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Solar applications with plasmonic nano-hybrid structures

Dr. Jacinto Sá
Department of Chemistry, Ångström laboratory, Uppsala University, Sweden Institute of Physical-Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
Monday, 28 May 2018 16:00

The efficient conversion of light energy into chemical energy is key for sustainable human development. This seminar reports on applications of silver and copper based nano-hybrid assemblies to solar fuels and solar cells. Our methodology enables fabrication of ultra-thin active layers with tuneable absorption properties, meeting the particularly challenging demands of portable and lightweight consumer applications, self-charging technology, integrated building and tandem solar cells. In respect to solar fuels application, I report on the concomitant reductive hydrogen production and pollutant oxidation using visible light as energy source, thus increasing the economical viability of the process and green credentials. The modular architecture of this silver plasmonic nano-hybrid material allows the fine-tuning of its properties by simple manipulation of a reduced number of basic components. The synthetic routes are scalable and green, ensuring fast knowledge transfer. I also talk about stabilization mechanisms underpinning system high activity, and draw a parallel or not to copper based systems. I will conclude with recent developments concerning transparent solar cells with plasmonic nanostructures as active materials.



Dr. Sá (docent, habilitation, Ph.D.-Physical-Chemistry) is the group leader of Nanoleaves and Heterogeneous Catalysis at Uppsala University and Modern Heterogeneous Catalysis (MohCa) at Institute of Physical-Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences. He got his MSc in Chemistry field of Analytical Chemistry at the Universidade de Aveiro (Portugal), and a traineeship at Vienna University of Technology (Austria) before getting a Ph.D degree in 2007 at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland, UK) in the field of catalysis and surface science. Afterwards, Dr. Sá did a 3-year postdoc at the CenTACat group at Queen’s University Belfast (Northern Ireland, UK) and afterwards a 3-year scientist position at ETH Zurich and Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland). In 2013, he joined the Laboratory for Ultrafast Spectroscopy, at the EPFL (Switzerland). In 2014, Uppsala University, Department of Chemistry (Sweden) and Institute of Physical-Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland) appointed him jointly as tenure-track assistant professor. In 2018, he was promoted to senior member of staff at Uppsala University, and co-funded Peafowl Solar Power AB company on conjunction with EIT InnoEnergy focused on solar cells integration, which he is the CEO.

Dr. Sá research efforts are focused on the understanding of the elemental steps of catalysis, in particular the ones taking place in artificial photosynthesis and solar cells with nano-plasmonic structures. Dr. Sá is an expert in using accelerator based light sources (synchrotrons, XFELs,...) to diagnose processes with atomic specificity and under operating conditions, makes him one of the most experienced researchers in this area. He has pioneered the use of core-level photon-in photon-out spectroscopy with von Hamos spectrometer for a plethora of applications, including to unveil chemotherapy drugs action mechanism (atomic telemetry), (photo-)catalysis characterization and mechanistic studies, material characterization, non-linear physics, etc.

Scientific Achievements-Statistics

112 publications  editor of 3 books  13 book chapters  1 commercial development  1 patent application  45 oral presentation (11 as invited speaker)  50 posters  40 departmental seminars  2180 citations (Google scholar)  h-index 26  i10-index 58