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Authors: Yano, Max Edwin Griffin
Advisors: Bocarsly, Andrew Bruce
Department: Chemistry
Class Year: 2014
Abstract: Environmental degradation and depletion of carbon-based fuels necessitate the development of alternative forms of energy that do not harm the world’s ecosystems or rely on unsustainable resources. Solar power is an attractive option due to its abundance, but it must be paired with a form of energy storage to provide a steady energy output, a vital step to becoming a central part of the world’s infrastructure. One method of meeting this need is to use solar power to drive the dissociation of water to hydrogen and oxygen gases, which can then be burned even when the sun is not out. In this thesis, I describe the synthesis and characterization of silver rhodium oxide (AgRhO\(_{2}\)), a new photocatalyst for water splitting. I expand and improve upon published synthetic methods and find that the material is an effective catalyst for water splitting in neutral or slightly basic aqueous solution. I also investigate the utility of rhodium(III)oxide (Rh\(_{2}\)O\(_{3}\)) for the same application, finding that it too can photochemically split water but suffers from degradation to rhodium(III) hydroxide in the process. This work represents a significant advance by discovering a new photocatalyst for this reaction, as well as furthering the work by my research group to develop delafossite-structured photocatalysts.
Extent: 66 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Chemistry, 1926-2017

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