Jacinto Sa Group

Light to chemicals

Nanoleaves & heterogeneous catalysis

The need for energy and chemicals from an increasing population, coupled with dwindling fossil fuels reserves and the threat of climate change accentuates the urgency to find greener and sustainable processes that are capable of meeting the anticipated demands. Our research is focused on the development and understanding of nano-scaled systems capable of producing fuel and high value chemicals using sunlight as the energy source (aka Artificial Photosynthesis). Our systems are prepared in an unmanned microfluidic reactor, and tested in wastewater-upcycling and biomass-upgrading processes. We use advanced spectroscopy to gain fundamental understanding of the underlying processes.

Research interests and techniques

  • Plasmonic nanostructures
  • p-n nano-hybrid junctions
  • Automated microfluidic reactors
  • 3D printing technology
  • X-ray photon-in photon-out spectroscopy at synchrotrons and XFELs
  • Advanced spectroscopy (ultrafast infrared, transient absorption, ultrafast fluorescence)


Please contact the group leader for openings and recent developments, or check our Facebook page. You can also follow us on Twitter (@Nanoleaves).

Photo: Corrie White