Environment Prize 2009 Winner
Imperial College London
Awarded for his world-leading photochemical studies of solar energy conversion.
About the winner
James Durrant is Professor of Photochemistry in the Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London. Following undergraduate studies in Physics, his PhD and postdoctoral studies focused on the primary processes of plant photosynthesis.
After completion of a BBSRC Advanced Fellowship, he joined the Chemistry Department at Imperial College in 1999, where he established an interdisciplinary research group focused on the application of molecular and nanostructured materials to solar energy conversion.
He took up his current post as Professor of Photochemistry in 1995, and most recently has been appointed Deputy Director of Imperial College's Energy Futures Lab.
Prof Durrant's research is focused upon solar energy conversion by nanostructured and molecular materials - harnessing solar energy either to produce electricity (photovoltaics) or molecular fuels (e.g hydrogen).
Experimentally, his research is based around the use of transient laser spectroscopies to undertake photochemical and optoelectronic characterisation of novel materials and devices - elucidating the molecular energy and electron transfer processes which underlie device function.
Such studies are undertaken in parallel with device development and functional characterisation, employing a wide range of molecular, polymeric and inorganic materials - with the aim of developing quantitative design principles which enable technological development. As such, his group works closely with several industrial partners.
Currently his group is working on both polymer / fullerene and dye sensitized nanocrystalline solar cells and photoelectrodes for water photolysis, as well as a spin off application in heterogenous sensing of pollutants.
He has published over 160 research papers and 5 patents.
James Durrant's webpage
Department of Chemistry at Imperial College London
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