Fossil resources dominate our current energy and chemical supply. However, they are finite resources, and their utilization causes environment pollution and emits large amount of CO2, leading to global warming. This urges us to search for clean and renewable energy resources. Solar energy provides the foundation of life on earth, and it is abundant enough to solve our energy problem. The Solar and Electrochemical Energy Lab (SEEL) is focused on solar energy harvesting and its conversion to electricity and fuels, divided into two categories, solar fuels and emerging solar cells.
Though alternative renewable energy supplies, such as solar and wind, are widely exploited, full transition to these energy sources relies on advanced energy storage and conversion systems to overcome their intermittency and transform the energy into desired forms for different applications. Through photo- and electro- catalysis, the Solar and Electrochemical Energy Lab (SEEL) aims to produce fuels and chemicals using solar energy or renewable electricity. This includes hydrogen generation via water splitting, CO2 reduction to fuels and chemicals, and renewable ammonia production from N2 reduction.
The lab is focused on designing and synthesizing novel photo- and electro- catalysts to drive the above reactions efficiently at an affordable cost. The developed catalysts will be further integrated into industrial relevant devices and systems to bridge the academic findings and industrial application. Furthermore, in situ and operando characterization methods and techniques will be developed to provide mechanistic understanding and iterative design of photo- and electro- catalysts with advanced activity and efficiency. The research efforts span chemistry, physics and materials disciplines.
Perovskite Solar Cells
Another focus of the group is to develop high efficient and stable perovskite solar cells and to explore their application in building integrated photovoltaics.