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Photo of Dr Asif Tahir

Dr Asif Tahir

Senior Lecturer in Renewable Energy

Email:

Telephone: 01326259320

The development of renewable, low cost energy technologies is a key scientific challenge for the 21st century, and my research focuses on the development of new chemical approaches to solar energy conversion: harnessing solar energy either to produce electricity (photovoltaics), molecular fuels (e.g., hydrogen) or photocatalysis.

Our fundamental studies of new materials and device concepts aim to elucidate design principles and so enable technological development. This work's key objective is to study light-induced water oxidation and reduction reactions, and production of H2 on novel nanostructured semiconductor electrode surfaces, as a renewable source of energy. I am currently investigating photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical performance of metal oxide, oxynitride and nitride photoelectrodes for solar hydrogen generation, and the effects of doping agents and preparation techniques on their properties.

In addition, the photo-degradation of toxic industrial wastes and pollutants is also being investigated for a clean and sustainable environment.

Research Collaboration

  • Michael Graetzel Group - Institute of Chemical Sciences - EPFL, Switzerland
  • Mohd Asri Group - Solar Energy Institute - National University of Malaysia, Malaysia
  • Neil Allan Group - School of Chemistry - University of Bristol, UK
  • Smagul Karazhanov Group - IFE-Institute for Energiteknikk, Oslo Norway
  • Alessandro Troisi Group - Department of Chemistry - University of Warwick, UK
  • Khurshid Ayub Group - Department of Chemistry - COMSATS Abbottabad, Pakistan
  • Salma Bilal Group - National Centre of Excellence in Physical Chemistry, University of Peshawar, Pakistan
  • Anwar-ul-Haq Ali Shah Group - Institute of Chemical Sciences, University of Peshawar, Pakistan

 

Research interests

  • Photochemistry of solar energy conversion
  • Solar fuel (solar driven hydrogen production and CO2 reduction)
  • Fabrication of self assembled nanoparticles and nanostructured thin films
  • Novel material design for energy conversion and storage
  • Extremely thin absorber-layer (ETA) solar cell
  • Photocatalysis

 

Nanomaterial Fabrication and Characterization:

My research interest in the field nanomaterial fabrication includes state-of-the-art fabrication techniques such as physical vapour deposition (PVD), aerosol assisted vapour deposition (AACVD), atmospheric pressure chemical vapour deposition (APCVD), metal-organic chemical vapour deposition (MOCVD), spray pyrolysis (SP) electrodeposition (ED), chemical bath deposition (CBD) and hydrothermal routes.

Design and development of nanomaterials catalytic applications:

Our research focus to employ fabricated nanomaterials to renewable energy technologies, catalytic, photocatalytic and electrocatalytic applications.

Computational simulation to design materials:

Density functional theory (DFT) is a vital tool in design of new materials and my research focus to use DFT simulation based on atomic coordinates, ionic radius, crystal structure, composition, type and amount of dopant to simulated band structure and optoelectronic properties. The simulated properties are used as a decision-making tool to select appropriate nanomaterials for energy applications.

PCM nanocomposite for energy storage:

Thermal energy storage research interest focuses on developing high energy density, sustainable, efficient and smart PCM energy storage devices at low cost, we need to overcome the scientific challenges of thermal conductive, stability, compatibility and recyclability of materials.

Designing smart composite materials for energy efficient buildings:

The energy efficient building research focus on developing a multi-fold smart composite based on optimised matrix of phase change materials (PCM) to enhance thermal capacitance, transparent insulating materials (TIM) to increase thermal resistance, transparent infrared absorber (TIA) to absorb IR radiation and thermochromic materials (TCM) to control light transmission and along with infrared reflective coating to reduce heat loss and gain through transparent envelope of built environment to improve energy efficiency of buildings.

Research Projects

  1. EPSRC EP/V049046/1 “High-Throughput Fabrication and Characterisation for Discovery of Novel Energy Materials”;  £200K (PI) (Feb 2021-Jan 2023)

  2. EPSRC EP/T025875/1 “Smart Composite Material for Advanced Building Fenestration to Enhance Energy Efficiency”; £1.65m (PI) (Sep 2020-Aug 2024)

  3. EPSRC EP/S030786/1 “Advanced building façade design for optimal delivery of end use energy demand”; £1.65m, (CoI), (Jul 2019-Jun 2023)

  4. ERDF Interreg 2 Seas grant: E2C2S03-019 “E2C: Electrons to high value Chemical products” EU Interreg 2 Seas project, €7.185m CoI (Jul 2018-Dec 2021)

  5. EPSRC-GCRF Institutional award, “Assessment of Solar Water Purification System for Remote Communities (SWPS)” £50K (Dec 2020-Jul 2021)

 

Projects Completed:

  1.  UKIERI-DST 2016-17-0089 “Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) Assisted Tandem Artificial Photosynthetic (AP) Device for Effective Solar-to-Chemical Conversion” 243K (PI) (April 2017-Dec 2020)

  2. EPSRC EP/P003435/1 “Nano-Structured PCM Composites for Compact Space Heating: n-CoSH”; £1.13m (CoI) (Nov. 2016-Dec. 2020)

  3. EPSRC-GCRF Institutional award “Solar driven water purification system for remote communities”; 30K (PI) (Nov 2018-Jul 2019)

  4. EPSRC-GCRF EP/R512801/1-IS2-01, “Development of Novel Energy Nanomaterials for Solar Fuel and Environment remediation”. £34K(PI)  (Oct. 2017-Sep. 2018)

  5. EPSRC-SUPERGEN SuperSolar Hub “PV-PEC device for solar water splitting” 20K (PI) (Jul 20176-Sep 2018)

 

Teaching Modules

  1. Module Leader and teaching             CSM2318 Applied Thermodynamics

  2. Module Leader and teaching             CSM 1037 Science for Energy Engineering

  3. Module Leader and teaching             ENEM102 Energy Storage Technologies and Developments

  4. Module Leader                                   ENEM104 MSc Dissertation in Renewable Energy Engineering

  5. Teaching                                             CSM2048 Energy Engineering Professionals

  6. Teaching                                             CSM1031 Earth and Environmental Chemistry

 

Administrative Responsibilities:

  1. Library Liaison Officer for Engineering and Math

  2. Dignity and Respect Advisor

  3. Academic Misconduct Officer

Qualifications

2009 PhD Inorganic Chemistry (Quaid-I-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan)
2004 MPhil Inorganic Chemistry (Quaid-I-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan)
2001 MSc Chemistry  (Punjab University, Lahore Pakistan)

Career

2011-2013 Research Associate,  University of Liverpool
2008-2011 Research Associate, Loughborough University
2005-2008 Research Assistant, Quaid-I-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan