Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Chemical & Biochemical Engineering

First Advisor

Jennifer N. Cha

Second Advisor

Charles Musgrave

Third Advisor

Will Medlin

Fourth Advisor

Joel Kaar

Fifth Advisor

Gordana Dukovic


Photocatalytic materials and systems have been studied in recent years for generating fuels from renewable energy resources. My doctoral research has focused on studying the use of biological mediated self-assembly to fabricate well-organized Z-scheme nanoparticle systems for both enhancing water splitting as well as CO2 reduction. Using DNA as a template in nanomaterial assembly allows the ability to guide the positioning of each nanomaterial to build an effective photocatalytic Z-scheme. In this dissertation, I discuss the use of DNA as a structure directing agent to assemble different nanocrystals for water splitting to improve H2 production upon solar irradiation. In addition, I report the utilization of such nanocrystal Z-scheme system for showing enhanced reduction of CO2, and also the application of alcohol dehydrogenase in further reduction of formaldehyde to methanol. The physical and chemical characterization methods were used to analyze these systems, and the results of their performance on different reactions will be presented in this assay.

Included in

Engineering Commons