Development of UV and visible light active photocatalysts

To address the need for effective vis response photocatalysts, we have synthesised WO3 and TiO2 nanowires to provide a fast transport channel for the photo-generated electrons which can retard the charge recombination. We are working on improving the visible activity of the catalysts through modifying the nanocomposites using metal (Ag, W, V, Fe, Ni) and non-metal (C, N, B, S) elements, and through the control over the microstructure or even over the crystal phase.

The main scope of the project is to develop WO3/TiO2 nanocomposites and examine their effectiveness in photocatalytic application modelled by the decomposition of methyl orange in aqueous medium. The WO3-TiO2 heterojunction can provide Vis photoactivity and the possibility of effective charge separation. The delayed recombination of the photo-induced charges can improve the efficiency of the system through providing long-lived charges.

The work includes the preparation of nanopatterned WO3 and the fabrication of the WO3/TiO2 nanocomposites by atomic layer deposition (ALD). It is known that the hydrothermal synthesis is sensitive to certain reaction conditions however the relation of these factors to the polymorphism or the microstructure of the final product is not completely clear yet. We would like to investigate how to control the morphology and how the morphology beneficially affects photocatalysis.

The project also investigates the industrial aspects of the application of visible-response photocatalysts. We are going to study how efficient immobilised catalysts can be developed in respect to recycling, stability and Vis light harvesting.

Photocatalysis laboratory equipment
UV Vis
UV Vis

Principal Investigator: 

Postgraduate Researchers: 

Research Institutes: 

  • Materials and Processes

Research Themes: 

  • Energy and Climate Change