Webinar title: The Development of Sustainable Photocatalysts

Speaker: Jimmy C. Yu

Webinar time: May 21, 2024 (Tuesday) 10:00

Venue: Room 200, New Environmental Building

Inviter: Hao Li, Lizhi Zhang


Photocatalysis is an emerging technology for solar-induced chemical conversion and pollution treatment. This presentation will focus on the preparation and application of metal-free photocatalysts from the most abundant elements such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. Interestingly, we can learn a lot from nature. The original atmosphere of the Earth was rich in methane and ammonia, and that could be considered as sources of carbon and nitrogen. It has been confirmed that a nitrogen-doped carbon photocatalyst could be obtained directly from NH3 and CH4 gases by plasma-enhanced chemical-vapor-deposition. This would suggest that photocatalysis might play an important role in the development of geological and atmospheric chemistry during the Archean era. Of course, a more sustainable approach for preparing carbon-based photocatalysts nowadays is to get them from biomass such as agricultural waste and used paper. Phosphorus is another widespread element, and there are approximately 100 billion tons of it on Earth. This element is important for agriculture as it is a major plant nutrient. It can exist in three kinds of allotropes including white, black and red P. We reported in 2012 that red P could be used for photocatalytic water splitting. Thereafter, a series of studies have confirmed that the amorphous and crystalline forms of red P are very promising photocatalysts, especially under visible light irradiation. Some of the recent advances in the fabrication of high-efficiency phosphorus photocatalysts and their energy and environmental applications will be discussed.

About the speaker:

Jimmy C. Yu is Research Professor and Emeritus Choh-Ming Li Professor of Chemistry at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Before retiring from teaching, he was Head of United College from 2012 to 2022. Prof. Yu is a leading scientist in photocatalysis research, and he holds several patents on the fabrication and application of photocatalytic nanomaterials. As a highly cited researcher, Prof. Yu has received numerous honors including a State Natural Science Award and Chang Jiang Scholar Chair Professorship.