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Honorable Organizing Committee Member for CAT 2021 Conference - Jose C Conesa
Jose C Conesa,
Spanish National Research Council, Spain
Title : Photocatalysis and artificial photosynthesis with octahedral main group sulphides


After a brief survey of the current need of achieving the solar energy-aided photodissociation of water, a presentation will be first made of In2S3 and SnS2 as visible light active photocatalysts. Their spectral response in a simple reaction (photooxidation of aqueous HCOOH) will be analyzed, showing the superior activity and photo corrosion resistance of these sulphides compared with another suphide, the typical CdS photocatalyst. In the case of In2S3 it will be also shown that this spectral response, coupled with the different steps of the degradation of a typical dye (rhodamine B), allows obtaining mechanistic insight on the generation of the different radicals which control those steps.

Furthermore, it will be shown how hyperdoping In2S3 with vanadium is able to insert in the bandgap a narrow, partially occupied band which allows the excitation from the valence to conduction bands in two steps (the in-gap band concept shown to be relevant in photovoltaic materials), extending to lower photon energies the spectral response of the photocatalytic process in exactly the same range as the up-conversion process which is evidenced with photoluminescence tests.

Then it will be shown how coupling to these semiconductors electroactive enzymes, which contain only inexpensive metals and have shown the ability to generate electrochemically H2 and O2 from water, allows the photon-aided generation of both these gases either catalytically (with aid of a sacrificial agent) or electrochemically (with a decrease in overpotential). In the case of O2, in fact, this is the first example ever of a coupling between an enzyme and inorganic semiconductors to achieve the photon-aided generation of this molecule. This opens a way towards artificial photosynthesis.


Jose C. Conesa obtained the MS degrees in Chemistry in 1973 and in Physics in 1974, and the Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1977. In 1979 he entered the scientific staff of CSIC’s Instituto de Catálisis y Petroleoquímica (ICP), where he still works, and became Profesor de Investigación in 2004. He was Deputy Director of ICP from 2010 to 2014 and Director of ICP from 2014 to 2018, belonging now to the ICP Scientific Committee. His over 190 publications have received over 8800 citations leading to a Hirsch index h=53. He has worked in Organizing and Scientific Committees of international conferences, belonging to one dozen national and international scientific societies and to the Steering Committee of the AMPEA Joint Programme, part of the European organization EERA. He is an expert in the physico-chemistry of catalysts and photoactive solids working in interfacial electron transfer processes. He has worked on strong metal-support interactions and car exhaust catalysts is active for several decades in studying photocatalysts and photovoltaic materials and work for 15 years on ceria-based catalysts for hydrogen technologies. He is an expert in the synthesis of nanosized (photo)catalysts, spectroscopies applied to them (EPR, XPS, IR, UV-Vis-NIR, synchrotron-based ones; some in operando mode), DFT calculations of catalysts and photoactive materials, and (photo)catalytic tests.