350 New Materials for Solar Energy Conversion and Water Remediation

Thursday, November 5, 2009: 3:20 PM
Pancho Villa (Camino Real Hotel)
Geoffrey B. Saupe , Department of Chemistry, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Maryam Zarei , Department of Chemistry, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Sarif Masud , Department of Chemistry, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
The photo conversion efficiencies of inorganic systems that directly convert solar energy into energy rich chemicals, such as hydrogen via water photolysis, are presently too low for practical systems.  Consequently, there remains a great interest in trying to improve inorganic photocatalytic systems, due to their robust character and low cost.  Here we present experimental data on the photo activity of unique porous semiconductor photocatalysts with nanodimensional pore walls and large pores.  The structure of these new materials addresses some of the existing limitations of inorganic photocatalysts.  The new catalysts may have the catalytic advantages of small nanoparticles, while retaining the material handling qualities of bulk powders.  These new photocatalysts have also been tested for use in the photoxidation of organic contaminants in water and the photoreduction of metals.