERGY (Novel Design of Nanostructures for Renewable Energy:Fundamental Questions and Advanced Applications)

The topic of my ERC starting grant is to the investigate the role of interfaces at the nanoscale regime by developing complex hybrid nanostructures that combines two or more materials in a single particle and then to study their catalytic and optical properties. Furthermore, we have also proposed to study the effect of various parameters including the size, composition and the surface area on the catalytic and optical properties of the hybrid materials. We were able to synthesize the 6 proposed structures which include the interface between semiconductor- semiconductor and semiconductor-metal and semiconductor- semiconductor-metal interfaced materials. The work has revealed very interesting observations which provided a new insight onto the charge dynamic at the interface between two materials. We have gained a tremendous knowledge on the importance of the interfaces at the hybrid nanomaterials where we can now design the “optimal” materials’ combination for energy application. Moreover, we have learned that the size and in particular the surface area of the materials is extremely important for achieving high catalytic activity. If we truly want to make the transfer from the benchtop experiments to a “real” application, we have to overcome three main obstacles: upscaling, cheap process and using abundant materials. During The ERC project, it was nicely demonstrated that thermal decomposition of single source precursor and photoreduction of metal salts are promising approached for synthesizing large scale materials.

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