Silicon Nanocrystals: It’s Simply a Matter of Size

In a review authored by Wei Sun, Chenxi Qian, and Kenneth Chen of our Silicon team, recent studies in the literature on size dependent properties of mono-disperse Silicon nanocrystals is summarized.

The full article can be found on the ChemNanoMat website.

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Effect of Precursor Selection on the Photocatalytic Performance of Indium Oxide Nanomaterials for Gas-Phase CO2 Reduction

Laura’s investigation on the effect catalyst precursors play in the photocatalytic activity of In2O3 is described in her recent Chemistry of Materials paper. It was observed that the active form, a defected In2O3-x(OH)y is formed upon thermal decomposition of In(OH)3, whereas In(NO3)3 decomposition results in a more stoichiometric but less active In2O3. This study further sheds light on the importance of surface defects in heterogeneous photocatalysis.

The full article can be found on the Chemistry of Materials website.

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Kinetics versus Charge Separation: Improving the Activity of Stoichiometric and Non-Stoichiometric Hematite Photoanodes Using a Molecular Iridium Water Oxidation Catalyst

Iron oxide thin films modified with a monolayer of a molecular iridium co-catalyst has shown an improvement in oxygen evolution. Using electrochemical methods, Jon was able to attribute this improvement to enhanced interfacial charge transfer and oxygen evolution kinetics provided by the molecular co-catalyst. These results demonstrate the cooperative effects of integrating semiconductors and molecular catalysts for photocatalysis.

Congratulations to Jonathon Moir on his new paper and graduation!

The full article can be found on The Journal of Physical Chemistry C website with a subscription.

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The war against climate change: have we done enough?

The latest Materials Views editorial by Geoff discusses how scientific knowledge on topics such as climate change is presented to the general public.

The full article can be found on the Materials Views website.

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Porous NIR Photoluminescent Silicon Nanocrystals-POSS Composites

An innovative strategy is described for synthesizing a new class of porous near infrared photoluminescent organic–inorganic hybrid materials by chemically incorporating hydrogen-terminated silicon nanocrystals into porous polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (POSS) frameworks while maintaining the integrity of both the POSS cages and silicon nanocrystals intact, an advance that bodes well for applications in the fields of advanced materials, gas adsorption media, and biomedicine. Congratulations to Dongzhi Chen!

The full article can be found on the Advanced Functional Materials website with a subscription.

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Study on In2O3-x(OH)y Nanocrystal Superstructures for Photocatalysis of CO2 Reduction Published in ACSNano

Our group’s study on In2O3-x(OH)y nanocrystal superstructures showed improved activity for photocatalytic reduction of CO2. Transient absorption studies suggested charge transfer between nanocrystals resulting in greater charge separation and longer lifetimes of the photoexcited charge carriers to be the main factor for this observed improvement. Congratulations to Le He!

The full article can be found on the ACSNano website with a subscription.

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Our group’s work on In2O3 FLPs featured in C&EN

The latest issue of C&EN features our group’s work with frustrated lewis pairs on the surface of In2O3 and how it enhances activity for the reverse water-gas shift reaction.

The full article can be found on C&EN’s website with a subscription

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4D ultra-fast electron diffraction: a new tool for peering into the heart of photocatalysis

In a another Material Views editorial, Geoff describes a study using 4D ultra-fast electron diffraction to observe how the structure of the open-framework titanosilicate Na4Ti2Si8O22·4H2O changes in the excited state and the implication this technique can have in the field of photocatalysis.

The full article can be found on the Materials Views website
Artwork courtesy of Chenxi Qian, Geofferey Ozin, and Todd Siler www.artnanoinnovations.com

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Could Carbon Dioxide Be the Solution to Climate Change?

The research of the Solar Fuels Cluster on fixing CO2 as chemicals and fuels is a feature article in the March 2016 issue of the UofT Magazine

The full article can be found here
The March issue of UofTMagazine can be found on their website

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New materials views on h-envy

Geoff’s latest Materials Views editorial comments on the political landscape of scientific research and development and the worrying trend of credibility. Geoff echoes the view of Whitesides, Deutsch, and Heller on what we, the scientific community, should do to get back on track.

The full article can be found on the Materials Views website

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