Victoria Benavente Llorente


Photoelectrochemical devices are a promising alternative to store sunlight energy directly into high-energy-density fuels. One of the longstanding challenges in this area is to find stable semiconductor materials for the photoanodes to perform the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). The most studied semiconductors, such as metal oxides, present photo-corrosion leading to degradation of the photoanode during OER. 

The main goal of my Georg Forster Fellowship is to study the stability of photoanodes based on metal oxides absorbing light in the visible range. I will investigate how surface modifications, such as co-catalyst or stable oxide deposition, influence the stability of the photoanodes. I will use a photoelectrochemical scanning flow cell (PEC SFC) coupled to an inductively coupled mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) to characterize the stability. This experimental setup allows the online detection of dissolved metals during a PEC measurement.

The analysis of dissolution phenomena during PEC OER will provide a deeper understanding of the photo-degradation mechanisms of the semiconductor materials. This research outline seeks to contribute to the design of stable photoanodes for PEC solar-to-fuel production.


09.2021- Current Georg Forster Postdoctoral fellow in Forschungszentrum Jülich, Helmholtz-Institute Erlangen Nüremberg für Erneuerbare Energie
05.2021- 08.2021 Postdoctoral Stay in University of Almería, Spain; supervised by Dr. Prof. Pascual Oña Burgos. Research Topic: Oxidation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural with Ru-supported nanoparticles in mild conditions.
06.2019- 08.2019 Visiting researcher at the University of Ottawa, Canada; supervised by Dr. Prof. Juan Tito Scaiano. Research Topic: Preparation of Ni composites for hydrogen evolution reaction in alkaline media.
03.2019- 08.2021 CONICET Postdoctoral fellow in INFIQC, University of Córdoba, Argentine; supervised by Dr. Esteban Franceschini. Research topic: Preparation of NiMo composites for hydrogen evolution reaction in alkaline media.
08.2016- 12.2016 DAAD research stay, Technischer Universität Dresden, Germany; supervised by Dr. Prof. Nikolai Gaponik. Research Topic: Spectroelectrochemical characterization of plasmonic copper chalcogenide nanoparticles.
2014-2019 Ph.D. in chemistry, University of Córdoba, Argentine; supervised by Dr. Rodrigo Iglesias. Dissertation: „Photoelectrochemistry and spectroelectrochemistry of nanostructured semiconductors “
2009-2013 Bsc-Msc in chemistry, University of Córdoba, Argentine.