I am a first-year Graduate Student working in the lab of Prof. Stephen Bradforth at the Department of Chemistry at USC. The central project towards my PhD focuses on designing systems for generating solar fuels.
The energy demand of humankind is accelerating day by day. The scarce abundance and detrimental environmental impacts of fossil fuels demand continuing the search for new eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives. The substantial energy punch of sunlight can be further utilized to solve the energy puzzle. Prototypical solar fuels such as hydrogen, ammonia, and methanol are produced from water, carbon dioxide and the sunlight. As we can see, capturing and storing of sunlight energy is a holy grail in chemical sciences. Solar fuels stand apart from other liquid fuels due to their renewable nature and environmental benefits and complement stored electricity solutions. Photocatalysis is a method inspired by natural photosynthesis that uses sunlight to split water and produce hydrogen, an efficient solar fuel.