Optofluidic Microreactor for the Photocatalytic Hydrogen Generation via Water Splitting Reaction

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The hydrogen (H2) is the most viable future energy carrier due to its high gravimetric energy density and non-polluting nature. The direct conversion of solar to green H2 via photocatalytic water splitting has a great potential and the optofluidic microreactors (OFMRs) are highly useful in this regard. The OFMRs in photocatalysis enables the concurrent and fine control of fluid flow, photon harvesting, and reaction with the shorter transfer path lengths, which in turn improve the photocatalytic reaction performance. However, due to complex and expensive fabrication, these devices are not well established in practical applications. In this study, we describe a simple, rapid, and inexpensive method to fabricate microchannels with various geometries on the glass substrate and tested them for the production of green H2 via photocatalytic water splitting after coating with a sustainable photocatalyst. The adhesive tape as mask resulted in deeper channels (up to 550 μm), and higher etch factor (1.2) as compared to those obtained with UV photolithography. The semi-circular shaped microchannel with sharp edges and without any wall irregularities was obtained with adhesive tape as mask and using 49% HF solution as chemical etchant at room temperature for 120 min.
Supervisor: Peela, Nageswara Rao