Solar Fuels Network Newsletter
Issue 4, September 2014


Steph Pendlebury, SFN Project Manager, Imperial College London      

Welcome to the forth Solar Fuels Network newsletter! We are delighted to announce two new events.  On 19-20 January 2015 we will be holding the 3rd UK Solar Fuels symposium, together with a half-day post-grad symposium, in Edinburgh (still part of the UK!).  And our International Discussion Meeting, “Solar Fuels: Moving from Materials to Devices”, will be held at the Royal Society in London, 6-8 July 2015; this meeting will also include an international post-grad symposium. Registration for these meetings will be opened shortly - watch this space!

This issue also includes reports on a Solar Fuels Summer School for high-school students in Spain, which was part-funded by the SFN, and by the PhD students and post-docs won expenses-paid attendance at the Royal Society’s meeting on a global artificial photosynthesis project. There is also information about upcoming external meetings and conferences, including the First International Solar Fuels Conference, sponsored by the SFN. If you have any items you would like to be published in the next newsletter, please email them to me (; this is a great opportunity for students to publish short articles about events that they have taken part in. Please do 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

3rd UK Solar Fuels Symposium 

19-20 January 2015

Edinburgh Conference Centre, Herriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

The Solar Fuels Network cordially invites you to join us in Edinburgh in January 2015 for the 3rd UK Solar Fuels Symposium.  The main meeting will be held on Tuesday 20th January, chaired by Prof Mercedes Maroto-Valer and Prof Richard Cogdell.  This will be preceded by a post-graduate symposium on the afternoon of Monday 19th January, at which PhD students and early career researchers will have the opportunity to present their work.  These meetings are an opportunity to discuss the latest advances in the field of solar-driven fuels research and to interact with the rapidly expanding network of researchers in the UK.   

Registration will open shortly; we will invite abstracts for oral and poster presentations for both the main and PG symposia.  This SFN meeting is free for UK-based researchers, and bursaries to cover travel and accommodation (up to £500) for PhD students and presenting post-docs will be available.

We look forward to welcoming you to Edinburgh!


The IPS-20

Katharina Brinkert
Imperial College London

When I think about the IPS-20, I have to think of one situation during the lunch break, when I joined a group of people discussing the future or our energy sources. During the discussion we realized that we were four scientists with four different nationalities, working in four different countries on perovskite solar cells, dye-sensitized solar cells, natural photosynthesis and the synthesis of catalysts for artificial photosynthesis and the production of solar fuels...You can read Katharina's report here.

Reactivity of nanoparticles for more efficient and sustainable energy conversion -III

Janina Willkomm and Manuela Gross
University of Cambridge

The CINF summer school ”Reactivity of nanoparticles for more efficient and sustainable energy conversion -III” at Kobaek Strand, Denmark took place from 10th to 15th August 2014.
Over 80 participants with various academic backgrounds from Masters to Post-Doc levels embarked on an interesting and intense programme over these 6 days, held at a marvellous rather remote location on west Zealand, the biggest Danish island... You can read Janina's and Manuela's report here.

Gordon Research Conference on Iron-Sulfur Enzymes

Philip Wulff
University of Oxford


Excited to have been accepted to the conference, and having flown into D.C., I made my way up the US east coast towards Massachusetts, the infrastructure passing outside the coach window serving as a vivid memento of Fe(III) chemistry as if in preparation for the meeting... You can read Philip's report here.

Royal Society meeting “Do we need a global project on artificial photosynthesis?” 

Jonathan Lee
University of Liverpool

Down a country lane flanked by hedgerows and open fields, we slowed to turn onto the long driveway of Chicheley Hall. A leafy canopy shaded us from the bright July sunshine as we approached the grand country estate, gravel crunching beneath us. I had arrived for what I anticipated would be a memorable experience – a three-day meeting to discuss the potential merits of a global project to develop technologies around artificial photosynthesis... You can read Jonathan’s report here

IPS-20: Photochemical Conversion and Storage of Solar Energy

Oluwafunmilola Ola
Heriot-Watt University


The 20th International Conference on Conversion and Storage of Solar Energy (IPS-20) held in Berlin, Germany was one of the most important gatherings of experts (including academics and industrialists) in the field of carbon dioxide (CO2) utilization from around the world... You can read Oluwafunmilola's report here.

Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis Summer School

Penny Carmichael
University College London


This June it was the turn of the Berkeley contingent of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, (JCAP), to open its doors to students, post-docs and those new to the field of artificial photosynthesis for a week long summer school... You can read Penny’s report here


SFN Meeting: “Materials for Solar-Driven Fuels Synthesis”  

7 July 2014

This event was held at UCL, chaired by Ivan Parkin and Junwang Tang, as a satellite to the Royal Society’s Discussion Meeting “Do we need a global artificial photosynthesis project?”. Several international solar fuels researchers presented, including Dan Nocera, Can Li, Peidong Yang and Kyung Byung Yoon, while students and early-career researchers had the opportunity to present posters. Six SFN PhD students and post-docs won expenses-paid attendance at the Royal Society’s meeting. Click here to read their essays.



The Solar Fuels Network supports outreach and public engagement activities with a theme of solar fuels/artificial photosynthesis. Steph Pendlebury leads a network of people from all over the UK involved in planning and developing these activities – please contact her for more information. We have a library of various demonstrations, hands-on activities and games, posters, hand-outs and information that can be used for events such as science festivals. Funding is also available to UK-based members of the SFN for outreach and public engagement.

Artificial Photosynthesis in the “Youth and Science” Summer Camp  

Anna Reynal, Ernest Pastor, Florian Le Formal, Miquel Planells, Florent Deledalle

A group of 5 researchers and students from Imperial College London (Prof. James Durrant and Prof. Iain McCulloch groups) organised a 2-week science summer course for secondary school students. The camp took place in Les Planes de Son (Spain), from the June 24th to July 6th.

The course, entitled “Artificial Photosynthesis: Light and water as energy sources” was part of the prestigious program Youth and Science in Spain 

During the course, the students had the opportunity to perform experiments in a chemistry laboratory and to study the main processes required to transform water into fuel using sunlight. We prepared two main types of solar-to-fuel conversion devices: On one hand, dye sensitised solar cells containing natural dyes extracted from spinach and red cabbage were prepared to convert sunlight into electricity. The solar cell was then connected to metallic electrodes, and the electrons were used to split water into Hand O2. The second type of devices consisted of a semiconductor that performed both the light harvesting and catalytic processes. New metal oxide semiconductors were discovered by the students, while participating in The Solar Army project, led by Prof. Harry Gray and Prof. Bruce Parkinson (

1st International
Solar Fuels Conference (ISF-1) 

April 26 – May 1, 2015 in Uppsala, Sweden

The SFN is pleased to announce that it will sponsor up to 10 PhD students and early-career post-docs to attend this exciting conference: bursaries to cover registration and accommodation fees will be available; the applications will be invited in due course

Registration has now opened for the 1st International Solar Fuels Conference (ISF-1) in Uppsala, Sweden, April 26–May 1, 2015. The aim is that this shall become the first meeting in a new conference series that will rotate on a biannual basis between organizers around the world. The conference will bring together scientists working with both biological and chemical approaches to utilize solar energy for direct fuel production. A list of confirmed speakers is available on the website. PhD students, post-docs and other young scientists are invited to present their research at ISF-1 Young, which will provide a forum for young scientists to present and discuss their research amongst each other in a more informal atmosphere, including oral presentations selected from abstracts and invited senior keynote speakers. In addition, poster-sessions, lab-tours, a party and other social activities will provide enough room for building up a strong network amongst each other.

Upcoming Solar Fuels Themed Conferences and Events

We are pleased to announce that travel bursaries (up to £500) are now available for post-docs, as well as PhD students.
  • SFSC2014: 4th International Symposium on Solar Fuels and Solar Cells, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, China, 21-24 October 2014, link
  • Faraday Discussion 176: Next-Generation Materials for Energy Chemistry, Xiamen, 27-29 October 2014, link
  • ICARP 2014: International Conference on Artificial Photosynthesis,  Awaji City, Japan, 24-28 November 2014, link
  • SFN 3rd UK Solar Fuels Symposium & PG Symposium, Edinburgh, 19-20 January 2015, link
  • MRS Spring Meeting, San Francisco, 6-10 April 2015, link
  • 1st International Solar Fuels Conference & ISF-1 Young, Uppsala, 26 April-1 May 2015, link
  • SFN International Discussion Meeting “Solar Fuels: from Materials to Devices” and PG Symposium, London, 6-8 July 2015, link
Please note that travel bursary applications are not restricted to the conferences/symposia listed here.
Copyright © 2014 University of Liverpool, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Energy Futures Lab
Exhibition Road, London, United Kingdom
London, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp