Materials Chemistry via Electrochemistry: Electrochemical Synthesis of Semiconductor Electrodes and Catalysts for Use in Solar Energy Conversion
Abstract: Harvesting energy directly from sunlight as nature accomplishes through photosynthesis is a very attractive and desirable way to solve the energy challenge. Many efforts have been made to find appropriate materials and systems that can utilize solar energy to produce chemical fuels. One of the most viable options is the construction of a photoelectrochemical cell that can directly utilize solar energy to drive chemical reactions (e.g. reduction of water to H2, reduction of CO2 to carbon-based molecules). For successful construction of photoelectrochemical cells, simultaneous developments of photoelectrodes, which will efficiently capture photons to generate and separate electron-hole pairs, and catalysts, which will facilitate the use of photogenerated electrons and holes for desired interfacial charge transfer reactions, are necessary. Furthermore, optimally interfacing photoelectrodes and catalysts is critical because the photoelectrode/catalyst interface can govern the overall efficiency of the integrated photoelectrode system. Our research group has been developing new electrochemical synthesis conditions to produce semiconductor electrodes and catalysts with precisely controlled compositions and architectures. In this seminar, we will discuss synthesis and properties of a few promising photoelectrode and catalyst systems for use in solar energy conversion. New synthesis strategies to improve photon absorption, charge transport properties, and catalytic properties will be presented. We will also discuss various strategies to increase the overall utility and efficiency of the photoelectrochemical cells, which include our new results on electrochemical and photoelectrochemical biomass conversion.
Bio: Prof. Kyoung-Shin Choi received her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Seoul National University in South Korea in 1993 and 1995, respectively. She received a Ph.D. degree from Michigan State University in 2000 (with Prof. Mercouri Kanatzidis), and then spent two years at the University of California, Santa Barbara as a postdoctoral researcher (with Prof. Galen Stucky). She joined the chemistry faculty at Purdue University as an assistant professor in 2002, and was promoted to an associate professor in 2008. She was a visiting scholar at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in 2008. In 2012, she joined the chemistry faculty at University of Wisconsin-Madison as a full professor. Her research combines solid state chemistry, electrochemistry, and materials chemistry in order to address materials-related issues of electrode materials for use in photoelectrochemical and electrochemical devices (e.g. semiconductor electrodes and electrocatalysts for energy production/storage/conversion). She develops electrochemical synthesis conditions to produce various inorganic electrodes with rationally controlled compositions and morphologies to study composition-morphology-property relationships. Her specific research interest lies in the construction of multi-component composite electrodes with optimum overall architectures and interfaces. She was a recipient of a 2006 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, the 2007 ACS ExxonMobil Faculty Fellowship in Solid-State Chemistry, and the 2010 Iota Sigma Pi Agnes Fay Morgan Research Award. She also received the 2008 Purdue College of Science Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award and the 2015 Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Innovation Award. She served as a 2011 volume organizer for Materials Research Society (MRS) Bulletin and the 2011 Chair of the American Chemical Society-Division of Inorganic Chemistry, Solid State Chemistry sub-division. She also organized two symposia for MRS meetings on Crystal Shape Control and Shape Dependent Properties (2008) and Solid State Chemistry (2010). More recently, she served as the 2014 Chair of the Gordon Research Conference - Electrodeposition. She is currently serving as an Associate Editor for Chemistry of Materials.
All seminars are held on Wednesdays from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. in the Bowen Hall Auditorium Room 222. A light lunch is provided at 11:30 a.m. in the Bowen Hall Atrium immediately prior to the seminar.