Solar Fuels Network Newsletter
Issue 8, September 2015


Steph Pendlebury, SFN Project Manager, Imperial College London  

Welcome to the eighth Solar Fuels Network newsletter!  We’ve now recovered from the SFN’s International Discussion Meeting, held at the Royal Society in July.  We’d like to thank everyone who took part in the main meeting and also the Early Career Researchers’ Symposium, with special thanks to the chairs and everyone who took an active part in the discussions!  You can find links below to some of the speakers’ slides, videos of the Discussion Session and Prof Daniel Nocera’s talk, and reports from attendees who received SFN Travel Busaries.  The next SFN event will be the 4th UK Solar Fuels Symposium in Cambridge on Monday 18th January 2016.

This Newsletter also includes an advert for solar fuels post-doc positions and a call for papers for the new journal Nature Energy, and ends with a list of upcoming conferences and meetings that may be of interest to the Solar Fuels Community.  Please do send any articles, adverts for upcoming meetings, or information about PhD/post-doc positions to Linnea ( for inclusion in future Newsletters.  Remember, you can invite any colleagues, students or collaborators (from academia or industry) who work in solar fuels and closely related research areas to join the Network:

Upcoming Events

4th UK Solar Fuels Symposium

Contact: Jane Leung (
Registration and abstract submission will open October!


Reports for the International 
Discussion Meeting
the Early Career Researchers' Symposium

6th July 2015, Imperial College London

SFN offered funding for PhD students and early career researchers to attend the International Discussion Meeting and the Early Career Researchers' Symposium. You can read their reports of this meeting here.

EuCheMS – 2015 – Inorganic Chemistry Conference 
28 June - 1 July 2015, Wrocław, Poland

Andreas Kafizas
Imperial College London

I recently attended the recent EuCheMS conference held in Wroclaw, Poland. The theme of the event was "Chemistry over the horizon". This conference is the 3rd in a well-established series, which attracts a strong audience from both the photocatalysis and solar fuels community... Continue reading Andreas' report.

23rd International Symposium on Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics of the Bioelectrochemical Society
June 14th-18th 2015, Malmö University, Sweden

Emma Ainsworth
University of East Anglia

Every two years, the Bioelectrochemical Society brings together scientists interested in the application of electrochemical concepts and techniques to the fundamental or applied study of living systems. This year the fine city of Malmö hosted the 23rd International Symposium on Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics which brought together over 200 researchers from these highly interdisciplinary fields to discuss themes including: biological fuel cells; new advanced nanomaterials for bioelectrochemistry; and photobioelectrochemistry... Continue reading Emma's report.

Reports for the 1st International
Solar Fuels Conference

April 26 – May 1, 2015 in Uppsala, Sweden

The Solar Fuels Network was an official sponsor of the ISF-1 Conference held in Uppsala. SFN offered funding for PhD students and early career researchers to attend the conference. You can read their reports of this meeting here.


A big thank you for attending the International Discussion Meeting!

The Solar Fuels Network would like to thank all of the attendees for making the International Discussion Meeting – “Solar Fuels: moving from materials to devices” and the Early Career Researchers’ Symposium such a success.

We are proud to announce that 137 people attended the International Discussion Meeting.

We are pleased to let you know that some of the speaker presentations, pictures, abstracts and reports written by early career researchers are available on the meeting webpage


The panel discussion “What will be the role of solar-derived fuels in meeting CO2 reduction commitments?” chaired by Professor James Barber and Professor Daniel Nocera’s talk “The Artificial Leaf” can be found on the International Discussion Meeting webpage. You can also access the videos by clicking the links below:

Early Career Researchers’ Symposium

"Solar Fuels: Moving from Materials to Devices" 

We would like to thank you for attending the Early Career Researchers Symposium – “Solar Fuels: moving from materials to devices” organised by the Solar Fuels Network and held at Imperial College London on 6th July 2015.
We are proud to announce that 85 people attended the symposium.
We are pleased to let you know that pictures, abstracts and reports written by early career researchers are available on the meeting webpage.
The Solar Fuels Network would like to congratulate the prize winners!

From top left: Gareth Summers from University of Newcastle received a poster prize from Metrohm, Jan Rongé from KU Leuven received the runner-up talk prize from Metrohm, Franky Bedoya from Imperial College London won the prize for the best talk from Royal Society of Chemistry.
Bottom left: Bryan Hunter from Caltech and Katarzyna Sokol from University of Cambridge both received a poster prize from Metrohm.

