Strategic Research Initiative project awarded to I²CNER Satellite Researchers

Professors Elif Ertekin, Lane Martin, and Angus Rockett of the Illinois Satellite of the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (WPI-I2CNER),  have been jointly awarded a two-year, early-stage project in the University of Illinois College of Engineering’s Strategic Research Initiatives program.

Their awarded proposal, entitled “Atomic-Scale Design of Oxide Heterojunctions for Energy Conversion,” aims to produce vastly improved photocatalysts for solar hydrogen production as well as energy-efficient environmental remediation by pursuing a transformative approach for designing and synthesizing oxide heterojunctions for photocatalytic (PC) energy conversion devices.  Their unique approach combines semiconductor defect engineering to control the concentration and lifetime of photostimulated charge carriers, semiconductor band engineering to control the flow of charge carriers within the photocatalyst, the use of “hot” carriers with greater than thermal energies, and atomic-scale modeling of the free surfaces and solid-solid interfaces to optimize atomic defect injection during synthesis and carrier flow during operation.  Much of the groundwork for the proposal for this project was laid through the ongoing work that Professors Ertekin, Martin, and Rockett carry out as part of the I2CNER project.

The Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) program was introduced by the College of Engineering in order to help grow the research program of the University of Illinois and support collaboration in new and emerging areas.  The long term goal of the program is to place Illinois in a leadership position within promising new and growing areas of engineering research.  The majority of the financial support for this program is provided by the College of Engineering.

Congratulations to Professors Ertekin, Martin, and Rockett on this outstanding achievement!