Solar Fuels Network Newsletter
Issue 10, March 2016


Steph Pendlebury, SFN Project Manager, Imperial College London  

Welcome to the tenth Solar Fuels Network newsletter!  As you can see from the number of reports, our members have been busy interacting with the wider solar fuels and artificial photosynthesis communities at a number of different symposia and conferences over the last few months.  The 4th UK Solar Fuels Symposium, chaired by Erwin Reisner and Junwang Tang, was held in Cambridge on 22nd January.  I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Erwin and Junwang, and particularly Jane Leung, Moritz Kuehnel and Isaac Gentle for their excellent organisation and success in attracting sponsorship!  We’re currently finalising the details of the Polymer Photocatalysts for Solar Fuels Synthesis Workshop (13-14 April; more details below) and the 2nd UK-Japan Workshop on Solar Fuels and CO2 conversion (23-24 June).

This Newsletter also includes 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

Polymer Photocatalysts for Solar Fuels Synthesis

13th - 14th April 2016
University College London – Department of Chemistry
Organiser: Dr. Martijn Zwijnenburg


We will be hosting a two-day workshop at University College London on 13th and 14th April, focusing on polymer photocatalysts in the widest sense of the word (e.g. conjugated polymers, carbon nitride, graphene oxide) and their application in photocatalytic water splitting and CO2 reduction. We aim to bring together people working on these materials from a wide range of perspectives: material synthesis and characterisation, photocatalyst testing, transient spectroscopy and theory, as well people working on similar materials but for different applications (e.g. organic photovoltaics). All with the aim of moving the field forward and discussing the challenges and opportunities offered by polymer photocatalysts.

Amongst other people we expect contributions from the following groups:
  • Lotsch group (Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Stuttgart, Germany)
  • Zhang group (Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, Germany)
  • Sivula group (EPFL, Laussanne, Switzerland)
  • Cooper group (University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK)
  • Tang group (University College London, London, UK)

Register for this workshop (free) and submit an oral/poster abstract here. Registration deadline: 1st April.

For more information about the event, please contact Dr. Martijn Zwijnenburg at

2nd UK-Japan Workshop on Solar Fuels and CO2 Conversion

23rd - 24th June 2016
Tokyo, Japan

Following the 1st UK-Japan bilateral workshop on Solar Fuels in September 2014, the 2nd UK-Japan Workshop on Solar Fuels and CO2 Conversion will be held on 23-24 June 2016 in Tokyo, organised by Prof. Osamu Ishitani (Tokyo Institute of Tech), Prof. Akihiko Kudo (Tokyo university of Science ), Erwin Reisner and Junwang Tang.  This workshop is an excellent opportunity to establish or consolidate collaborations with Japanese researchers.

There will also be a delegation of 10 senior/mid-career researchers from the UK, and many Japanese researchers from early career to very senior.  The workshop is sponsored by the SFN, RSC, FCO and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

Contact: Erwin Reisner ( and Junwang Tang (
Website: Event details on the Solar Fuels Network website

Swiss Symposium and Summer School 2016: Solar Light to Chemical Energy Conversion 

29th August - 1st September 2016 in Les Diablerets, Switzerland

The University of Zurich is running an interdisciplinary Research Priority Program on Solar Light to Chemical Energy Conversion, LightChEC ( This program links the University of Zurich to the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA). The objectives are the discovery and development of new molecules, materials and processes for the direct storage of solar light energy into chemical bonds (solar fuels). 

LightChEC organizes a symposium and summer school on “Solar Light to Chemical Energy Conversion from the 29th August to 1st September 2016 in Les Diablerets, Switzerland ( 

Application deadline is the 1st June 2016.

Supramolecular Photocatalytic Water Splitting

in connection with a meeting of Working Groups 3 and 4 on the theme:
Photoinduced charge transfer, separation, and accumulation

Milazzo (Italy), 4-6 September 2016


The final conference of COST Action PERSPECT-H2O (CM1202) will be held at Eolian Hotel, Milazzo, Italy, in connection with the WG3/WG4 meeting, on 4-6 September 2016.

The start of the conference is September 4, morning, so arrival on 3 September is expected. 

Milazzo is a historical town on the northern-east coast of Sicily, near Messina, and the closest town to the Eoalian (Lipari) Islands, which can be reached in 30 min by hydrofoil or boat. Milazzo can be reached via Catania airport, that has several daily direct flights from many European cities and many connections via all main Italian airports. Connections between Catania airport and the Eolian Milazzo Hotel will be organized by the hotel crew, upon request, for arrival and departure.

For more information, please visit the conference website
Further information will come soon.