There’s No Reason Why We
Shouldn’t Do This

by Dick Do, SOFI Managing Director

Not even the first Tube strike in a decade could dampen my excitement after meetings on the SOFI Knowledge Map with Nature journal editors in London (and subsequent meeting with the Royal Society of Chemistry and Energy and Environmental Science in Cambridge). It is always a joy for me to share the SOFI vision and especially our efforts on the Knowledge Map, but the responses I received on my U.K. trip truly exceeded my expectations.

My trip was catalyzed by the Solar Fuels Network’s International Discussion Meeting, and I particularly appreciated the shout-outs by Prof. Michael Graetzel and Dr. Vincent Artero on the Knowledge Map during their seminars at that event. It is clear that our field will be able to progress faster by adopting community-driven standards that allow more appropriate comparisons between different studies and limit the propagation of errors, as Dr. John Turner aptly described... continue reading.


Call for Papers for New Journal: Nature Energy 


Launching in January 2016, Nature Energy is now open for submissions and inviting energy-relevant research from across the natural and social sciences.

This new monthly, online journal will be dedicated to exploring all aspects of the on-going discussion of energy provision; from the generation and storage of energy, to its distribution and management, the needs and demands of the different actors, and the impacts that energy technologies and policies have on societies. It will have a particular interest in studies that advance our knowledge and development of next-generation technologies and solutions. 

Topics of particular interest include:
•    solar fuels
•    photovoltaics
•    batteries
•    carbon capture and storage

Find out more about the journal scope and how to submit your research.

Post-Doc Positions Available 

3 Research Associates: Materials & Engineering for Solar Fuel Devices (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for three Postdoctoral Research Associates (PDRAs) to work in the Reisner group in the Department of Chemistry of the University of Cambridge. The project will focus on developing advanced materials and devices for solar fuel synthesis; in particular solar water splitting and other relevant fuel-forming reactions. We aim to develop the basic and applied science for devices that capture and store the energy from sunlight in a chemical fuel through artificial photosynthesis.

For more information please click here.

#2 Molecules and Materials for Artificial Photosynthesis Conference 

25 - 28 February 2016
Cancun, Mexico


The replacement of fossil fuels by a clean and renewable energy source is one of the most urgent and challenging issues our society is facing today, which is why intense research is devoted to this topic recently. Nature has been using sunlight as the primary energy input to oxidize water and generate carbohydrates (a solar fuel) for over a billion years. Inspired, but not constrained, by nature, artificial systems can be designed to capture light and oxidize water and reduce protons or other organic compounds to generate useful chemical fuels. Significant progress has been made recently in artificial photosynthesis based on molecular chemistry and material science.  However, developments in these two areas have occurred more independently than what is perhaps desired. In the present meeting, we will bring together researchers in these two scientific communities to explore possible synergistic effects of “fusion” between molecular and materials systems.

The primary topics to be covered in our conference will include:

a)      fundamentals of light capturing and conversion
b)      water oxidation catalysis
c)      proton and CO2 reduction catalysis
d)      interfacing molecules and materials for photosynthesis
e)      complete cells for the generation of solar fuels

More information:

The Solar Fuels Network is proud to be the an official sponsor for this event!

Funding available: 
The Solar Fuels Network provides financial support to UK-based members (postgraduate students and early-career researchers) to attend this event. Funding up to £500 can be be applied.  Applications must be submitted at least three weeks before the event applied for. For more information please click here.

Upcoming Solar Fuels Themed Conferences and Events

Travel bursaries (up to £500) are now available for post-docs, as well as PhD students. Applications must be submitted at least three weeks before the event applied for. 
  • Faraday Discussion: Supramolecular Photochemistry  - Cambridge, UK; 15-17 September 2015, link
  • Christian Doppler Symposium on Solar Fuels - Cambridge, UK; 18 September 2015, link
  • 4th Conference on CO2: Carbon Dioxide as a Feedstock for Chemistry and Polymers  - Essen; 29-30 September 2015, link
  • Solar Energy Systems for the Built Environment - Industry Pitching and Showcase - London, UK; 30 September 2015, link
  • The Big Idea Solar: Call for solar entrepreneurs to make an investment pitch - London, UK; 6 October 2015, link
  • From Solar Light to Chemical Energy: A Look into the Future  - Zurich; 27 November 2015, link
  • MRS Fall Meeting  - Boston, MA; 29 November to 4 December 2015, link
  • 4th UK Solar Fuels Symposium  - Cambridge; 18 January 2016, link
  • #2 Molecules and Materials for Artificial Photosynthesis Conference - Cancun, Mexico; 25 - 28 February 2016, link
  • 2016 Gordon Research Conference: Renewable Energy: Solar Fuels Converting Sunlight into Chemical Energy - Barga, Italy; 28 February - 4 March 2016, link
Please note that travel bursary applications are not restricted to the conferences/symposia listed here.
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