Miss Sandile Mtetwa (2018)
As a research scientist in Chemistry it is my desire that in a few years, the world population that currently does not have access to clean energy will be streamed down noticeably. My PHD work aims to contribute to that goal.I believe that several renewable resources should be utilized to ensure the adequate distribution of energy around the globe and solar-driven hydrogen is one of the solutions. An efficient and cost-effective way for harnessing sunlight and driving the evolution of hydrogen is critical to achieving a hydrogen economy soon. My work will be focused on a metal-organic framework (MOF)-based hybrid system that is tailormade for long charge carrier lifetime. This I will do by synthesizing: a suitable organic linker; as the photosensitizer, a robust and inexpensive semiconductor and exploring the optimum co-catalyst loading for effective reduction of hydrogen ions to molecular hydrogen. I will also consider the subsequent storage of hydrogen after its evolution by the same system. Having been a Gates Scholar during my MPhil I became privy to a wide range of opportunities and I met a wonderful network of scholars who are so passionate about their individual areas of study and are always motivated to do better. I am so honored to continue to be part of a community that continuously works towards improving peoples' lives in different parts of the world.