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14.30 – 14.50: Hui Luo, Titirici Group – “Pt Single-atoms Supported on Nitrogen-doped Carbon Dots for Highly Efficient Photocatalytic Hydrogen Generation”

14.50 – 15.10: Ms Giulia Schukraft, Camille Petit Group – “Understanding the interface of MOF-based heterojunctions to enhance their photocatalytic activity”. 

3.10m – 4.10pm: Professor Bettina Lotsch – “2D Molecular Frameworks as Platforms for Energy Conversion and Storage”

4.10pm – 5.00pm: Drinks reception


Transitioning towards a sustainable energy economy is contingent on new materials solutions. Due to their earth-abundance and low cost, carbon-based materials have become the backbone of a variety of sustainable energy technologies ranging from photovoltaics to supercapacitors. Due to their molecularly precise backbones, 2D frameworks such as carbon nitrides and covalent organic frameworks (COFs) have put a new spin on the development of metal-free semiconductors for photocatalysis. In this regard, a new generation of “ionic” 2D carbon nitrides called poly(heptazine imides), PHI, and COFs stand out due to their high crystallinity and ordered micro- and mesoporosity. Together with their tunable optoelectronic properties, these 2D ordered polymers are attractive candidates for solar energy conversion and storage.

In this talk, I will present our recent progress in the development of photocatalytically active 2D molecular frameworks for the hydrogen evolution reaction. I will discuss the structural, optoelectronic and catalytic boundary conditions in this material family and present new concepts such as “dark photocatalysis” enabled by photo-charging of PHI-type carbon nitrides. Finally, I will outline possible catalyst optimization strategies and challenges lying ahead in this emerging field of “soft photocatalysis”.


Bettina Lotsch is the Director of the Nanochemistry Department at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research (MPI-FKF) in Stuttgart, Germany. She studied Chemistry at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) and the University of Oxford and received her PhD from LMU Munich in 2006. After a postdoctoral stay at the University of Toronto she became professor at LMU Munich in 2009 and was appointed Director at MPI-FKF in 2017. Since 2017, Bettina also holds an honorary professorship at LMU Munich and is PI of the Munich-based Cluster of Excellence e-conversion.

Bettina’s research explores the rational synthesis of new materials by combining the tools of molecular, solid-state and nanochemistry. Focal points include chemical approaches to 2D materials, “smart” photonic crystals for optical sensing, solid electrolytes for all-solid-state batteries, and molecular frameworks for solar energy conversion and storage.

She was awarded an ERC Starting Grant (2014) and has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2014. Her work has been recognized by a number of awards, most recently by the EU-40 Materials Prize 2017 of the European Materials Research Society.

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