International cooperation

Throughout February, our research group had the pleasure of hosting two doctoral students (Vendula Meinhardova and Lada Dubnova) from the University of Pardubice, Czech Republic. Together, we embarked on a collaborative research journey exploring the mechanisms of heterojunction action. It was an enriching experience filled with insightful discussions and fruitful experiments. We’re grateful for the opportunity to exchange knowledge and expertise with our esteemed colleagues. Looking forward to future collaborations and discoveries!

Thesis defence

Kamil Urbanek has got his PhD degree with distinction. Congratulations!

Photocatalytic CO2 reduction in the presence of composites of semiconductor photocatalysts

The urgent need to address the economic and environmental challenges posed by carbon dioxide has led to a concerted effort to develop techniques for its atmospheric transformation. Photocatalysis, leveraging solar energy, emerges as a promising avenue for mitigating CO2 levels and achieving a closed-loop carbon economy. However, traditional semiconductor photocatalysts like titanium dioxide demonstrate limited efficacy in CO2 reduction, especially when water serves as the electron donor. As water oxidation represents a less environmentally harmful process, this thesis explores TiO2 composites with other semiconductor photocatalysts to enhance photocatalytic activity. The investigation focuses on gas-phase reactors, enabling the utilization of air as a feed gas, thus potentially facilitating widespread adoption. A range of materials, including tin-iron, zinc-iron, cobalt, zinc-cobalt spinels, cadmium, copper and copper-cadmium sulfides, copper, tin, cerium, and tungsten oxides, and cobalt and copper tungstates, were characterized and tested for photocatalytic CO2 reduction, either alone or in conjunction with TiO2. While certain materials exhibited promising activity, others proved inert, even after attempts to activate them with platinum or palladium nanoparticles. Further experiments employed spectroelectrochemical techniques, photocurrent measurements, surface photovoltage measurements, and complementary oxidation processes to elucidate the mechanisms governing photocatalytic activity. Key inquiries included the potential efficiency enhancement of individual materials via composite formation, the viability of achieving S-scheme electron transfer with n-type and p-type semiconductor combinations, and the stability of multicomponent systems during photocatalytic CO2 reduction. Results demonstrated a notable improvement in photocatalytic activity for certain composites relative to their constituent materials, with mechanisms such as heterojunctions, S-Schemes, and TiO2 sensitization confirmed. Additionally, while combining p-type and n-type semiconductors did not always yield S-schemes or enhanced activity, the appropriate selection of materials with suitable Fermi levels proved crucial. Moreover, factors such as electrical contact between semiconductors and surface engineering influenced activity. Stability assessments revealed that some materials experienced decreased activity due to photocorrosion or active centre poisoning with CO2 reduction products. These findings underscore the complexity of optimizing photocatalytic CO2 reduction and highlight the importance of material selection and engineering for achieving efficient and stable systems.

Visiting researcher

At the end of October, we had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Milda Petruleviciene from the State Research Institute Center for Physical Sciences and Technology, Lithuania. During her month-long stay in our laboratories, Dr. Petruleviciene conducted intensive research on the photoelectrochemical properties of the imported materials. We hope that the cooperation established in this way will result in joint publications and projects in the future.


Dr Kasidid Yaemsunthorn received the award for best oral presentation in the V Autumn Meeting of the Polish Photochemistry Group Molecules & Light 2023.

Molecules & Light

We were honoured to host the V Autumn Meeting of the Polish Photochemistry Group, also known as ‘Molecules & Light.‘ This gathering, organized by the Polish section of the EPA, aimed to bring together researchers in the fields of photophysics, photochemistry, photocatalysis, and molecular spectroscopy. The event welcomed 86 participants, not only from Poland but also from countries including the USA, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Saudi Arabia. Throughout the meeting, we had the privilege of enjoying six outstanding plenary lectures, 39 inspiring oral presentations, and 37 impressive poster presentations.

European Chemistry School for Ukraine

On May 18, the second session of the European Chemistry School for Ukrainians welcomed three more distinguished speakers: Prof. Dr. Fernando Cossío (the Scientific Director of the Ikerbasque Foundation and Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of the Basque Country, Spain), Prof. Dr. Jean-Marie Lehn (Nobel Laureate, the University of Strasbourg), and Prof. Dr. Wojciech Macyk.

Professor Horst Kisch Doctor honoris causa of the Jagiellonian…

The Senate of the Jagiellonian University upon examining the resolution of the Council of Faculty of Chemistry of the Jagiellonian University and having examined the review submitted of Prof. Antoni W. Morawski (Western Pomeranian University of Technology) and also by Prof. Adam Proń (Warsaw Univerity of Technology) supported with the resolutions of the Senates of these Universities, have decided to award Prof. Horst Kisch with the doctor honoris causa of the Jagiellonian University. He received his diploma confirming the conferment of the title of doctor honoris causa at the ceremonial meeting of the Senate of the Jagiellonian University, which took place at Collegium Maius on April 14.

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Open position – OPUS23 project

We are glad to inform that we are looking for a PhD student to work within the OPUS 23 project “Photocatalytic and photoelectrocatalytic coatings with a gradient composition”

More detailed offer can be downloaded from the following link:

offer for PhD 1 Opus 23


International cooperation

Chaiyasit Phawa’s one-year stay in our group has come to an end. It was a scientifically fruitful collaboration. We say goodbye and hope for further fruitful cooperation in the future.