Nanostructured Metal Oxides for Solar Fuels

  • Eslava, Salvador (PI)

Project: Research council

Project Details


The Sun could potentially supply enough energy for all our needs, but its energy needs to be harvested and stored efficiently. A sustainable route to capture energy from the Sun involves using photocatalytic materials that, upon solar irradiation, rearrange the electrons in molecules such as water and carbon dioxide and consequently form fuels such as hydrogen and hydrocarbons and harmless oxygen. This route, typically called artificial photosynthesis, has the potential to ensure affordable supplies of clean fuels and feedstocks for energy, pharmaceuticals, plastics and textiles, simply using inexhaustible resources. The aim of this project is to make a breakthrough in the synthesis of metal oxides with tailored nanostructure to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of artificial photosynthesis devices in the formation of clean fuels such as hydrogen. In order to achieve this, graphene oxide flakes, carbon mats known for its nano and two-dimensionality, will be systematically studied as a sacrificial support for the formation of metal oxide nanoflakes replicating the graphene oxide shape. This will lead to a more optimised morphology to exploit the qualities of metal oxides in artificial photosynthesis. The project will follow a multidisciplinary approach involving the undertaking of different activities, namely wet chemical syntheses, devices construction and advanced characterisation to achieve its aim. Each of these activities will address a different challenge. Through wet chemical syntheses, the project will aim to understand the mechanisms to replicate the nano- and two-dimensionality of graphene oxide on metal oxides. The second activity will concentrate on finding the best routes to apply the novel metal oxides for solar fuels production. The third activity will have the challenge of characterising the photocatalytic nanostructured materials in such a way to relate their properties to their activity, allowing the optimisation of the devices. Preparing metal oxides with nano- and two-dimensionality as in graphene oxide will have a considerable impact on the research of these materials and on their application. This will ensure important advances towards a more sustainable energy mix of clean energy for current and future generations.
Effective start/end date1/03/1731/07/18


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

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  • Research Output

    • 4 Article
    • 1 Other contribution

    Exploring effects of intermittent light upon visible light promoted water oxidations

    Walsh, D., Patureau, P., Robertson, K., Reeksting, S., Lubben, A., Eslava, S. & Weller, M., 1 Dec 2017, In : Sustainable Energy & Fuels. 1, 10, p. 2101-2109 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Microwave-assisted deep eutectic-solvothermal preparation of iron oxide nanoparticles for photoelectrochemical solar water splitting

    Hammond, O. S., Eslava, S., Smith, A. J., Zhang, J. & Edler, K. J., 5 Jun 2017, In : Journal of Materials Chemistry A. 5, 31, p. 16189-16199

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 9 Citations (Scopus)

    Nanostructured WO3 photoanodes for efficient water splitting via anodisation in citric acid

    Zhang, J., Salles, I., Pering, S., Cameron, P. J., Mattia, D. & Eslava, S., 2017, In : RSC Advances. 7, 56, p. 35221-35227 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 13 Citations (Scopus)
    134 Downloads (Pure)


    Data set for 'TiO2 photoanodes with exposed {0 1 0} facets grown by aerosol-assisted chemical vapor deposition of a titanium oxo/alkoxy cluster'

    Regue Grino, M. (Creator), Sibby, S. (Creator), Ahmet, I. (Creator), Friedrich, D. (Creator), Abdi, F. (Creator), Johnson, A. (Creator) & Eslava, S. (Creator), University of Bath, 5 Aug 2019


    Data set for: Mo-doped TiO2 photoanodes using [Ti4Mo2O8(OEt)10]2 bimetallic oxo cages as a single source precursor

    Regue Grino, M. (Creator), Armstrong, K. (Creator), Walsh, D. (Creator), Richards, E. (Creator), Johnson, A. (Creator) & Eslava Fernandez, S. (Creator), University of Bath, 19 Sep 2018


    Dataset for 'Exploring effects of intermittent light upon visible light promoted water oxidations'

    Walsh, D. (Creator), Patureau, P. (Researcher), Robertson, K. (Researcher), Reeksting, S. (Researcher), Lubben, A. T. (Researcher), Eslava Fernandez, S. (Project Member) & Weller, M. T. (Project Member), University of Bath, 6 Feb 2018