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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UofT Solar Fuels Cluster

The U of T Solar Fuels Cluster is an interdisciplinary research team devoted to developing scalable, cost effective materials solutions towards using CO2 as a chemical feedstock for valuable products. Leveraging the expertise of some of Canada’s leading chemists, engineers, and material scientists, we hope to initiate a paradigm-shifting zero-emission CO2 economy.

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Congratulations to Professor Ozin and co-authors on their article published in Energy & Environmental Science

Tailoring the performance of a photocatalyst by design is challenge in the field of renewable synthetic fuels. In this work, the authors demonstrate how polymorphic heterostructures comprised of two indium oxide based photocatalysts, with distinct structures yet continuously adjustable fractions of the same composition, enable optimization of the activity and selectivity of CO2 hydrogenation to CO and CH3OH. Interfaces formed between cubic and rhombohedral polymorphs with distinct electronic band structures, vacancies, and defects enable the charge generation, separation, and lifetimes of photogenerated electron-hole pairs to be finely tuned.
See full article at Energy and Environmental Science.

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Congratulations to Xiaoliang Yan and co-authors on the publication of their communication article in Small

1D silicon‐based nanomaterials, renowned for their unique chemical and physical properties, have enabled the development of numerous advanced materials and biomedical technologies. In this work, the authors demonstrate a flash solid–solid (FSS) process for the synthesis of silicon oxide nanorods that can be completed within seconds. The innovative features of this FSS process include its simplicity, speed, and exclusive use of solid precursors, comprising hydrogen‐terminated silicon nanosheets and a metal nitrate catalyst.
See full article at Small.

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Congratulations Yuchan Dong and co-authors on their recently published Chemical Society Review paper, celebrating Geoff’s 77th birthday and winning the front cover display of one of the highest impact factor journals in the field of chemistry

Powering the planet with sunlight-driven CO2 chemistry is an especially attractive approach for sustainable development. In this Tutorial Review, Yuchan Dong and co-authors highlight the multidisciplinary character of photocatalytic CO2 reduction studies from the perspective of materials chemistry, science and engineering, computational modelling, reactor engineering to process development. It provides a full picture of all the essential components for scaling laboratory research to pilot demonstration to implementation in industry, one-step closer to the vision of the solar CO2 refinery.
See full article at Chemical Society Review.

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Congratulations Young Li and co-authors on their recently published paper

In this work, Young Li and co-authors report how a conformal coating of the well-documented catalyst promotor barium on the surface of palladium-decorated tungsten oxide nanowires was developed using a solution‐phase atomic layer deposition process. At just 0.2 atomic percent barium, a significant promotion of the light‐assisted activity of the reverse water gas shirt reaction was observed.
See full article at Chemistry-A European Journal.

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Congratulations to the authors of “Solution–Liquid–Solid Growth and Catalytic Applications of Silica Nanorod Arrays

As an analogue to the vapor–liquid–solid process, the solution–liquid–solid (SLS) method offers a mild solution‐phase route to colloidal 1D nanostructures with controlled sizes, compositions, and properties. Direct growth of 1D nanostructure arrays through SLS processes remains in its infancy. This study shows that SLS processes are also suitable for the growth of nanorod arrays on the substrate.
See full article at Advanced Science.

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The three colors of hydrogen

Everybody knows that H2, the archetype diatomic molecule, is a colorless gas. In the field of renewable energy however, hydrogen gas is now considered as either “grey”, “blue”, or “green”. This color code descriptor has arisen in order to differentiate hydrogen according to its source, in particular to distinguish hydrogen derived from fossil sources from that derived from renewable energy. Today, exciting steps are being made towards realizing this vision of a hydrogen-powered zero emission infrastructure. See full article at Advanced Science News.

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Are we dehumanizing chemistry?

A new paradigm is emerging in the way materials are discovered on a computer and made in the laboratory. Computational searches can now be designed to aid the experimental discovery stage of a new material with a designated set of properties considered ideal for a particular application. On-line robot chemists can reduce these materials discovery pathways to practice thereby completing an accelerated materials discovery process. Is this what the future of chemistry holds for its creative inquisitive practitioners? See full article at Advanced Science News.

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What ever happened to combinatorial materials discovery?

It is not exactly clear whether the exciting potential of combinatorial chemistry research and development in the 1990s led to new products. After about a decade or so of intense activity and excitement, the field seemed to fade away. Today, synthetic chemists, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, supercomputers, computer simulations, and robotics appeared on our radar. At breakneck speed they started to take off where combinatorial chemistry had left off and the self-driving chemistry laboratory and artificial chemist made their debut. It will be very interesting to see if the “next industrial revolution” will be spawned by this new wave of computational materials research. See full article at Advanced Science News.

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Getting a charge out of liquid metal batteries

A novel concept in reversible chemical to electrical energy storage is the liquid metal battery, in which a metal anode, metal cathode, and salt electrolyte are all in the liquid phase. Although the liquid metal battery is heavy, it could be more suitable for large scale electricity storage. In this article, Geoffrey Ozin explains the operation, advantages, and potential impact of liquid metal battery technology. See full article at Advanced Science News.

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Flying high on carbon dioxide: Decarbonizing aviation

In a pilot plant demonstration of the EU-project Sun-to-Liquid, a solar thermochemical process has been successfully scaled to a solar tower in Madrid, leading to the first-ever production facility for making synthetic kerosene from water and carbon using concentrated solar energy. This pioneering development is at the foundation of the partnership of the two ETH spinoffs, Climeworks and Synhelion, with Lufthansa who are working to commercialize and implement the technologies at an industrial scale for direct air capture and solar fuels production. See full article at Advanced Science News.

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