THE FALK-PLAUT LECTURES - Dan Nocera
(Lecture 1 of 2)
Presented by Daniel Nocera, Harvard University
Hosted by Gerard Parkin
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 Agenda
1:30pm Meet the Speaker - Room 328 Havemeyer
4:00pm Tea and Cookies - Room 328 Havemeyer
4:30pm Seminar: The Artificial Leaf - Room 209 Havemeyer
5:30pm Reception - 7th Floor Lounge Havemeyer
The Artificial Leaf
An artificial leaf performs direct solar-to-fuels conversion via the splitting of water to hydrogen and oxygen. The device comprises a silicon wafer coated with self-healing catalysts based on Mn, Co and Ni. The artificial leaf is a buried junction, in which the rectifying junction is protected from solution or buried. Whereas water splitting catalysis is combined with charge separation, current rectification, and photovoltage generation in a conventional photoelectrochemical cell (PEC), in a buried junction device, catalysis is separated from current rectification, charge separation, and photovoltage generation, which occur at the internal junction. The buried junction PEC cell is free from many of the design limitations of a traditional PECs. This talk will focus on these advantages and will establish the importance of matching the electrochemical load of the water splitting catalyst to the current density of the PV. The results draw a clear link between the kinetic profile of the water splitting catalysis and the photovoltaic power curves such that high solar-to-fuels efficiencies may be achieved.
Daniel G. Nocera is the Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy at Harvard University. His group examines the mechanisms of energy conversion in biology and chemistry. He has recently accomplished a solar fuels process that captures many of the elements of photosynthesis and he has now translated this science to produce an artificial leaf, which was named by Time Magazine as Innovation of the Year for 2011. This discovery sets the stage for a storage mechanism for the large scale, distributed, deployment of solar energy. He has been awarded the Eni Prize, IAPS Award, Burghausen Prize, Elizabeth Wood Award and the United Nations Science and Technology Award and from the American Chemical Society the Awards in Inorganic Chemistry, Harrison Howe and Remsen Awards, for his contributions to the development of renewable energy. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Indian Academy of Sciences. He was named as 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time Magazine and was 11th on the New Statesmans list on the same topic. Nocera is a frequent guest on TV and radio, he is regularly featured in print and he was in the feature length film Cool It, which premiered in the U.S. in November 2010. His 2006 PBS show was nominated for an Emmy Award, and the show was used as a pilot to launch the PBS NOVA show, ScienceNow. In 2008, he founded Sun Catalytix, a company committed to bringing personalized energy to the non-legacy world.