Artificial photosynthesis is a scientific dream. Its realization would imply generation of fuels (hydrogen, oxygen, and methanol) from water and carbon dioxide using solar light energy. It would solve the variety of existing global problems such as depletion of fossil fuels, global warming, environmental pollution, etc. Currently, the scientific community is still far from this Holy Grail, but plenty of efforts are directed at finding it and, thus, making this dream come true.
Our group works in several directions, among these are photocatalytic water reduction and oxidation (hydrogen and oxygen evolution reactions, respectively), photo- and electrochemical CO2 reduction and chemical hydrogen storage. One of our main research interests is related to polymeric carbon nitrides, in particular, graphitic-C3N4. Carbon nitrides, widely explored at the MPIKG during the last decades, have emerged as suitable semiconductors, absorbing visible light, with adjustable band gaps, porosity, particle morphology, crystallinity, etc. and therefore having a variety of potential applications which include water splitting and catalysis.
Now we develop new synthetic approaches to carbon nitrides in order to overcome the so far existing limitations and broaden their field of application.
Besides, inspired by nature, we work on synthesis of new composite materials trying to assemble different functional components into one operational system. We do not dare to claim that we want to mimic nature, it would be too arrogant, but we would like to contribute our mite into bringing harmony and restoring the balance in the relationships between mankind and nature.