Current Research Focus

Our key research focus areas include electrocatalysis, photocatalysis, and photo-electrocatalysis. 

  • Electrocatalysis

Electrolysers and fuel cells employ electrocatalysts at both the cathode and anode, which in the majority of cases employ a single platinum group metal (PGM), a combination of PGMs, or a combination of PGMs and base metals. Employing physical vapour deposition based combinatorial electrocatalyst synthesis and screening and classic single electrode electron transfer studies, we are focussing on a number of electrochemical reactions for the production of hydrogen in electrolysers as well as for the usage of hydrogen in fuel cells. As fossil fuels are not renewable, together with their negative impact on the environment by contributing to the greenhouse effect and global warming, there is a push for developing cleaner alternative energy carriers.

  • Photocatalysis

Recovery of solution based PGMs in the ppm range holds great benefit if it could be accomplished economically and on an environmentally friendly manner. We focus on the photocatalytic reduction of dissolved PGMs to their zero valency (metallic) state, under UV-illumination, for the recovery of especially platinum, palladium and rhodium employing heterogeneous photocatalytsts, e.g. TiO2, and polyoxometallates as homogeneous photocatalysts.

  • Photo-electrocatalysis

We are actively involved in synthesising, characterising and testing metal metal oxides for their application in energy conversion and storage, i.e. as (i) charge storage devices, and (ii) photo-electrocatalysts for splitting water to produce hydrogen.