Reports from the 4th UK Solar Fuels Symposium

22nd January 2016

SFN offered funding for PhD students and early career researchers to attend the 4th UK Solar Fuels Symposium. You can read their reports of this symposium here

Pacifichem 2015, 15th - 20th December 2015
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Benjamin Martindale 
University of Cambridge

The International Chemical Congress of the Pacific Basic Societies, more simply known as Pacifichem, was amongst the largest scientific events to take place in 2015. With over 16,000 participants from across the chemical sciences all descending on the beautiful Hawaiian Islands to learn, share, discuss, inspire and be inspired, this really was the melting pot of the chemistry world... Continue reading Benjamin's report.

ICNFA 2015
Coimbatore Institute of Technology Coimbatore, India

2 – 4 December 2015

Shivangi Sharma
University of Exeter

This conference proved to be an excellent opportunity to present my research findings on the topic of building integrated concentrated photovoltaic (BICPV) system cooling, for peer review and to receive much needed feedback... Continue reading Shivangi's report.

2nd Molecules and Materials for Artificial Photosynthesis Conference

25 - 28 February 2016
Cancun, Mexico

SFN offered funding for PhD students and early career researchers to attend the 4th UK Solar Fuels Symposium. You can read their reports of this conference here

2016 Gordon Research Conference: 
Renewable Energy: Solar Fuels Converting Sunlight into Chemical Energy

28 February - 4 March 2016, Barga, Italy

SFN offered funding for PhD students and early career researchers to attend the 4th UK Solar Fuels Symposium. You can read their reports of this symposium here

Solar Fuels Bilateral Exchange Report
Collaborative Visit to IFE, Oslo, Norway

Habib Ullah, University of Exeter

Very little attention has been paid to the theoretical designing of novel materials in the field of solar fuels research, especially in UK.. Continue reading Habib's report.


4th UK Solar Fuels Symposium


Over 120 researchers from the Solar Fuels Network gathered at St John’s College School of Divinity, Cambridge, on Friday 22nd January for the 4th UK Solar Fuels Symposium.  Chaired by Dr Erwin Reisner (University of Cambridge) and Dr Junwang Tang (UCL), this meeting gave UK researchers the opportunity to network and learn about recent progress in the field.  Many thanks to Jane Leung and Moritz Kuehnel (Cambridge) and Isaac Gentle (Imperial College) for their excellent organisation and great success in attracting sponsorship!  
Congratulations to Katherine Orchard (Cambridge) for winning best talk prize, and to Timothy Rosser (Cambridge) and Grace Lowe (Newcastle) for the best poster!  

Thanks to Energy & Environmental Science for sponsoring the prizes, and to Strem Chemicals, Alvatek and Nature Energy for sponsoring the event.  You can read more about the symposium here.


Ph.D. Studentship in novel materials for photocatalytic fuel production

A Ph.D. Studentship is available in the research groups of Professor Matt Rosseinsky FRS and Dr Alex Cowan in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Liverpool.

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.
  • Solarstor: Storage development for Solar Energy Grid-scale applications - London, UK; 12th April 2016, link
  • Workshop on Polymer Photocatalysts for Solar Fuels Synthesis - London, UK; 13-14 April 2016, link
  • 79th Harden Conference: Oxygen Evolution and Reduction - Common Principles Innsbruck, Austria; 16—20 April 2016, link 
  • Molecular Photophysics Conference - Newcastle University, UK; 19 April 2016, link
  • 9th European meeting on Solar Chemistry and Photocatalysis: Environmental Applications (SPEA9) - Strasbourg, France; 13-17 June 2016, link
  • Gordon Research Conference: Materials, Physics and Devices for Solar Electricity and Energy Storage - Hong Kong, China; 17-22 July 2016, link
  • ANM2016 - Aveiro, Portugal; 25-27 July 2016, link
  • IPS-21: 21-st International Conference on Photochemical Conversion and Storage of Solar Energy - St. Petersburg, Russia; 25 - 29 July 2016, link.
  • Summer School: Reactivity of nanoparticles for more efficient and sustainable energy conversion - rising technologies - Kysthusene, Gilleleje, Denmark; 7-12 August 2016, link
  • Swiss Symposium and Summer School 2016: Solar Light to Chemical Energy Conversion - Les Diablerets, Switzerland, 29 August - 1 September 2016, link
  • PERSPECT-H2O Supramolecular Photocatalytic Water Splitting - Milazzo, Italy; 4-6 September 2016, link
  • AEM2016 conference on Energy Materials, Nanomaterials and Hydrogen Energy - Guildford, UK; 12-14 September 2016, link  
  • 2nd International Solar Fuels (ISF-2) Conference - San Diego; USA; 6-10 July 2017, link
Please note that travel bursary applications are not restricted to the conferences/symposia listed here.
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