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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Western Washington University
  • Mark E Bussell
  • (360) 650-3145
  • Robert F Berger
Award Date:07/22/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 366,514
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 228,419
  • FY 2021=$228,419
Start Date:08/01/2021
End Date:07/31/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.049
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:RUI:CAS: Metal Phosphides on Nanostructured Indium Oxide - New Photocatalysts for CO2 Hydrogenation
Federal Award ID Number:2101259
DUNS ID:079253134
Parent DUNS ID:079253134
Program:Chemical Catalysis
Program Officer:
  • George Richter-Addo
  • (703) 292-7528

Awardee Location

Street:516 High Street
Awardee Cong. District:02

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Western Washington University
Cong. District:02

Abstract at Time of Award

With the support of the Chemical Catalysis program in the Division of Chemistry, Mark Bussell and Robert Berger of Western Washington University will study the photothermal catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide. A particularly attractive but scientifically imposing challenge is the photocatalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to fuels such as methanol using sunlight. In this project, a new class of catalytic materials that consists of a visible light-absorbing metal phosphide dispersed on nanostructured indium oxide supports will be developed for the photothermal conversion of carbon dioxide. The catalyst design strategy employs a relatively new area of study within the heterogeneous catalysis community, namely photothermal catalysis, in which light absorption is optimized for the catalytic reaction, and localized heating within catalyst particles optimized for efficient conversion of reactants to products. The experimental investigation will be led by PI Bussell while the computational studies will be led by co-PI Berger. The project will involve undergraduate and M.S. students, and a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) investigating the photocatalytic properties of metal oxides will be developed for implementation at a nearby community college. Mark Bussell and Robert Berger of Western Washington University will investigate the photothermal catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide via the reverse water-gas shift reaction over metal phosphide-oxide hybrid materials. The photocatalysts to be developed will comprise visible light-absorbing metal phosphides (NixPy, In(x)Ga(1-x)P) dispersed on nanostructured indium oxide supports. The metal phosphides will have distinct and tunable electronic and structural properties, and the two kinds of indium oxide materials to be employed (nanocubes and nanorods) will enable the effects of support morphology to be probed. A range of structural and spectroscopic methods including in situ Raman spectroscopy will be used to characterize the photocatalysts, and the experimental studies will be complemented by density functional theory (DFT) investigations of the electronic and interfacial properties of the metal phosphide-oxide materials. The outcomes of this research will include the development of a new class of earth-abundant photothermal catalysts and an improved fundamental understanding of the roles of the metal phosphide and oxide components in CO2 hydrogenation and related processes. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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