A prestigious EXPRO project will focus on single-atom 2D photocatalysts - Catrin

A prestigious EXPRO project will focus on single-atom 2D photocatalysts

The Czech Science Foundation has financed ten new EXPRO projects starting this year, one of which is conducted at CATRIN. Patrik Schmuki, a world-renowned scientist in the field of photoelectrochemistry, has won funding of almost 50 million Czech koruna to support his research on single-atom 2D photocatalysts.

“I am greatly looking forward to implementing this project. We have a unique opportunity to realize a longstanding dream in chemistry by arranging single atoms on suitable surfaces to create exceptional reactivity. This grant will enable our team to compete strongly with research groups working in this area around the world. Our efforts in single-atom manipulation will focus on producing hydrogen, the fuel of the future, using only sunlight and water or even sunlight and waste. We aim to do this simply by adding a small amount of a cheap and environmentally friendly ‘magic powder’— a photocatalyst—to the aqueous solution,” said Schmuki.

The team’s two main challenges over the next five years will be to explore the interactions between single-atom-based cocatalysts and thin-semiconductor photocatalytic surfaces, and to understand the behaviours of single atom cocatalysts in order to identify the most efficient surfaces for photocatalytic and electrochemical reactions.

The aim of EXPRO grants, which are intended primarily for experienced researchers, is to create the conditions for the development of excellent research. One of the requirements for the principal investigator is to submit an application for an ERC grant. Ten projects were funded in last year’s competition – three at Masaryk University and two each at the institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences, CTU in Prague, and Charles University. In total, over 450 million Czech koruna has been allocated for their implementation.

Martina Šaradínová
Monika Klimparová
January 18, 2023