Metal Nanoparticles/POMs/Porphyrins hybrid photocatalysts for the reduction of nitrates


The main goal of this project is to develop a new class of synergistic hybrid (photo) electrocatalysts for multi-electron transfer reactions, comprising metal nanoparticles, polyoxometalates (POMs) and porphyrins, and explore their potential toward an efficient and selective reduction of nitrates into nitrogen under UV and visible light illumination.

The realization of this project can be decomposed into four tasks. The first objective is to prepare the POM and porphyrins compounds.

The second task consists in the preparation of nanohybrids of Pd nanoparticles, POMs and porphyrins functionalized on the electrode surface.

The third objective is to perform a kinetic and mechanistic study of the electrocatalytic properties of selected POM-porphyrin systems obtained in task 1 or Pd@POM and Pd@POM-porphyrins hybrids modified electrodes (task 2) toward the reduction of nitrate in aqueous electrolyte with a special emphasis on the selective conversion of NO3- to N2.

Finally, the photoelectrocatalytic performances of the functionalized surfaces will be studied under UV and visible (in the presence of photosensitizer such as porphyrin) light illumination respectively. Although an important environmental application is envisaged, this project will be focused on the fundamental understanding of the preparation and potentialities of this new class of catalysts rather than producing catalysts for industrial applications.