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Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme


  Sampurna Mitra


  Chemistry, St Catharine's

  PhD thesis: Molecular hybrid photoelectrodes for solar chemical production



Research interests:

  1. Developing photoelectrodes
  2. Solar fuel production from carbon dioxide
  3. Waste plastic to chemical feedstock
  4. Versatile system development for photoelectrochemical conversions

I will develop molecular hybrid photoelectrodes for solar chemistry device construction. In order to produce fuel, I will synthesize molecular, 3D transition metal complexes and anchor them to semiconductor electrode surfaces. Solid-state techniques (SEM, TEM, XPS) will be used to characterise the hybrid materials, while electrochemical techniques (CV, chrono-amperometry) will be used to evaluate their performance. The photoelectrodes will then be connected to a photoanode that can oxidise waste streams or water. Finally, a working solar-powered device will be assembled to show how waste may be converted into fuel and chemicals.

Who or what inspired you to pursue you research interests?

One of the crucial problem that the world is facing today is the need for a clean, renewable energy resource. During my past research works I have had the opportunity to contribute a very small amount in addressing this problem. In my doctoral research I want to explore more in this field of electrochemical catalysis and deal with the problems of green energy storage and utilisation. I want to work towards the carbon neutral goal. Professors and fellow doctoral scholars under the guidance of whom I have worked have always inspired me to move ahead in this path.