Plasmonically enhanced photocatalysis for generating solar fuels
North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Project start: June 2019
AMO, ZBT, IUTA, Temicon and NB Technologies are founding partners of the project HyperSol. The project addresses the climate change resulting from CO2.
The project's aim is to transform CO2 into solar fuels using a photocatalytic process and to feed these into the cycle of regenerative energy carriers. In the project, a synergetic combination of hybrid plasmonics and photocatalytic semiconductors is investigated to improve the efficiency of generating solar fuels like methanol and methane for energy storage and as fuel for mobility. The partners will combine their strengths in semiconductor- and nanotechnology, as well as new materials with advanced approaches concerning reactor technology.
This project is funded by the EFRE European Regional Development Fund within the program “Leitmarkt NeueWerkstoffe”.
The HyperSol project gathers five organizations from North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany:
AMO GmbH, Aachen
AMO is a non-profit SME with the mission to open the way to innovations arising from convergence of technologies. Particularly the convergence between micro- and optoelectronics is addressed and the exploitation of innovations potentials emerging from there.
AMO runs a class 10 to class 1000 cleanroom with a total area of 400 m². Here, high end fabrication equipment for semiconductor technology is operated in a highly flexible way to enable high quality nanofabrication, quick process changes and unconventional solutions.
AMO is the coordinating partner for the project HyperSol.
IUTA e.V., Duisburg
IUTA is a research institute in the field of energy and environmental technology and forms the bridge between basic research and industrial application.
The approximately 120 employees mainly work on application-oriented R&D projects with industrial partners. To support application-oriented research, basic-oriented projects are also carried out with universities and other research institutions.
ZBT GmbH, Duisburg
The hydrogen and fuel cell center ZBT is one of the leading research institutes in Europe for fuel cell and hydrogen technologies and a sought-after R&D partner in both European and national cutting-edge research as well as in industrial projects focusing on automotive applications and stationary power generation.
For the approx. 100 employees at ZBT an outstanding technical infrastructure is available, which includes production facilities, test facilities, chemical laboratories and high-tech analytics.
temicon GmbH, Dortmund
Temicon is leading manufacturer of micro- and nano structured foils, components and functional surfaces. Since the company was founded in 2005 it has consistently established its universally unique technology platform in the fields of microstructuring, nanostructuring, electroforming, injection molding and roll-nano-imprint. The company is a pioneer for the photolithographic origination of micro- and nanostructured patterns on large, seamless surfaces and for the replication by roll-imprint.
NB Technologies GmbH, Bonn
NBT provides consultancy, development and supporting services for semiconductor and microsystem technologies, solar industry, machine- and plant construction, telecommunications, nanobiotechnology and medical engineering.
In addition to our employees' know-how, a well-established network consisting of leading research and development institutions and companies in the fields of plant construction, chemical engineering and production, enables the consistency of optimal results.
End of project
30. September 2022
Unfortunately, today is the last day of the HyperSol project. We thank you very much for the good cooperation with the project consortium in the last almost 3.5 years. Hopefully we will see each other again soon in a follow-up project!
MNE2022 Conference in Leuven
23. September 2022
We were successful at MNE2022 in Leuven with a poster presentation entitled "Solar Fuel Generation from CO2 Reduction using Photocatalytic Devices based on Plasmonic Nanodisc Arrays". There were very fruitful scientific exchanges with various conference attendees to enable even more potential from the photocatalytic panels. Furthermore, we have received a lot of new inspirations from presentations, which we are looking forward to implement in the future.
Hope to see you at MNE2022!
09. May 2022
In the meantime, we have been testing several prototype panels with different plasmonic metals. This has resulted in several new outcomes, which we plan to publish soon. We plan to show first results at the conference "Micro and Nanoengineering 2022" (MNE2022). For this we have submitted an abstract, which is now under review. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
First results with the laboratory test setup
01. December 2021
The test setup at ZBT is now ready to measure the reactions between CO2, H2O and the photocatalytic prototype panels. For the moment we are using additional isopropanol to enhance the reactions, as they were otherwise not measurable with the mass spectrometer at the setup. First results show signs of CO, H2 and CH4! Thus, we are a big step further towards the project goal. However, we need to further analyze and understand the results.
The reactor setup at ZBT
Schematic of the reactor
Working conditions in the time of Covid-19
19. May 2020
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the planned project meeting on May 7th at temicon GmbH, Dortmund was instead held as a virtual meeting. Regular online conferences with the partners will enable information exchange and results discussion even in the home office. At AMO GmbH, a shift system was introduced to limit the number of employees in the cleanroom while keeping the facilities operational.
Kick-off meeting in Aachen
25. June 2019
The partners gather at AMO GmbH in Aachen for the first HyperSol project meeting. They are looking forward to the collaboration in addressing this environmentally significant topic.
Dr. Ulrich Plachetka – Project coordinator
52074 Aachen, Germany
Telephone: +49 (0) 241 - 8867 202
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Gesellschaft für Angewandte Mikro- und Optoelektronik mbH
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Max Christian Lemme, Dr. rer. nat. Michael Hornung
Telephone: +49 (0) 241 – 8867 200
Telefax: +49 (0) 241 – 8867 560
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