NanoMaterials for solar fuels production in photoelectrochemical cells (PEC) 

Principal investigators: Antonio Miotello, Michele Orlandi


PEC technology is one of the most promising candidates for the production of solar fuels, defined as the conversion and storage of solar energy into the chemical bonds of high energy-density molecular species, such as H2 from water splitting or CO2 reduction products (CO, CH4, CH3OH, CH2O2, CH2O). A device of this kind consists of an electrochemical cell where one or both the electrodes are photoactive. The absorption of UV-visible photons at these photoelectrodes leads to the separation of electron-hole pairs which are then employed for driving catalytic fuel-forming redox reactions. At the IdEA lab we employ a variety of fabrication methods, including pulsed laser deposition and magnetron sputtering to investigate, tune and optimize the performance of PEC materials by control of their structure at the nanometric level. The focus is on cheap, scalable and environmentally friendly materials such as Fe, W and Ti derivatives.


Orlandi, M., Dalle Carbonare, N., Caramori, S., Bignozzi, C.A., Berardi, S., Mazzi, A., El Koura, Z., Bazzanella, N., Patel, N. & Miotello, A. 2016, "Porous versus Compact Nanosized Fe(III)-Based Water Oxidation Catalyst for Photoanodes Functionalization", ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, vol. 8, no. 31, pp. 20003-20011.

Schenato, M., Ricardo, C.L.A., Scardi, P., Edla, R., Miotello, A., Orlandi, M. & Morrish, R. 2016, "Effect of annealing and nanostructuring on pulsed laser deposited WS2for HER catalysis", Applied Catalysis A: General, vol. 510, pp. 156-160.

Orlandi, M., Caramori, S., Ronconi, F., Bignozzi, C.A., Koura, Z.E., Bazzanella, N., Meda, L. & Miotello, A. 2014, "Pulsed-laser deposition of nanostructured iron oxide catalysts for efficient water oxidation", ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, vol. 6, no. 9, pp. 6186-6190.


Laboratorio IdEA @UNITN: Idrogeno Energia e Ambiente – Gestione Risorse e Apparati di Laboratorio

Nanomaterials for Solar