Dasog group research interests primarily lie in the development of materials for solar light absorption, solar fuels generation, and plasmonic applications. They can be broadly classified under the following themes.
Our research group employs solid-state and sol-gel methods to synthesize elemental and alloyed nanoparticles, as well as metal carbide, nitride, and oxynitride nanomaterials. We perform mechanistic investigations to understand the formation of these nanostructures and to gain morphological and compositional control.
Solar light absorption
Harvesting the Sun’s energy and converting it into electricity or chemical fuels holds promise for addressing current and future energy demands. One of the key components of a solar conversion device is a light absorbing material. We aim to engineer the light absorber morphology in order to enhance the light trapping and carrier collection, while reducing the amount and purity of the required material. These mesostructures are fabricated using a variety of methods, such as electrodeposition, hydrothermal precipitation, and physical vapor deposition, among others. The structural properties are determined using standard characterization techniques (electron microscopy, reflectance, quantum efficiency, etc.) and the performance evaluated by integrating the materials into a photovoltaic or photoelectrochemical conversion device.
While a light absorber (semiconductor) allows for the conversion of absorbed photons into excited carriers, a catalyst is required to improve the kinetics of the desired solar fuel generating reactions. Our lab develops various Earth-abundant electro-catalysts and photo-catalysts for water splitting reactions. Furthermore, we are exploring catalysts for oxygen-reduction reactions for fuel cells and the oxidation of organic compounds for water remediation.
Plasmonic nanomaterials are a special class of metamaterials that can enhance solar light harvesting and fuel formation efficiencies. They can be further used for photothermal therapy and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Our lab is working on developing ceramic plasmonic materials that are robust and cheaper than their gold and silver counterparts.