Artificial Photosynthesis Faraday Discussion

25 - 27 March 2019, Cambridge, United Kingdom


Introduction

Artificial photosynthesis is a process that converts solar energy into a renewable fuel, a so-called solar fuel. This rapidly developing and growing area addresses a global challenge of the 21st century: the transition from a fossil fuel-based to a sustainable economy. This field is cross-disciplinary, spanning biology and chemistry to physics and engineering, with physical chemistry at its core, essential to fundamentally understand the underlying processes that enable light absorption, charge separation and efficient redox catalysis.

This Faraday Discussion meeting will be the third edition in a series on this topic (Edinburgh, 2011 and Kyoto, 2017) and will discuss recent breakthroughs and contemporary challenges in the field. The dynamic pace and progress in artificial photosynthesis research justify the timeliness of this meeting, as we are now at a decisive stage where some of the fundamental questions have been answered and applications are becoming a reality. This Faraday Discussion meeting will bring together scientists with a broad set of expertise who will share knowledge and aim to find consensus on priorities in future development of artificial photosynthesis research.‚Äč


Format

The Faraday Division have been organising high impact Faraday Discussions in rapidly developing areas of physical chemistry and its interfaces with other scientific disciplines for over 100 years. Faraday Discussions have a special format where research papers written by the speakers are distributed to all participants before the meeting, and most of the meeting is devoted to discussing the papers. Everyone contributes to the discussion - including presenting their own relevant research. The research papers and a record of the discussion are published in the journal Faraday Discussions.
  

Themes

Biological approaches to artificial photosynthesis
This first session will discuss the fundamental processes in biological solar energy conversion (e.g., natural photosynthesis) and the possibilities to exploit in vivo systems for solar fuel synthesis. Early work on artificial photosynthesis was driven by progress in the understanding of natural systems and attempts to exploit in living organisms (e.g., algae). Very recent work has shown impressive progress on fundamental understanding and a renaissance in in vivo solar fuel synthesis.
 
Synthetic approaches to artificial photosynthesis
Rapid progress has been made in the development of molecular and materials in artificial photosynthesis. It can be difficult to keep an overview of the vast amount of new systems being reported. Many systems now claim to exceed natural photosynthesis not only in terms of solar energy conversion efficiency, but also in catalytic rate. In this second section, we will look to discuss questions such as:
  • Which are the most promising light absorbers, catalysts and photocatalysts? Should we focus on one (or a few) established systems and develop it towards application or are we reliant on new systems?
  • We have established record numbers for performance for a series of catalysts. What prevents the assembly of high performance solar fuels device? Has the field pushed for certain parameters, but has ignored other important factors?
 
 
Demonstrator devices for artificial photosynthesis
Recent years have seen an explosion in different devices for solar fuel synthesis. These include two-component systems such as photovoltaic+electrolysis, one-component systems such as photoelectrochemical cell, and suspension systems such as semiconducting powders. Innovative approaches are also being developed and new concepts for device design are rapidly emerging. The development of demonstrator devices is a priority in the field and a necessity to attract the attention of companies for commercial exploration, this will be the focus of this third session.
 
 
Beyond artificial photosynthesis
Artificial photosynthesis has worked remarkably disconnected from other fields that also rely on light-driven processes. The photovoltaics field is considerably more mature and established and there is a lot to be learnt with respect to light absorption and standardisation of results. Photovoltaic technology has long been making its way to the market and the dramatic drop in prices (70-80% for standard Si technology in the last 7-8 years) will cause a significant acceleration in commercialisation. On the other hand, organic photocatalysis is a rather new (or rediscovered) field that could learn from artificial photosynthesis. This final session will look at the cross-fertilisation between these two fields.
Speakers
Abstract Submission

Oral Abstracts and Research Papers

A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions. Submit an oral/paper abstract by 23 July 2018 if you wish to be considered for an oral presentation and associated published paper. The oral/paper abstract should outline current research in progress. Authors of the selected abstracts must then submit a full research paper with a significant amount of new, unpublished work by 5 November 2018.

The research papers are reviewed upon submission and are sent to all delegates 4 weeks before the meeting so they can be read in advance. At the meeting the presenting author is allowed five minutes to highlight the main points of their paper, and the rest of the time is for discussion. The discussion is recorded and will be published alongside the research paper in the Faraday Discussion Volume.  

Poster Abstracts 

Submit your poster abstract by 14 January 2019. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and a poster session is held on the first evening. The Faraday Division Poster Prize will be awarded to the best poster presented by a student at the conference.

Additional Information

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 6 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation. 
Registration
Please read the registration information before registering.
You can register by clicking on the online registration link on this page.
Please note accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

Registration includes:
  • Attendance at the sessions 
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting
  • Lunch on all three days
  • Attendance at the poster drinks reception on 25 March
  • Attendance at the conference dinner on 26 March
  • A copy of the discussion pre-prints
  • A copy of the final theme issue of Faraday Discussion Volume containing papers presented at the Discussion (issued approximately 6 months after the meeting)**For non-member registrants, membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2019

Registration fees are as follows:
 
Early Bird
(by 4 February 2019)
Standard
(by 25 February 2019)
Member* £355 £410
Non-Member*** £460 £515
Student Member* £170 £225
Student Non-Member £195 £250

Registration fees are VAT exempt.

  * If you are an Royal Society of Chemistry member and wish to register for this meeting, please select the member option on the online registration page. You will need to enter your membership number.

  **Excluding students, who can order the volume at a reduced price at the conference. 

 ***For non-member registrants, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2019, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event. 

Student Delegates

In order to encourage undergraduate or postgraduate students to attend the Discussion, a reduced conference fee (to include a set of pre-prints but not the final Discussion Volume) is available. This fee applies to those undertaking a full time course for a recognised degree or a diploma at a university or equivalent institution.

 A copy of the publication may be purchased at less than half price, only for orders placed at the meeting where an application form will be made available.  

Conference Dinner

The conference dinner on 26 March 2019 and is included in the registration fee.
 
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Bursaries
We have two types of grants available to Royal Society of Chemistry members in the Associate category or above to attend this meeting:
  • A limited number of non-competitive travel grants of up to £200 are available for PhD students and early career scientists. These are assigned on a first come, first served basis. 
  • Competitive grants of up to £800 are available to assist with international travel expenses for PhD students, postdocs within 10 years of completing their PhD and early career scientists (including technicians and industrialists) within 10 years of leaving full time education. In addition, applicants must have held any form of RSC membership for at least a year prior to application. 
To take advantage of these grants and many other benefits, become a member. Follow the link on the right hand side to find out more and join today!
 
Applications for either grant should be submitted as early as possible, but at least 8 weeks in advance of the start of the meeting. Please see respective terms & conditions for full eligibility information.
Sponsorship & supporting organisations
Venue
Murray Edwards College

Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0DF, United Kingdom

Committee
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