Solar Fuels Network Newsletter
Issue 9, December 2015


Steph Pendlebury, SFN Project Manager, Imperial College London  

Welcome to the ninth Solar Fuels Network newsletter!  We’re currently finalising the programme for the 4th UK Solar Fuels Symposium, which will be held in Cambridge on Friday 22nd January 2016.  Chaired by Erwin Reisner and Junwang Tang, this free symposium will be an excellent opportunity to network with fellow researchers and hear about the latest solar fuels developments in the UK.  

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

4th UK Solar Fuels Symposium

Contact: Jane Leung ( 
Bursary application deadline: 31 December 2015 - SFN travel bursary
Registration deadline: Friday 8th January 2016 - Register here


Solar Fuels Network and FOTOFUEL Meet for the First Time

Dr Pau Farras
NUI Galway

Madrid, or more exactly Getafe, hosted the 25/26th of November the First workshop on nanostructured materials for light harvesting technologies: from solar fuels to energy storage. The event was organised at IMDEA Materials Institute and was the first meeting of the kind for the Spanish network on solar fuels (FOTOFUEL).. Continue reading Pau's report.

Solar Hydrogen Education Kit bought for outreach events

Madeleine Morris
Imperial College London

For the 3rd year running, there was a ‘solar energy’ stall at the Imperial Festival run by volunteers from the chemistry department of Imperial College London, led by the James Durrant group. The Imperial Festival is a 3-day event held at the South Kensington Campus, this year from 8th-10th May. As well as invited ‘VIP’ guests and Imperial College alumni, the Festival is open to the general public... Continue reading Madeleine's report.

TSRC workshop “Structure and Function of the
Hydrogenase Mimics”

Manuela Gross
University of Cambridge

TSRC workshops are usually very small meetings, with typically around 25 scientists being invited to the mountain town of Telluride (Colorado, USA) to discuss their latest research. The first TSRC workshop on the topic of “Structure and Function of the Hydrogenase Mimics” was organised by Dr Wendy Shaw and Dr Monte Helm from the Pacific Northwestern National Lab, who succeeded to gather the experts in the field for this weeklong meeting... Continue reading Manuela's report.

Christian Doppler Symposium on Solar Fuels

Shiwei Lin
University of Manchester

The Christian Doppler Symposium on Solar Fuels has taken place on 18 September 2015 at St. John’s College in University of Cambridge. Twelve scientists in artificial photosynthesis have been invited to discuss the challenges of and possible pathways to a working solar fuels device this time. The one-day symposium included four sessions: CO2 transformation, biological systems, materials and devices, and spectroscopy... Continue reading Shiwei's report.


Solar Fuels Network Celebrates 10 years of Energy Futures Lab


On the 17th November Energy Futures Lab, the first of Imperial College London’s Global Institutes, had its 10th Anniversary. The festivities included an exhibition showcasing and celebrating energy research at Imperial College and a lecture on the Past, Present and Future for Energy Futures Lab and Imperial College. The lecture was presented by Professor Tim Green, the Director of Energy Futures Lab, including other speakers such as Professor Nilay Shah, Professor Geoff Maitland, Professor Anthony Kucernak and Dr Ned Ekins-Daukes. The lecture video is available to watch here.


The Solar Fuels Network had a stand at the exhibition which attracted a large number of people. Several PhD students and post-docs involved in solar fuels research in the Durrant Group at Imperial talked to VIP guests, staff students and alumni about solar energy and artificial photosynthesis.  A demonstration electrolyser/hydrogen fuel cell unit attracted a lot of attention!


#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.
  • 4th UK Solar Fuels Symposium  - Cambridge; 22 January 2016, link
  • ENERCHEM-1 - Firenze, Italy; 18 - 20 February 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
  • Solar Fuels Generation PV and Electrolysis Workshop - Newark, United States; 7-8 March 2016, link
  • 9th European meeting on Solar Chemistry and Photocatalysis: Environmental Applications (SPEA9) - Strasbourg, France; 13-17 June 2016, link
  • Solarstor: Storage development for Solar Energy Grid-scale applications - London, UK; 12th April 2016, link
  • IPS-21: 21-st International Conference on Photochemical Conversion and Storage of Solar Energy - St. Petersburg, Russia; 25 - 29 July 2016, link.
Please note that travel bursary applications are not restricted to the conferences/symposia listed here.
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