Art-LEAF: Nanostructured multifunctional membranes for solar fuels production by artificial photosynthesis

XVII National Competition for the award of grants for Research in Life and Matter Sciences 2018 funded by Fundación Ramón Areces, led by Dr. Víctor A. de la Peña O´Shea from IMDEA Energy Foundation.

The main objective of Art-LEAF is the development of a photocatalytic device that allows to storage in an efficient way the solar energy through the CO2 photoreduction using water as electron donor. To achieve this ambitious objective several tasks are proposed:

1/ Synthesis of photoactive materials based on inorganic oxides and nanostructured organic conjugated polymers and MOFs that allow performing reduction and oxidation reactions in different active sites and without any external bias. These photoelectrodes will be assembled in a polymeric proton conduction membrane giving the device a higher flexibility, which is the vital importance in the potential process scale-up.

2/ Characterization of the structural, textural, morphological, and optoelectronic properties both of bare materials and in the overall device. Great efforts will be also devoted to the use of operando characterisation techniques combined with theoretical calculations to understand the structure-reactivity relationship.

3/ Design, construction and scale-up of a tandem cell to carry out the solar fuels production by artificial photosynthesis that allows to work both with artificial and solar light.

Partners: IMDEA Energy Institute
Funding Institution/Program: Fundación Ramón Areces/XVII Concurso Nacional para la adjudicación de ayudas a la Investigación en Ciencias de la Vida y de la Materia 2018
Period: April 2019-April 2022
Principal researcher: Dr. Víctor A. de la Peña O´Shea