Picture caption:  From right to left: Symposium A Organizers: Lionel VAYSSIERES (International Research Center for Renewable Energy-Xi’an Jiaotong University) & Flavio Leandro DE SOUZA (Universidade Federal do ABC); Tomiko SUZUKI (Toyota Central R&D Labs)  and Antoni LLOBET (ICIQ)

… a group from Toyota Central R&D Laboratories!

Monday, May 27, was the first day of the Symposium A “Latest Advances in Solar Fuels”, at the European Materials Research Society (E-MRS) in Nice, France. The session aimed at providing an interdisciplinary forum for the latest R&D activities on sustainable solar hydrogen generation. Top worldwide academic scientists and engineers in the field addressed the latest advances in fundamental understanding, as well as the performance and stability of efficient catalytic systems. In the evening, there was a poster session, where SUNRISE sponsored a poster prize. A dozen outstanding posters were exposed, and it was not easy to identify the best one. In the end, SUNRISE Consortium members Dr. Artur Braun from Empa – Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, and Prof. Antoni Llobet from Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ) decided that the following poster from Toyota should be the winner: Ni-modified β-FeOOH(Cl) nanorod for water oxidation toward solar-driven CO2 reduction system combined with Mn-complex catalyst Authors: Tomiko M. Suzuki, Takeo Arai, Shunsuke Sato, Keita Sekizawa, *Takeshi Morikawa Affiliations: Toyota Central R&D Labs., Inc.

Resume: The development of catalysts incorporating earth abundant elements for oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is important for the artificial photosynthesis to generate useful chemicals such as hydrogen and organic compounds. Here, we report a highly crystalline, 10 nm-sized red rust OER catalyst composed of pure β-phase FeOOH(Cl) nanorods doped with Ni ions (β-FeOOH:Ni) [1] and surface-modified with amorphous Ni(OH)2, which can be synthesized by a facile one-pot process at room temperature. An electrode composed of β-FeOOH:Ni/Ni(OH)2 nanorods, in which there is interaction between Fe atoms and Ni species, generates an OER current of 10 mA/cm2 at an overpotential of 430 mV in 0.1 M KOH (without subtracting the iR drop). This performance is superior to those exhibited by Fe-rich oxide and oxyhydroxide catalysts [2]. We subsequently demonstrated photoelectrochemical CO2 to CO reduction with 3.4 % solar-to-chemical conversion efficiency by combination with earth-abundant catalysts; the β-FeOOH:Ni/a-Ni(OH)2 catalyst and a Mn-complex polymer for CO2 reduction [3] were connected with polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic cells around neutral pH in a single-compartment reactor [4].

Thank you so much to all the participants for taking part in our contest! Although there could only be one SUNRISE poster prize winner, we are honored to support such an insightful event that recognizes the professional and technical excellence in the technological developments of functional materials! Congratulations to the winning group!

References: [1] T. M. Suzuki, et al., Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2017, 1, 636-643, [2] T. M. Suzuki, et al., Bull. Chem. Soc. Jpn., 2018, 91, 778-786, [3] S. Sato, et al., ACS Catal., 2018, 8, 4452-4458, [4] T. Arai, et al., Chem.Commun., 2019, 55, 237-240