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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/J500136/1
Title: Nanocrystalline Water Splitting Photodiodes II; Device Engineering, Integration and Scale-up
Principal Investigator: Parkin, Professor IP
Other Investigators:
Fraga, Professor E Brett, Professor D Darr, Professor J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 01 May 2011 Ends: 31 October 2014 Value (£): 612,735
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
08 Mar 2011 Nano Grand Challenges Phase II Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Objectives The objectives of the research programme have been broken down as follows. The primary objective of this project is to deliver inexpensive, scaled-up, efficient (> 7% solar energy conversion efficiencies; quantum yields > 30%), visible-light absorbing nanocrystalline semiconductor photocatalyst diode demonstrators for distributed fuel production and utlilisation via household installations. This will be achieved by the following objectives: * To create test semiconductor photochemical diodes and assess and optimise their performance * To utilise novel and more established routes to produce highly active, visible light absorbing, nanoparticulate semiconductor metal oxide photocatalysts * To synthesise, deposit and characterise novel metal and metal oxide nano-catalysts onto the water oxidation side of the photocatalyst supports. * To convert the most promising photocatalyst nanopowders (made via pilot plant CHFS) or commercial semiconductor powders into coatings. * To assess the ability of the functionally graded photodiodes for water reduction and oxidation * To coat nanoparticles of known catalysts (e.g. Pt or Ni) onto the water reduction side (for hydrogen gas production) of the photocatalyst films using photo, sol gel, thermal, cold gas spray, sputtering or related deposition techniques. * To optimise the performance of the devices through careful control of the interfaces * To develop an engineering model of the photochemical device in order to inform design decisions based on mechanical, thermal, hydrodynamic and charge (electronic and ionic) considerations. * To perform an applications feasibility assessment, including investigation into how photocatalyst diode demonstrators can be integrated with working fuel cell devices for household use, to provide constant or intermittent power as well how to operate in conjunction with solar water heating and combined heat and power (CHP) devices. * To test a device in combination with a fuel cell, hydrogen storage and simulated domestic power demand to develop and refine control and operational methodologies and examine physical integration to address water and thermal management. * To develop a system model for the sizing of units and operational optimisation for different applications and system configurations. * To test the working prototype in an actual domestic, distributed energy production, storage and usage environment. * To perform a life-cycle assessment of the device and system as well as a techno-economic (leading to cost model) analysis to inform commercialisation and investment strategies at the end of this phase.
Key Findings
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