FURI | Fall 2023

Dopant Distributions for Visible Light Absorption in Photocatalytic Nanoparticles

Energy icon, disabled. An orange lightning bolt.

Photocatalytic nanoparticles are an attractive solution for renewable energy production because of their ability to produce hydrogen fuel using only sunlight and water. To increase the efficiency of these photocatalysts, it is theorized that rhodium atoms must be uniformly doped within the nanoparticles. To confirm if the dopant distributions are uniform, scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) coupled with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) has been used to detect rhodium atoms within nanoparticles of strontium titanate. Findings from STEM-EDS show that distributions of rhodium vary widely between nanoparticles, with some being homogenous and others containing large heterogenous sites. Future work for this project entails investigating the performance of photocatalysts with different dopant distributions using STEM coupled with electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS).

Student researcher

Blake Dorame

Materials science and engineering

Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2024