Jiao Group


Sustainable fuel production via photochemical and electrochemical approaches

Liquid fuel production from abundant sources, e.g. CO2 and H2O, is the ideal approach towards sustainable and green energy supply. Solar harvesting through the artificial photosynthetic method is one of the most promising approaches to utilize solar energy at the terawatt scale. In our laboratory, we are combining experimental and computational approaches to explore new chemistry and novel nanostructured catalysts for two key half reactions: water oxidation and CO2 reduction. Our ultimate goal is to couple both reactions in a highly integrated device to produce solar fuels in a cost-effective and efficient way.

Solar fuel production


(1)   Lu, Q.#, Rosen, J.#, Zhou, Y., Hutchings, G. S., Kimmel, Y. C., Chen, J. G., & Jiao, F.* A selective and efficient electrocatalyst for carbon dioxide reduction. Nature Communications 5:3242 (2014). doi:10.1038/ncomms4242

(2)   Rosen, J., Hutchings, G. S., & Jiao, F.* Synthesis, structure, and photocatalytic properties of ordered mesoporous metal-doped Co3O4. Journal of Catalysis 310, 2-9 (2014). doi:10.1016/j.jcat.2013.05.003

(3)   Hutchings, G. S.#, Zhang, Y.#, Li, J., Yonemoto, B. T., Zhou, X., Zhu, K.*, & Jiao, F.* In situ Formation of Cobalt Oxide Nanocubanes as Efficient Oxygen Evolution Catalysts. Journal of the American Chemical Society 137, 4223-4229 (2015). doi:10.1021/jacs.5b01006

Nanoporous materials for energy applications

Nanoporous materials, particularly nanoporous transition metal oxides, are an important group of materials. Such solids can combine open d-shells, high surface area, limited wall thickness and open pore networks, with the result that they exhibit many interesting properties in catalysis, electron transfer, energy conversion and storage, and magnetic devices. We are currently focusing on developing new synthetic methodologies in order to fabricate nanoporous and mesoporous materials that cannot be accessed by traditional approaches. We believe that new materials hold the key to our clean and sustainable energy future.

Mesoporous Fe2O3


(1)   Rosen, J., Hutchings, G. S., & Jiao, F.* Ordered Mesoporous Cobalt Oxide as Highly Efficient Oxygen Evolution Catalyst. Journal of the American Chemical Society 135, 4516-4521 (2013). doi:10.1021/ja400555q

(2)   Yonemoto, B. T., Hutchings, G.S., & Jiao, F.* A General Synthetic Approach for Ordered Mesoporous Metal Sulfides. Journal of the American Chemical Society 136, 8895-8898 (2014). doi:10.1021/ja504407e

(3)   Luc, W. & Jiao, F.* Synthesis of nanoporous metals, oxides, carbides, and sulfides: beyond nanocasting. Accounts of Chemical Research 49, 1351-1358 (2016). doi:10.1021/acs.accounts.6b00109

Process and reactor design for electrochemical systems

Process and reactor design are important topics of chemical engineering because they often dominate the overall performance of electrochemical systems. In our laboratory, we not only perform fundamental research on novel catalysts but also research and design new reaction process and electrochemical reactors for renewable fuel production. Recent research efforts include prototype development, process engineering and system integration.

CO2 electrolyzer


(1)   Luc, W., Rosen, J. & Jiao, F.* An Ir-based anode for a practical CO2 electrolyzer. Catalysis Today (in press). doi:10.1016/j.cattod.2016.06.011

(2)   Lu, Q., & Jiao, F.* Electrochemical CO2 reduction: electrocatalyst, reaction mechanism, and process engineering. Nano Energy (in press). doi: 10.1016/j.nanoen.2016.04.009

In-situ and Operando synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy

Heterogeneous catalysis at the solid/liquid/vapor interface plays an important role in many energy applications, and the ability to observe dynamic structural changes of working catalysts under reaction conditions is invaluable. Such information provides important insights for us to understand key promotion and poisoning phenomena, and allows for tailoring the design of next-generation catalysts. X-ray absorption spectroscopy is a perfect tool for probing the local chemical environment and oxidation state of atoms within catalysts. A key advantage of this technique is that the high penetration depth of hard X-rays allows solid catalysts to be studied while exposed to either vapor or liquid reaction mixtures under realistic working environments.

In Situ XAS Figures


(1)   Hutchings, G. S., Rosen, J., Smiley, D. L., Goward, G. R., Bruce, P. G., & Jiao, F.* Environmental In Situ X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy Evaluation of Electrode Materials for Rechargeable Lithium-Oxygen Batteries. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 118, 12617-12624 (2014). doi:10.1021/jp5017399

(2)   Rosen, J., Hutchings, G. S., Lu, Q., Forest, R. V., Moore, A., & Jiao, F.* Electrodeposited Zn dendrites with enhanced CO selectivity for electrocatalytic CO2 reduction. ACS Catalysis 5, 4586-4591 (2015). doi:10.1021/acscatal.5b00922


The major equipment in the Jiao group includes:

  • Hansatech Clark Electrode system with oxygen detector (OXYGRAPH, PP SYSTEM)
  • Gas chromatograph (Shimadzu)
  • Xe & Hg(Xe) research source lamp (UV Fused Silica, 1.3in Collimated, F/1, 1.5 Inch) with different wavelength filters
  • Photocatalytic reactors equipped with a quartz window
  • Two-chamber electrochemical cells
  • MACCOR battery testing system
  • MBRAUN gloveboxes with solvent trap system
  • High energy ball milling machine (SPEX 8000M-115)
  • FTIR spectrometer with gas cell and standard KBr cell (ALPHA, Bruker)
  • Electrode thin film coating system (MTI)
  • Vacuum oven (MTI)
  • Coin cell crimping machine (MTI)
  • Precision Disc Cutter (MTI)
  • Potentiostats (Autolab & Princeton Applied Research)
  • Mass flow meters (MKS)
  • Tube furnace (MTI)