Photocatalysis & photoelectrocatalysis

The EU spends about 500 billion EUR/yr on imported fossil fuels - and Denmark is the only net exporter of oil in the EU. There is therefore a critical need for renewable and affordable sources of chemical fuels to keep the European economy running. Photocatalytic conversion of water (and perhaps CO2) into fuel and oxygen byproduct is one of the most promising strategies for making “solar fuels”.

Also known as “artificial photosynthesis”, photocatalytic generation of solar fuels is an active and rewarding research area at CINF. Photocatalysis is highly multidisciplinary in nature and combines elements from heterogeneous catalysis, surface science, electrochemistry and semiconductor physics. We are working on parallel strategies for achieving overall water splitting under solar light - including tandem devices such as the “dream device” (see figure) and also suspended nanoparticle systems.


The ’Dream-device’: Tandem device performing overall water splitting under sunlight

“Dream device” for water splitting with two different semiconducting materials working together as a 2-photon tandem unit.


We also have research on “traditional” photocatalysis – i.e. reactions unrelated to solar fuels – such as environmental remediation reactions. In many cases, the experiments are carried out in SURFCAT's unique microreactor system

The work in the photocatalysis group is carried out in close collaboration with the electrochemistry subgroup in SURFCAT  and with the CAMD excitations group.


Peter Christian Kjærgaard Vesborg
Associate professor
DTU Physics
+45 45 25 32 76


Ib Chorkendorff
DTU Physics
+45 45 25 31 70