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Kickoff Meeting for A3 Foresight Program held in China


The kick-off meeting and first workshop for the study of “Composite Photocatalytic Systems for Efficient Water Splitting by Solar Energy” under the A3 Foresight Program was held in Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on January 10th, 2011. Professor ZHANG Tao, Director of DICP delivered welcome remarks in the opening ceremony. Professor ZHANG Yinglan, Director of Division, Bureau of International Cooperation, National Natural Science Foundation of China introduced the background and funding status of the A3 Foresight Program jointly supported by China, Japan and Korea. Professor LI Can, an academician of CAS gave a report regarding the arrangement of the study and elaborated the important role of surface junction and dual cocatalyst in enhancing the activities of photocatalysts. Professor Jun Kubota from Japan and Professor Kanak P.S.Parma from Korea also addressed about the cooperation of A3 Foresight Program. 32 scientists from China, Japan and Korea made presentations on their respective progress and ideas about future research in the photocatalytic area.

National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) has jointly funded the project of “Composite Photocatalytic Systems for Efficient Water Splitting by Solar Energy”, whose three PIs are Professor LI Can from DICP, CAS, Professor Kazunari Domen from Tokyo University and Professor Jae Sung Lee from Pohang University of Science and Technology. The purpose of the study is to solve the key scientific issues by conducting in-depth study of efficient conversion between solar energy and chemical energy through complementary advantage of association with strong partners, thus leading to breakthrough progress in the area of photocatalyst splitting water to make hydrogen.

As an important renewable energy, solar energy has a unique advantage and tremendous potential for futher development. “Photocatalyst splitting water to make hydrogen by solar energy” is one of important research areas in solar-chemical energy conversion, of which the quantum efficiency however is very low now, a far cry from industrial application and still in the basic research stage. To achieve efficient conversion and utilization of solar-chemical energy, it is necessary to study in-depth the key scientific issues of solar-chemical energy, such as light absorption, generation, separation, transfer and transmission of photo-deduced electrons and the photocatalytic reaction process in the surface. Only by knowing these issues and establishing energy conversion theories and experimental basis, the highly-efficient photocatalytic system could be established to split water for hydrogen production.

In the two-day meeting, scientists from China, Japan and Korea had discussions not only on academic issues in the area of photocatalyst, but also had cultural exchanges which laid a good foundation for further collaboration. The three sides all agreed that the next workshop will be held tentatively in 2012 in Japan.

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