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Nanoalloys : The ultimate promoters for photocatalysis. PhD. Student: Bindikt Fraters Phone: +31 (0)53 489 4230 Thesis advisor: Prof. Dr. Guido Mul E-mail: Supervisor: Prof . Dr. Guido Mul URL:

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Nanoalloys : The ultimate promoters for photocatalysis

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Nanoalloys the ultimate promoters for photocatalysis

Nanoalloys: The ultimate promoters for photocatalysis

PhD. Student: Bindikt FratersPhone: +31 (0)53 489 4230

Thesis advisor: Prof. Dr. Guido MulE-mail:

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Guido Mul URL:

Research group:PhotoCatalytic SynthesisResearch school: NIOK/OSPT

Supported by: NWOPeriod: Jan. 2011 – Jan. 2015

  • Introduction

  • Photocatalysis is a technology with numerous possible applications like:

    • Water/air purification

    • Selective oxidation reactions

    • Conversion of H2O to H2

    • Conversion of H2O and CO2into hydrocarbons

  • The energy conversion rates are however in general very low. The fast recombination of holes and electrons produced by photo excitation is one of the main causes. It is known from literature that metal nanoparticles can promote the activity of the photocatalyst by increasing lifetimes of charge separation.

  • Objectives

  • To synthesis metal/alloy nanoparticles which have well defined size and composition

  • To study the effect of the size and composition of the nanoparticles on the opto-electronic properties and the surface chemistry of the resulting photocatalyst

  • Project approach

  • Nanoparticle synthesis

  • For the synthesis of well defined metal/alloy nanoparticles, a spark discharge generator is used. The challenge is to produce nanoalloy samples with well defined compositions.

  • Photocatalyst selection

  • TiO2 is one of the most stable and well defined photocatalysts currently available. The disadvantage is that TiO2 is only sensitive for UV-light, which is only about 4% of the energy available in the solar spectrum. Therefore, visible light sensitive alternatives will be considered, such as WO3 or BiVO4. To the best of our knowledge, well defined nanoalloy particles have hardly been previously applied as promoters for these photocatalysis.

  • Photocatalytic reaction

  • The focus in this project will be initially on:

  • the oxidation of propane into CO2

  • The dehydrogenation of ethanol to acetaldehyde

  • To study these reactions, ATR-IR (Figure 1) and top illumination reactor systems are used.

  • Figure 1: In situ ATR analysis of photocatalytic reactions.

  • Acknowledgements

  • NWO is gratefully acknowledged for financial support.

To detector

Infrared beam

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