The 2nd Joint UK Solar Fuels Network-SuperSolar workshop on Solar Energy Conversion and Storage took place at Imperial College London on 10th December 2019. Over 80 researchers from the solar fuels and photovoltaic fields came together to present cutting edge findings and explore areas of synergy between the two closely linked research communities.

The scene for the workshop was set by invited talks from respected UK researchers across the two fields: Prof Laurie Peter (University of Bath), Prof Aron Walsh (Imperial College London), Prof James Durrant (Imperial College London), Dr Rebecca Milot (University of Warwick), (University College London), Dr Sam Stranks (University of Cambridge). A focus on solar fuels research came from talks on the kinetics of water splitting, modelling of photoactive oxides and nitrides, and charge trapping for solar energy conversion, while the behaviour of PV materials themselves were examined by talks on modelling for PV materials choice, and both terahertz spectroscopy and multi-modal microscopy as tools for characterisation of the processes occurring within perovskite materials.

The workshop received many applications for the other available oral presentation slots in the day and seven early career researchers grasped the opportunity to engage the audience with their work.

A prize of £100 of Royal Society of Chemistry book vouchers for the best oral presentation was sponsored by the RSC journals Energy and Environmental Science and Sustainable Energy and Fuels, and this was awarded to Brian Tam for his talk entitled “Towards a ~100 cm2 photoelectrochemical-PV hybrid water splitting device”, which impressively demonstrated the high crossover potential between the two fields. Brian is working towards his PhD at Imperial College London under the supervision of Dr. Andreas Kafizas and SuperSolar Co-I Prof. Jenny Nelson.

A further prize of £100 of Royal Society of Chemistry book vouchers for best poster presentation, sponsored by the Journal of Materials Chemistry A, was awarded to Khezar Saeed for his poster on “Water oxidation intermediates on iridium oxide electrodes probed by in-situ electrochemical SHINERS”, which presented the subject with excellent visual impact. Khezar is working towards his PhD at the University of Liverpool under the supervision of Dr Alex Cowan.

EPSRC funding for the Solar Fuels Network is now encompassed within SuperSolar and part of the SuperSolar I&I and International Conference fund is specifically earmarked for those working in the area of Solar Fuels. The return of this event is planned for next year.