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In-situ STEM investigation of the photocatalysis for water splitting


This project aims to provide the breakthrough information that is required to improve the efficiency of water splitting, by directly real-time observing, for the first time, photocatalysis at the nanoscale in a transmission electron microscope.


Associate Professor Rongkun Zheng.

Research location

School of Physics

Program type



Water splitting by means of photoelectrochemical cells, is regarded as the most economical way to acquire the clean and renewable fuels principally hydrogen. However, long-lasting issues such as low sunlight to hydrogen conversion rate, photocorrosion of the catalysts, inadequate knowledge of the photocatalytic mechanism and expensive noble metal decoration, restrict the development of efficient water splitting system for spontaneous hydrogen/oxygen reaction evolution. This project aims to clarify the fundamentals of these problematic issues via in-situ STEM investigation and the outcome will provide new conception and knowledge to address the long-lasting issues within the community in terms of instability and efficiency.

Additional information

The additional supervisor for this project is Dr Jiangtao Qu, he is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Australian Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis.

HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

  • Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
  • Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
  • Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
  • Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
  • Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
  • Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
  • Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
  • Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
  • Hold a current scuba diving license;Hold a current Working with Children Check;
  • Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2845

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