top of page

I am incredibly grateful for the support of the Solar Chemical Network, which made my participation to the “Renewable Energy: Solar Fuels" series by the Gordon Research Conference possible. For anyone looking to make meaningful connections and drive their research forward in a collaborative, supportive environment, I believe the GRC is an event not to be missed.

The 2024 conference showcased cutting-edge materials, catalysts, system designs, and an enhanced understanding of their functions. It fostered a collaborative environment for both emerging and established researchers, featuring discussions, poster sessions, and opportunities for informal exchanges, promoting interdisciplinary exchanges.

A notable area of discussion was the reduction of CO2 on semiconductor surfaces, particularly silicon, and the use of molecular catalysts. The presentations explored the fundamental concepts and design strategies necessary for integrating semiconductors with molecular catalysts to facilitate the production of solar fuels. Emphasis was placed on modifying molecular catalysts, with a focus on cobalt-based materials, to precisely control the catalyst's local environment at a molecular level, thereby directing reactivity towards desired pathways.

Additionally, the importance of bipolar membranes in the development of solar fuels was highlighted, underscoring their potential to significantly enhance the efficiency and feasibility of these technologies. The discussions also focused on operando studies, emphasizing the critical need to understand the mechanisms and kinetics at interfaces and nanoscale levels while also considering the implications of scaling up the devices on the kinetics and selectivity of the processes. Several talks showcased the promising future of operando studies, with comprehensive insights into real-time processes and their optimization for large-scale applications.

Beyond the great talks and research discussions, what stood out to me was the unique atmosphere the conference promoted for networking and personal growth. It provided me with many opportunities to connect with both new and familiar faces in my field, fostering discussions that extended well beyond the conference rooms. The intentional structuring of the conference was made to facilitate these connections. The breaks, social gatherings, and even the dining arrangements were all designed to encourage interactions. This environment proved to be incredibly fruitful for expanding my professional network and exploring potential collaborations, particularly with peers from Canada and the USA, which was a personal goal of mine.

Overall it was the informal, spontaneous discussions that I found most enriching. These conversations, whether over coffee or during a poster session, allowed me to see the diverse perspectives and challenges we face in our field, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose.The conference provided an unparalleled platform to grow my network and expand my collaborations across continents. It reminded me of the importance of community in science and the power of coming together to share ideas, challenges, and solutions.

5 views0 comments

In November, I attended the MRS Fall Meeting in Boston, USA. This was a huge conference that brought together many different fields that all fall under the umbrella of materials research. The diversity of research areas was immense and it was fantastic to be exposed to such wide-ranging topics that I usually don’t engage with. It was very inspiring to see world-leading experts describe their work and gave me many new ideas about potential new directions that I could take my own research. The informal networking with other researchers from across the world was very insightful and I am grateful for the many invigorating discussions that were facilitated by the conference.

I also got the opportunity to present my research at one of the sessions which was my first time giving an oral presentation at a conference. The experience of putting together a talk and conveying my research to an audience was invaluable and will help me prepare for future conferences in my career. I received some positive feedback from experts and suggestions to help me progress my project.

Overall, the conference gave me a fresh perspective on both my own work as well as the future of the field itself. I am very grateful to have been granted the opportunity to attend this conference.

Details on how to apply for a SCN Travel Grant can be found here.

8 views0 comments

The Solar Chemicals Network Symposium featured several enlightening talks on the forefront of solar chemical research. The sessions delved into various cutting-edge approaches to carbon capture and utilisation, highlighting recent advancements in photocatalysis and integrated CO2 capture and utilisation systems.

The symposium was characterised by its focus on engaging and productive discussions among leading experts. For instance, Professor Camille Petit from Imperial College London offered valuable insights into the use of porous materials like boron nitride, hyper crosslinked polymers, and MOFs for CO2 photoreduction. These materials, notable for their high surface area and ability to control electronic transfer, show promising potential in converting CO2 to CO using both UV and visible light.

Another highlight was Dr S Kar's presentation from the University of Cambridge, introducing an innovative integrated CO2 capture and PEC utilisation reactor. This reactor stands out for its ability to transform CO2 from diluted sources such as flue gas and air into syngas, solely utilising sunlight, marking a notable advancement in solar fuel production and waste upcycling.

The symposium also served as an excellent platform for networking with fellow early career researchers and engaging in meaningful discussions with seasoned experts. These interactions were particularly beneficial for my research endeavours in developing new catalysts for PEC CO2 reduction. The knowledge and insights gained from these presentations, coupled with the collaborative atmosphere of the symposium, will undoubtedly have a significant impact on my ongoing research,

Details of the SCN Travel Awards and application can be found here.

5 views0 comments
bottom of page