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Opportunity at Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)

Multifunctional Catalytic Materials for Degradation and Energy Conversion


Naval Research Laboratory, DC, Chemistry

RO# Location
64.15.15.C0346 Washington, DC 203755321


name email phone
Paul Anthony DeSario 202-767-0417


We design and synthesize innovating nanomaterials for fuels production and environmental remediation. Areas of concern include: (1) thermal and photo-assisted degradation of organophosphorous or perflourinated compounds and (2) solar-driven fuels synthesis (i.e. water splitting and carbon dioxide reduction). One of the biggest barriers limiting the practicality of both solar fuels production and sunlight-assisted chemical degradation is the lack of photocatalytic materials that efficiently capture and convert sunlight to drive targeted chemistry. Work focuses on using plasmonic nanostructures to introduce visible-light driven activity into wide-bandgap semiconducting photocatalysts to expand their applicability for solar-driven applications. Fully exploiting plasmonic materials for photocatalytic applications requires detailed analysis of the materials design parameters that control plasmonic-sensitization efficiency. Research efforts will be focused on: 1) synthesis of composite catalysts coupling high-surface-area oxide supports with embeded plasmonic nanostructures; 2) quantifying the sensitization efficiency (i.e. carriers generated per photon) of the plasmonic nannostructures as a function of structural properties (composition, size, shape, weight loading); and 3) determining the extent to which plasmonic sensitization improves catalytic turnover for reactions of interest.

  1. P. A. DeSario, C.L. Pitman, D.J. Delia, D.R. Rolison, J.J. Pietron, (2019) “Low-temperature CO oxidation at Cu nanoparticles stabilized in low oxidation states on TiO2 aerogels via enhanced Cu||TiO2 interfacial contact,” Appl. Catal. B, 252, 205–213.
  2. P.A. DeSario, J.J. Pietron, T.H. Brintlinger, J.F. Parker, O. Baturina, R.M. Stroud, D.R. Rolison (2017) “Oxidation-stable plasmonic copper nanoparticles in photocatalytic TiO2 nanoarchitectures,” Nanoscale, 9, 11720–11729. 
Nanostructured materials; Catalysis; Plasmonics; Decontamination


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$87,198.00 $3,000.00
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