Investigation of Mixed-Metal Oxides and Oxynitride Interfaces for Improved Photocatalysis
Photocatalysts are materials that become active catalysts under visible and ultraviolet light. These types of materials have the potential to influence a wide variety of fields with current applications including self-cleaning surfaces, water electrolysis (splitting), and anti-fogging surfaces. We propose to synthesize and characterized sets of novel single oxide and mixed-metal oxide nanopowders by flame spray methods and subsequently nitride them using fluidized bed ammonolysis for use as novel photocatalytic materials. The ability to synthesize a variety of mixed-metal oxides along with the ability to control the creation of oxynitride surface phases provides a unique opportunity to study the effects of doping and interfaces on metal oxide photocatalyts.
In these studies, the Laine group will synthesize the powders, the Schwank group in ChemE will assess their photocatalytic activity and the Zgid group in Chemistry would undertake modeling studies to explore the effects of doping and materials compositions on band gaps.