Solar Fuels Network Newsletter
Issue 11, July 2016


Steph Pendlebury, SFN Project Manager, Imperial College London  

Welcome to the eleventh Solar Fuels Network newsletter!  Congratulations to Habib Ullah (University of Exeter) and Franky Bedoya (Imperial College London) on their successful applications to join the SOFI Summer School in Chicago in August.  Many thanks to Martijn Zwijnenburg for organising a very successful symposium on Polymer Photocatalysts for Solar Fuels Synthesis at UCL in April, and to Junwang Tang and Erwin Reisner for their organisation of the 2nd UK-Japan Meeting on Solar Fuels, held in Tokyo in June.
The next event that the SFN is supporting is the FOTOFUEL Solar Fuels Summer School, more details below.  We’re also planning to hold joint symposia with the CO2Chem Network and the SuperSolar Hub, more details to follow…

This Newsletter also includes reports of events that students and post-docs have attended, 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

FOTOFUEL Summer School and Conference

25th – 27th October 2016
Almería, Spain

FOTOFUEL warmly invites you to attend the FOTOFUEL Solar Fuels Summer School and Conference. There will be one day of summer school with 6-7 lectures on solar fuels followed by a two day of conference with keynotes, oral presentations and posters.

More information about this event will be sent out soon!

Anyone who is interested in attending this event should get in touch with Fernando Fresno ( to register their interest and for further details.



9th European meeting on Solar Chemistry and Photocatalysis: Environmental Applications (SPEA9)
Preetam K. Sharma
Ulster University

SPEA9 was a five day event which gathered more than 300 people from all over the world. A large number of photocatalysis topics were discussed including degradation of organics, solar energy harvesting and mechanistic studies. The symposium introduced me with few other dimensions of the field and the state of the art research... Continue reading Preetam's report here
Solar Fuels Network Outreach & Dissemination Bursary
Molecular Photophysics in the North East

Professor Anthony Harriman
Newcastle University

The first of a series of one-day meetings dedicated to the study of molecular photophysics was held at Newcastle University on April 19th. The symposium attracted an audience of around 80 researchers, mostly from the north east region but with representatives from other UK universities and overseas... Continue reading Professor Harriman's report
Reports from the Polymer Photocatalysts for Solar Fuels Synthesis
13-14 April 2016
University College London

SFN offered funding for PhD students and early career researchers to attend the Polymer Photocatalysts for Solar Fuels Synthesis. You can read their reports of this symposium here
Bilateral Exchange with JCAP and Lewis Research Group, CalTech, California USA
Franky Bedoya-Lora
Imperial College London

Working in Lewis Research Group was a wonderful experience. Given the short stay, I tried to do as much work as possible and thanks to the help and assistance of Dr. Fan Yang we managed to produce several batches of hematite photo-anodes... Continue reading Franky's report here
EERA AMPEA meeting Nancy, 20-21 June 2016
Professor Tony Vlcek
Queen Mary University of London

A steering committee meeting was combined with a scientific workshop "Power to chemical technologies"
Summary of the most SFN-relevant information from the steering committee meeting is... Continue reading Professor Vlcek's report here


Reisner Lab - Artificial Photosynthesis (in LEGO)
Erwin Reisner's group has released a video on artificial photosynthesis on YouTube. Have a look at this amazing video that SFN funding helped to produce.

Professor James Durrant talks about artificial leaf on BBC Radio

Professor James Durrant, Co-ordinator of the Solar Fuels Network, was interviewed on BBC radio’s programme Elements on 10th May 2016. The programme explores the different chemical elements that construct the universe. In episode “Hydrogen (H) – energy”, Professor Durrant discusses the concept of the artificial leaf.

You can download the podcast here:

Solar Fuels Featured at Imperial Festival

by Robert Godin

Solar Fuels researchers at Imperial College presented a stand called “Light, Water, Power!” at the Imperial Festival in May. The researchers used various demonstrations to tell the public about current research in the field of solar fuels generation and PV that takes place at Imperial College (and worldwide). The Festival gave researchers the chance to interact with members of the community at large, get the public interested in solar energy, talk about solar 'beyond silicon', disseminate knowledge about solar energy conversion, and guide and encourage prospective students. The interactive demonstrations on hand highlighted real-world applications of both sides of solar technologies, photovoltaics (PV) and solar fuels. Aspiring photochemists could learn about the origins of different coloured light and how this impacts solar cell design. A demonstration solar hydrogen production cell using a hematite photoanode was on hand to show the promising future of solar fuels. The molecular processes of water splitting to generate oxygen and hydrogen was explained using simple coloured balls.

As one Imperial Chemistry alumnus said "My daughter loves the spectrometer that she made and we are going to have a go at recreating your demonstration of producing hydrogen and oxygen using a 9V battery and two pencils. As a chemistry graduate myself it was great to see some of the current research from the Chemistry Department"
Dick Co Speaking at the United Nations
Dick Co, Managing Director of SOFI, spoke at the UN's Forum on Science, Technology, and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

PhD in “Phonon transport in nanocomposite semiconductors”

Advisers: Dr. Ass. Prof. L. Chaput, Dr. CR/CNRS K. Termentzidis and Prof. Dr. D. Lacroix
Location: LEMTA, UMR 7563, Un. Of Lorraine and CNRS, Nancy, France
Keywords: Phonons, nanoinclusions, DFT, MD, MC, Ge:Mn/Ge 

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.
  • 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
  • SolarFuel16 - International Conference on Advances in Semiconductors and Catalysts for Photoelectrochemical Fuel Production - Berlin, Germany, 5-6 September 2016. link
  • International Conference on CO2 Utilisation - Sheffield, UK; 11-15 September 2016, link
  • AEM2016 conference on Energy Materials, Nanomaterials and Hydrogen Energy - Guildford, UK; 12-14 September 2016, link  
  • EERA Annual Conference - Birmingham, UK; 24-25 November 2016, link
  • Artificial Photosynthesis: Faraday Discussion - Kyoto, Japan; 28 February–2 March 2017, 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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