Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University
Photoelectrochemical and photovoltaic energy conversion, catalysis, solar thermal technologies, high-throughput screening of materials, fuel cells, interfacial phenomena, and in-situ micro/nano-scale analysis of PEC, PV, and catalytic surfaces
This is a very exciting time to be working in the field of energy conversion, an area that is poised to undergo a massive transformation in the coming years as society strives to achieve a more sustainable energy future. In the Esposito Lab, much of our research will be strongly motivated by the need to accelerate this transformation through the development of solar, catalytic, and electrochemical technologies that will form the backbone of this future energy system.
Of particular interest in our research group are photoelectrochemical (PEC) and photovoltaic (PV) electrolysis reactors, electrochemical devices that are capable of converting sunlight into storable “solar fuels” such as hydrogen. The fields of PEC and electrochemical energy conversion have tremendous potential to transform how renewable energy is captured and stored because they offer a means to overcome a primary weakness of solar energy: its intermittency. By converting sunlight into solar fuels during the day, PEC and PV electrolysis technologies enable energy from the sun to be stored in the form of chemical bonds during the day and converted back to electricity with a fuel cell when the sun is not shining.
Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of PEC and PV electrolysis reactors, the strengths of this research program will be at the intersections of electrochemistry, catalysis, photovoltaics, heat transfer, optics, materials science, and interfacial science and engineering. Fundamentals of these subjects will be applied to a host of problems ranging from high throughput screening of (photo)catalytic materials to the design and demonstration of device and systems-level energy conversion technologies. Within these projects, we will seek to develop a better understanding of the fundamental chemical and physical phenomena that underlie the operation of solar and catalytic technologies, and combine that knowledge with innovative approaches to engineering more efficient, manufacturable, and cost-effective solutions.
Please visit our group’s homepage for a more detailed description of our research interests.
Selected Publications (see homepage for most up-to-date listing)
D.V. Esposito, I. Levin, T.P. Moffat, and A.A. Talin. “Hydrogen Evolution at Si-based Metal-Insulator-Semiconductor Photoelectrodes Enhanced by Inversion Channel Charge Collection and Hydrogen Spillover.” Nature Materials, doi: 10.1038/NMAT3626, 2013.
D.V. Esposito, R.V Forest, Y. Chang, N. Gaillard, B.E. McCandless, S. Hou, K.H. Lee, R.W. Birkmire, and J.G. Chen, “Photoelectrochemical Reforming of Glucose for Hydrogen Production using a WO3-based Tandem Cell Device”. Energy & Environmental Science, vol. 5, 9091-9099, 2012.
D.V. Esposito, S.T. Hunt, Y. Kimmel, and J.G. Chen, “A New Class of Electrocatalysts for Hydrogen Production from Water Electrolysis: Metal Monolayers Supported on Low-Cost Transition Metal Carbides”. Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 134, 3025-3033, 2012.
D.V. Esposito and J.G. Chen, “Monolayer Platinum Supported on Tungsten Carbides as Low-Cost Electrocatalysts: Opportunities and Limitations”. Energy & Environmental Science, vol. 4, 3900-3912, 2011.
D.V. Esposito, Y. Chang, J.G. Chen, R.W. Birkmire, and N. Gaillard, “Hydrogen Production from Photo-driven Electrolysis of Biomass-derived Oxygenates: A Case Study on Methanol using Pt-modified WO3 Thin Film Electrodes”. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 36, 9632-9644, 2011.
D.V. Esposito, S.T. Hunt, A.L. Stottlemyer, K.D. Dobson, B.E. McCandless, R.W. Birkmire, and J.G. Chen, “Low-Cost Hydrogen Evolution Catalysts Based on Monolayer Platinum on Tungsten Monocarbide (WC) Substrates”. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, vol. 49, 9859-9862, 2010.
D.V. Esposito, O.Y. Goue, K.D. Dobson, B.E. McCandless, J.G. Chen, and R.W. Birkmire, “A New Photoelectrochemical Test Cell and Its Use for a Combined Two- and Three-Electrode Approach to Cell Testing”. Review of Scientific Instruments, vol. 80, 125107, 2009.