I am creating nanostructured materials and novel catalysts for artificial photosynthesis via the photo(electro)catalytic conversion of CO2 and other chemicals into sustainable fuels. Ultrathin oxide layers are promising nanomaterials that open up new paths as photo- and electrosynthetic membranes for their integration into electrolyzer and fuel cells, photoelectrochemical cells, and for artificial photosynthesis.
Inspired by Nature, these nanomembranes can embed functional molecules to tune reactant impermeability, proton transport, and electron conductivity for cross-coupling of catalysts. I am studying structure and electron & proton transfer dynamics of such molecule embedded nanomembranes to separate the incompatible catalysis environments on the nano-scale, minimizing efficiency losses. Anode/nanomembrane/cathode nano assemblies will be integrated into macro array systems. In addition, conversion mechanisms at electrode interfaces will be investigated, which guides material design for increasing efficiency and product selectivity.
Through the Electrochemical Conversion and Materials programme by the Dutch Research Foundation, I was awarded a tenure track position. During my postdoc, I was supported by the German Research Foundation and researched within the joint program of the Energy Biosciences Institute and Royal Dutch Shell in the group of Heinz Frei at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where I was developing ultrathin oxide layers for the Nature-inspired nanoscale integration of light absorber and catalysts. Before that I did my PhD in the Group of Dirk Guldi at The Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in coupling molecular and quantum dot light absorbers and catalysts to graphene to study charge transfer processes.