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Tiva Sharifi

Rice University, USA

Title: Thermo electricity enhanced catalysis


Biography: Tiva Sharifi


The voltage generated in thermoelectric materials can supply energy to any energy demanding system when there is a chance of either existence of temperature gradient or the possibility to generate it if it does not cause any malfunction for the system. Electro/photo catalytic reactions are good example of such systems. Thermoelectric materials can act as mini voltage generators to boost catalytic reactions and hence reduce/eliminate the external bias energy. In this case, thermoelectric material has a function similar to but conceptually different from the catalyst. As recently solar energy has been widely considered as a renewable energy resource to direct or indirectly power up the catalytic reactions, a temperature gradient could be naturally established and be utilized in the system. We have investigated the catalytic performance of nano structured tellurides (e.g., Bi2Te3 and Sb2Te3) which are among the most known thermoelectric materials. By optimizing the structure, morphology and size of thermoelectric materials, they are utilized in different catalytic reactions. We observe that with the effect of temperature gradient these catalytically inert materials will contribute to and facilitate the catalytic reactions including electrochemical water splitting and photocatalytic hydrogen desorption.