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Sujet de stage / Master 2 Internship

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Advanced X-ray microscopies applied to hematite-based photoanodes

Contact: STANESCU Dana, , dana.stanescu@cea.fr, +33 1 69 08 75 48
Summary:
This internship is proposed in the framework of a NanoSaclay project aiming to measure the hydrogen produced by solar water splitting using hematite and bismuth vanadate based photoanodes. STXM and XPEEM are used to characterize the chemistry and chemical coordination of the photoanode materials. A new operando setup adapted to the STXM instrument will be qualified.
Possibility of continuation in PhD: Oui
Deadline for application:26/04/2024

Full description:
Hydrogen can be produced by water splitting in an electrolysis cell, but a significant energy input is necessary to overcome the water redox couple (1.23 V). A novel idea inspired by photosynthesis, is solar water splitting, where sunlight is used to reduce the voltage bias necessary to split H2O molecule in H2 and O2. Hydrogen production by solar water splitting is a very attractive idea because it allows to directly store solar energy in the H2 chemical bonds using a clean method.1,2 In most cases, the electrochemical cell used for solar water splitting is filled with an aqueous electrolyte and contains three electrodes: an n-type semiconductor as the photoanode, a conventional metallic cathode and a reference electrode.
In the framework of “H2-re.SWSquant” project, founded by LABEX NanoSaclay, we seek an M2 intern who will have several missions. First, she/he will grow hematite (-Fe2O3) and bismuth vanadate (BiVO4) based photoanodes, using chemical aqueous methods (hydrothermal growth and electrodeposition)3–5. Second, the student will characterize the photocurrent produced by these photoanodes and quantify the hydrogen gas actually produced during the solar water splitting reaction. This will be further correlated with the chemical composition and electronic structure of photoanodes determined by ex situ Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy (STXM) and X-ray PhotoEmission Electron Microscopy (XPEEM) at the HERMES beamline from SOLEIL Synchrotron. A new operando electrochemical setup dedicated to the STXM instrument will be qualified. The internship will take place at two laboratories: the photoanodes growth, photocurrent and hydrogen measurements will be realized at CEA / IRAMIS / SPEC. Microscopy (STXM, XPEEM, SEM) and Raman spectroscopy experiments will be realized at SOLEIL synchrotron. The internship is funded by LABEX NanoSaclay and the intern will be administratively attached to SOLEIL synchrotron. The internship will be followed by a PhD work proposed in the framework of the OERKOP ANR project.

(https://iramis.cea.fr/spec/Phocea/Vie_des_labos/Ast/ast.php?t=projets&id_ast=3546 ).

Link SOLEIL: https://www.synchrotron-soleil.fr/fr/emplois/stage-projet-nanosaclay

1. Walter, M. G., Warren, E. L., McKone, J. R., Boettcher, S. W., Mi, Q., Santori, E. A. & Lewis, N. S. Chem. Rev. 110, 6446–6473 (2010).
2. Fujishima, A. & Honda, K. Nature 238, 37–38 (1972).
3. Stanescu, D., Piriyev, M., Villard, V., Mocuta, C., Besson, A., Ihiawakrim, D., Ersen, O., Leroy, J., Chiuzbaian, S. G., Hitchcock, A. P. & Stanescu, S. J. Mater. Chem. A 8, 20513–20530 (2020).
4. Packiaraj, R., Devendran, P., Asath Bahadur, S. & Nallamuthu, N. J. Mater. Sci. Mater. Electron. 29, 13265–13276 (2018).
5. Diaz-Morales, O., Ferrus-Suspedra, D. & Koper, M. T. M. Chem. Sci. 7, 2639–2645 (2016).
Technics/methods used during the internship:
STXM, XPEEM, SEM, Raman spectroscopy, photoanodes elaboration by chemical growth, photo-voltammetry, H2 chromatography

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