Prof. Wojciech Macyk from the JU Faculty of Chemistry is one of the winners of a competition organised by the Solar-Driven Chemistry network, the National Science Centre has announced. Along with his colleagues from Finland and Germany, Prof. Macyk will be working on a project called Interfacial engineering of semiconductors for highly selective light-driven chemical transformations.
The competition’s underlying theme were issues related to the transformation of small particles (e.g. water, carbon dioxide, nitrogen) into more complex structures due to the influence of light. There was a total of 47 applications, with 6 winning projects receiving a combined funding of 4.6 million euro.
The project Interfacial engineering of semiconductors for highly selective light-driven chemical transformations, investigated by Prof. Wojciech Macyk, is aimed to study the possibility of selectivity control in photo(electro)catalytic processes through engineering the semiconductor/solvent or semiconductor/gas interfaces. Photo(electro)catalytic reactions are the solar-driven processes which can be used to produce solar fuels, fine chemicals or to depollute water and air. However, the overall performance of heterogeneous selective photocatalytic systems developed so far is still rather low, and the factors governing the selectivity in heterogeneous photocatalysis are still poorly understood.
‘Based on our preliminary work on various light-driven selective conversions, the major thrust of this project is to develop novel and more efficient photo(electro)catalytic systems for various highly attractive conversions (i.e. selective oxidations of alcohols and diphenyl sulfides, reduction of oxygen to hydrogen peroxide, reduction of carbon dioxide) and to gain fundamental mechanistic understanding of the factors governing the kinetics of charge separation, charge recombination and catalytic turnover in direct relation to product selectivity. The project results are expected to provide unique design rules for the development of highly active and selective photo(electro)catalytic architectures and to advance our understanding of the fundamental advantages and bottlenecks of such systems for selective catalytic transformations’, said Prof. Macyk.
Aside from prof. Macyk’s research team, the project will involve three others, led by Prof. Radim Beránek from the Ulm University (project leader), Prof. Timo Jacob (Ulm University), and Prof. Markku Leskela (University of Helsinki).
Solar-Driven Chemistry is an initiative set up by a German funding agency Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft to organise an international competition for basic research projects in the area of solar-driven chemistry. Countries participating in the initiative include Finland, France, Germany, Poland, and Switzerland.