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Combining photocatalysis and optical fibre technology towards improved microreactor design for hydrogen generation with metallic nanoparticles

DOI: 10.1021/acsphotonics.9b01577 DOI Help

Authors: Matthew E. Potter (University of Southampton) , Daniel J. Stewart (University of Southampton) , Alice E. Oakley (University of Southampton) , Richard P. Boardman (University of Southampton) , Tom Bradley (University of Southampton) , Pier J. A. Sazio (University of Southampton) , Robert Raja (University of Southampton)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Acs Photonics

State: Published (Approved)
Published: February 2020
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 17819

Abstract: The use of solar energy to activate chemical pathways in a sustainable manner drives the development in photocatalysis. While catalyst optimisation is a major theme in this pursuit, the development of novel photocatalytic reactors to enhance productivity is also imperative. In this work we combine, for the first time, microstructured optical fibre technology with photocatalysis, creating a photocatalytic microreactor coated with titania decorated with palladium nanoparticles. By doing so, we can create a system capable of effectively combining photons, liquids and gases within a monolithic, highly confined, transparent silica geometry. We utilise a range of characterisation techniques to selectively focus on the photocatalyst that resides exclusively within the internal capillaries of this system. In doing so we validate our design approach, and demonstrate the ability to simultaneously control both nanoparticle size and metal content. Further, we justify our unique design, showing its activity in photocatalytic hydrogen generation from water. In doing so highlighting the importance in developing light propagation properties from optical fibres, and the significant potential of this technology in the expansive photocatalysis landscape.

Journal Keywords: Photonics; Catalysis; Optical-fibre; Solar Energy; Hydrogen Production; Nanoparticles; Tomography

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Energy

Instruments: I18-Microfocus Spectroscopy