Silicon Nanostructures for Photocatalytic Application

Project: Research

View graph of relations


  • Shuit Tong LEE (Principal Investigator / Project Coordinator)
  • Zhenhui KANG (Co-Investigator)
  • Ning Bew WONG (Co-Investigator)


Photocatalysis is important for a wide range of environmental and energy issues. A good photocatalyst should be able to utilize visible and/or near UV light, and be photostable, inexpensive, and non-toxic. Nanomaterials may be potent catalysts via the control of photocatalyst properties in terms of energy gap, chemical composition, and surface modification. Si nanostructures are one of the most, if not the most, important semiconductor nanomaterials, due to their unique properties and huge Si-based technology. Porous Si and Si nanoparticles are already known as good photosensitizers. The investigators have recently produced Si quantum dots (SiQDs) that exhibit size-dependent tunable emission from near-infrared to blue wavelength, and demonstrated tunability in band gap energy in Si nanowires (SiNWs). The tunable band gap of these Si-based nanostructures suggests that they may be potent photocatalysts. The preliminary results indeed reveal that SiQDs can serve as photocatalysts in selective oxidation, reduction, and degradation. Guided by these promising results, the researchers will undertake a systematic investigation into the photocatalytic properties of Si nanostructures. They will develop controlled synthesis of uniform-sized Si nanostructures—SiQDs, SiNWs, and ordered Si nano-/microstructures—and then study their photocatalytic properties, with the ultimate aim of developing practical Si-based photocatalysts.


Project number7002275
Grant typeSRG
Effective start/end date1/04/0820/01/10