SOFI’s Collaborative Exchanges represent a new way of sharing and developing research across institutions and across the world.


In the latest Exchange, work between SOFI member the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) and Solar Fuels Network (SFN) member Mark Symes at the University of Glasgow will test several metal-chalcogenide proton reduction catalysts. JCAP will send its films to Symes’ research group, which will test their materials in a device to determine their long-term performance and develop strategies to minimize catalyst degradation. The Glasgow team has facilities to test device-scale electrodes over extended times and a range of temperatures and current densities. This exchange all began when Symes saw Fadl Saadi, graduate student at California Institute of Technology, speak at the SOFI/SFN workshop after the Gordon Conference. Saadi works in Nathan Lewis’ group and is part of JCAP. He was describing his catalysts, and mentioned that they hadn't really tried them at high current densities or for extended periods. “I thought, ‘That's something I bet we could do at Glasgow,’” Symes says. “So I went and spoke to him and agreed that they'd send us some samples and we'd try some things out.” Symes is excited about this collaboration for personal reasons, but also because of what can be learned. “I'm looking to raise my academic profile and it would be awesome to have a joint paper with the guys at JCAP,” he says. “It would also be interesting from a scientific point of view to see how these metal-chalcogenide catalysts hold up under some pretty harsh operating conditions.”


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