Z-scheme photocatalyst with yolk-shell colloidal crystal structure for energy and depollution applications

Posted: April 28, 2017 in Apr-Jun Deadline, Chemistry, Europe, France, Natural Sciences, PhD, Physics
Tags: ,
Material Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Photonics
Host institution
Other institution
Université Paris-Saclay
Doctoral school


Project summary

Heterogeneous photocatalysis has become a subject of great interest with important potential applications in environment (water and air depollution), solar energy conversion and solar fuel production (mainly H2). Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is the most investigated and used semiconductor because of its high photocatalytic activity, stability, low cost, and nontoxicity. Solar light is a green and renewable source of energy that can be used for either water depollution or hydrogen production.

The main challenge of the PhD project will be the design of bioinspired Z-scheme photocatalyst with a Yolk-Schell structure that exhibit high photocatalytic activity for water treatment and hydrogen generation under visible light. The Z-scheme photocatalyst design appears as a promising strategy to mimic Nature (leafs-bioinspired) for hydrogen production and depollution applications.


The scalable Z-scheme photocatalyst with an heteronanostructure based on coupling TiO2 with semiconductors having variable band gap and non-noble nanoparticles will be carried out using soft-chemistry (sol-gel process) and radiolysis. A strict control of the synthesis conditions will be performed to adjust the heterojunction connection and nanoparticles to achieve an efficient charge carriers transfer between materials. The Z-scheme photocatalyst will be finally self-assembled as a photonic crystal and the slow photon effect will be also studied.

The charge carriers’ mobility, texture, structure, photocatalytic efficiency as well as the optical properties of the obtained materials will be characterized using Time Resolved Microwave Conductivity (TRMC), UV-visible spectroscopy, TEM, FTIR spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy.

The expected synergistic effect between the heterojunction and the non-metallic nanoparticles will be assessed for hydrogen production and depollution process.

Skills required



– Highly Active Poly(3-hexylthiophene) Nanostructures for Photocatalysis under Solar Light. Floresyona, D.; Goubard, F.; Aubert, P.-H.; Lampre,I.; Jérémie Mathurin, J.; Dazzi, A.; Ghosh, S.; Beaunier, P.; Brisset, F.; Remita,S.; Ramos, L.; Remita, H. Appl. Cat. B. Env. 200 56–71 (2017) – Surface Modification of TiO2 with Ag Nanoparticles and CuO Nanoclusters for Application in Photocatalysis. Méndez-Medrano, M. G.; Kowalska, E.; Lehoux, A.; Herissan, A.; Ohtani, B.; Bahena, D.; Briois, V.; Colbeau-Justin, C.; Rodriguez-López, J. L.; Remita, H. J. Phys. Chem. C 120:5143−5154 (2016) – Surface Modification of TiO2 with Au Nanoclusters for Efficient Water Treatment and Hydrogen Generation under Visible Light M. G. Méndez-Medrano, E. Kowalska, A. Lehoux, A. Herissan, B. Ohtani, S. Rau∥, C. Colbeau-Justin, J. L. Rodríguez-López, H. Remita J. Phys. Chem. C, 120 25010–25022 (2016) – Conducting polymer nanostructures for photocatalysis under visible light. Ghosh, S.; Kouamé, N.A.; Ramos, L.; Remita, S.; Dazzi, A.; Deniset-Besseau, A.; Beaunier, P.; Goubard, F.; Aubert, P.-H.; Remita, H. Nat. Mater. 14:505−511 (2015) – Tailored refractive index of inorganic mesoporous mixed-oxide Bragg stacks with bio-inspired hygrochromic optical properties. Ghazzal, M.N., Deparis, O., De Coninck, J., Gaigneaux, E.M. Journal of Materials Chemistry C 1:6202−6209 (2013) – Porosity control and surface sensitivity of titania/silica mesoporous multilayer coatings: Applications to optical Bragg resonance tuning and molecular sensing. Ghazzal, M.N., Deparis, O., Errachid, A., Kebaili, H., Simonis, P., Eloy, P., Vigneron, J.P., De Coninck, J., Gaigneaux, E.M. J. Mater. Chem. 22:25302−25310 (2012)


bioinspired material, metallic nanoparticle, photonic crystal, photocatalysis, hydrogen, smart coating, fuel cell


Application deadline 19/05/17

Duration48 months

Start date02/10/17

Creation date27/04/17

For Further Info:

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