Chengyue Sun, 2013, Chemical and Biological Engineering

This summer I conducted research in Professor Koel’s group on the photocatalysis of water using manganese oxide doped zinc oxide nanoparticles as a co-catalyst. This project has the potential to provide new and more effective catalysts for the synthesis of hydrogen gas. Previous experiments were conducted on the topic, but only with a low manganese oxide content of about 5% to 10%; I investigated the effect of increasing the manganese oxide content to 50%. I synthesized nanoparticles via different routes, analyzed the products using surface science techniques and studied their performance using a three-electrode photoelectrochemical (PEC) cell. Through this interhsip I learned techniques on the synthesis of nanoparticles and on how to operate the machines used for surface science analysis. Working with Professor Koel’s group has been a great experience.