Chemical Engineering

Prof. N. Aaron Deskins was recently funded by the National Science Foundation for his proposal "Investigating Interfacial Sites in Metal/TiO2 Photocatalysts with in situ Spectroscopy and Computational Modeling". This work is in collaboration with Prof. Gonghu Li of the University of New Hampshire and combines their respective expertise in photocatalysis, or the use of light to drive chemical reactions. The work will study the interfaces between TiO2 and Cu composite materials in order to improve them for photocatalytic applications, such as water splitting or CO2 reduction. Both of these applications may for instance produce new, greener alternative fuels. It is hypothesized that special interface sites between TiO2 and Cu enables fast, efficient photocatalysis. Computational tools will model these interfaces and their properties, while spectroscopic tools will probe the interfacial region.