The Ismail research group is focused primarily on synthesizing visible light active photocatalysts that can be used for environmental remediation, whether it’s waste-water treatment or conversion of greenhouse gases such CO2. Heterogeneous (semiconductor) photocatalysis has attracted increasing attention in recent years as an alternative means for environmental cleaning using solar energy. Typically, photocatalysts are activated by ultraviolet (UV) irradiation because of their wide bandgaps. Since UV light accounts for a small fraction (~ 4-5%) of solar energy compared to visible light (~ 45%), any shift in the optical response of these semiconductors will increase energy utilization.
Our group is committed to providing a creative, responsible, interdisciplinary research and teaching laboratory grounded in inorganic chemistry, materials science and chemical engineering. These interdisciplinary projects (nanomaterials, semiconductor physics, chemistry, engineering, and biology) will provide advanced education, training and a teaching opportunity for undergraduate students. The proposed research activities will improve harvesting solar energy as well as energy conservation for photocatalytic purposes.