This research proposal aims to develop an automated, multichannel, and high throughput system for single step, rapid, and facile fabrication of nanostructured thin films based on various industrially relevant electrocatalytic materials. For a proof of concept, the fabricated films will be used for chemical energy conversion through water splitting reactions, thereby producing hydrogen gas (H2), an ultimate source to meet global energy demands while maintaining safe, clean and sustainable environment. Water decomposition driven by electrochemical phenomena is exclusively controlled by eletrocatalysts, therefore, enormous efforts have been devoted for developing catalytic materials with the view point of having high activity, high stability and low cost for the ever-broader applications of hydrogen energy. Unfortunately, efficient water splitting at larger scale is hindered by a facile and scalable electrode preparation method. Motivated by this concern, we propose in here the in-house establishment of a low cost aerosol assisted chemical vapor deposition (AACVD) system in order to design and fabricate various nanodimensional materials in the form of thin film, having tunable morphological and topographical attributes, and formable on a variety of conducting substrate electrodes such as FTO, Ti-foil, Ni-foam etc. in very short time period and at relatively low deposition temperature. This method is very versatile and can yield broad range of nanomaterials including pure metallic films, metal oxides, metal chalcogenides, and their advanced multimetallic composites and heterojunctions. Films produced through this method possess a number of noticeable characteristics such as good homogeneity and uniformity, strong adhesion with the substrate, and creation of novel nano-artitectures. Electrocatalysts prepared with this set of characteristics can expedite the kinetics of water splitting reactions by addressing the core issues of overpotential, stability for the current outputs, and durability in acidic/basic eletrolytes, and thus have a great promise to make a breakthrough in this area. Furthermore, these films are also applicable for the electrochemical sensing of harmful chemicals and pollutants by inserting them into the electronic sensing devices, an area further need to be explored while using the prepared films. The proposed water electrolyzer technology will not only make several significant contributions to the kingdoms policy to find renewable energy production routes but can also be extended to various chemical and biosensor applications for public safety and security. Furthermore, the interdisciplinary nature of the proposed work will establish and foster synergistic scientific activities between industry and academic researchers and provide extensive, multidisciplinary training to them.
|Effective start/end date
|1/04/20 → 1/04/23
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