David Martin' Webpage

David Martin Postgraduate Researcher

Phone: +44 (0)20 7679 7683
Email: david.martin.09@ucl.ac.uk
Department of Chemical Engineering
University College London
Torrington Place
London WC1E 7JE
United Kingdom

David Martin received his first degree as a Master of Physics from the University of Liverpool in 2009. He specialised in Particle Physics whilst there, and worked at the LHCb experiment in CERN. He then changed focus after the first degree to nanoscale materials for environmental usage.

Research project

Title: A study into the production and use of nanoscale photocatalysts for water splitting

Supervisor: Dr Junwang Tang


In response to noticeable climate change and growing energy demands, many governments across the globe have pledged to drastically change the way they produce energy. One of the most promising solutions to these two concerns is solar energy conversion. The 3,850,000 EJ of solar radiation which the Earth absorbs in one year, dwarfs our current energy consumption (around 474 EJ per year). Harnessing this power and using it efficiently would provide us with enough clean, renewable energy, to last us indefinitely.

Production of hydrogen, which can be used as a clean fuel, stems from the decomposition of water. It was first reported in 1972, on a TiO2 electrode under ultra-violet (UV) radiation. However, UV light represents merely 4% of solar radiation that hits the Earth’s surface. Therefore the development of visible light-driven photocatalysts has become the major focus of researchers in the field.

The process of water splitting involves a complex interplay of defect chemistry, grain boundaries and other solid state features; the performance of photocatalysts also depends on their morphology and preparative history. Sophisticated synthetic approaches to homogenous and phase-pure nanoscale photocatalysts, with high surface area, uniform morphology and a high degree of crystallinity are also of great importance.

This project not only aims to develop a novel visible light-driven photocatalyst, but also to develop specialised production methods in order to enhance performance.

Selected Publications

Martin, D.; Li, K.; Tang, J., Conversion of Solar Energy to Fuels by Inorganic Heterogeneous Systems. Chinese Journal of Catalysis 2011, 32 (6), 879-890.

Page last modified on 22 sep 11 15:43