Graduate Scholarships and Post-doctoral Fellowships Available

The materials chemistry research group encourages top-rank post doctoral fellows, both national and international, to apply for the elite Banting and Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships to support their work in our group.

The applications can be found on the Banting and Vanier websites.

We also encourage Marie-Curie and Alexander von Humbolt fellows as well as other top rank international graduate and post-graduate scholars holding research fellowships to apply for positions in our group.

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Congratulations to Ab Jelle!

Well done Ab on your solar fuels paper published in Advanced Energy Materials, January 2018, where you demonstrate a highly efficient ambient temperature Solar Sabatier process whereby CO2 photomethanation is catalyzed by nanostructured RuO2 on a silicon photonic crystal support at the remarkable rate of 4.4 mmol gcat-1h-1. This exceptional photomethanation rate is due to the large surface area coupled with the unique light-trapping and broadband optical absorption properties of the photonic crystal support. Graphic illustration courtesy of Chenxi Qian.

More details about this study can be read here and the full article can be found on the Advanced Energy Materials website.

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Solar Fuels Team – Breaking News

The U of T Solar Fuels Team has been selected as one of 20 semi-finalists from 160 applicant’s world wide, in the Ontario Center of Excellence Solutions 2030 Challenge Phase 1 competition, to find technological solutions to the greenhouse gas emissions problem in Ontario.

The strategy proposed by the solar fuels team focuses on the development of light-powered processes for the conversion of  CO2 to synthetic fuels, via gas-phase heterogeneous hydrogenation photocatalysis. This goal of the project is to transition a laboratory CO2-to-fuels prototype to a scaled-up CO2-to-fuels demonstration unit.

Eight winning teams from Phase 1 will receive up to $250,000 in Phase 2 with 10 months to reduce their proposed solution to practice. The winning team in Phase 2 will be eligible for up to $3,000,000 Phase 3 funding to bring their transformative technology to market. The mandate of the Solutions 2030 Challenge is for winning teams and industry to collaborate and envision a path forward to tackle climate change in Ontario and around the world.

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Pores for Thought: Stand Up and Be Counted

Zheng-Min Wang, Wendong Wang and Geoffrey Ozin have discovered a synthetic pathway to a sandwich-type nanocomposite of reduced graphene oxide and periodic mesoporous silica in which mesochannels of silica vertically align with respect to the graphene layers with tunable mesochannel depth and size. Deep insight into the formation mode of this novel class of materials obtains from a high photon flux small angle X-ray scattering technique and zeta potential-based solution chemistry, Advanced Functional Materials 2017, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201704066

A summary of this work can be read here.

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UofT’s Solar Fuels Cluster: Where Did We Come From and Where are We Going?

To wrap up 2017, a summary of the Ozin group’s past, present, and future work is presented. Our work from Si nanocrystals, to our transition into solar fuels, and our vision of a circular carbon economy can be read here.

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Congratulations Anabelle!

Well done Annabelle, Wei and Chenxi, Ab, Yuchan and Ziqi on your front cover graphic illustration of your paper entitled Tailoring CO2 Reduction with Doped Silicon Nanocrystals published in The article can be read on the Advanced Sustainable Systems, 2017, 1(11), DOI: 10.1002/adsu201700118, where you demonstrate gas-phase CO2 reduction using hydride-terminated boron- and phosphorus-doped silicon nanocrystals, comprised of earth-abundant, low-cost and non-toxic elements. The CO2 reduction activity of silicon nanocrystals doubled with the addition of dopants. Front cover graphic illustration courtesy of Chenxi Qian.

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Solar fuel breakthroughs showcased in new art exhibit in Vienna

Austria’s Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna opening in December will showcase a diorama of Prof. Ozin’s vision of a closed carbon cycle.

More can be read on the University of Toronto website (I, II).

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Opalux and DeLaRue Announce Partnership

Andre Arsenault, Hernan Miguez, Ian Manners and Geoffrey Ozin co-invented photonic color technology, in the Chemistry Department, University of Toronto. In 2006, together they co-founded Opalux in order to develop the technology for a range of new and exciting applications.

Opalux today is the world’s leading developer and manufacturer of tunable photonic crystals. On the 24th October 2017, they proudly announced that the company has entered into a strategic partnership with De La Rue, the world’s leading anti-counterfeiting and security specialist for currency, identity and brand protection. The partnership will incorporate joint product development and sales on a global basis.

Commenting on the new partnership, Ulrich Walter, the Product Managing Director De La Rue’s Security Features and Identity Portfolio said: ‘As a security business, we spend every day staying ahead of the counterfeiter across currency, identity, tax stamps and brand protection. One of our core strategic priorities is to grow our security features portfolio by investing in research and development, as well as partnerships. Opalux has an exciting technology that we believe can play a significant role for our global customers, as part of an integrated portfolio and multiple solutions from De La Rue.’

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Tailoring CO2 Reduction with Doped Silicon Nanocrystals

Congratulations Annabelle, Wei and Chenxi as well as Ab, Yuchan and Ziqi on your Advanced Sustainable Systems paper entitled Tailoring CO2 Reduction with Doped Silicon Nanocrystals!!

In this work, silicon nanocrystals doped with varying combinations of phosphorous and boron were investigated for the heterogeneous photoreduction of CO2. The observed trends in stability and activity open new pathways towards the development of sustainable CO2 conversion catalysts.

The article can be read on the Advanced Sustainable Systems website.

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Increasing the Supply of Renewable Electricity Creates Potential Energy Storage Applications for Synthetic Fuels

With the push towards renewable power generation and electrification, energy storage will likely require improvements to facilitate the increased electricity generation. In this op-ed, Prof. Ozin describes the potential for CO2 derived hydrocarbons as one of several energy storage techniques of the future.

An early version of the article can be read on the Advanced Science News website.

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Battery Power: Electricity and Chemicals from CO2

Different CO2 utilization technologies are currently of interest as it is unlikely for just one technology to be the solution for climate change, but rather the combination of many sustainable technologies. In this op-ed, Geoff introduces the concept of Li-CO2 batteries as a utilization of CO2. The battery is proposed to reversibly cycle between Li + CO2 and Li2CO3 + C for charging and discharging.

This article can be read on the Advanced Science News website.

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