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Francesca Toma

CSD Staff Scientist; Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP)

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
One Cyclotron Road, Mailstop: 30R0205
Berkeley, CA 94720

Telephone:(510) 495-2342
FAX:(510) 495-8700

[email protected]


Research Centers:

The Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) is one of the Department of Energy Innovation Hubs. Its mission is to generate carbon-neutral fuels efficiently using only sunlight and water or carbon dioxide and sustainable materials. A number of CSD scientists participate in JCAP, working on catalysts, transformations using materials assemblies, and interfacial chemistry.

Research Interests:

Dr. Toma’s research interests include carbon neutral energy sources that are scalable, deployable, and cost effective, which will be required at an unprecedented scale to halt the energy crisis.  Photoelectrocatalysis is one of the most promising methods to store bulk renewable energy in solar fuels for use on demand.  Her specific interests lie in the synthesis, characterization, and integration of light absorber/catalyst assemblies, and on the development of in situ and operando microscopy techniques to study energy efficient systems.  The characterization of interfaces and materials properties in nano and mesostructured integrated devices, and the understanding of structure-activity relationships in such materials will enable the development of novel, highly efficient and stable functional systems for solar fuel production.

In JCAP, Dr. Toma is developing a research program based on materials synthesis, integration, and characterization focusing on:  synthesis and characterization of heterogenized electrocatalysts for the CO2 reduction reaction; synthesis of integrated light absorbers/catalyst systems as photoanodes and photocathodes; imaging of local chemical, morphological, and property inhomogeneity in nano and mesoscale materials by electron microscopy, conductive atomic force microscopy, and photoemission electron microscopy; imaging of interfaces and thin films by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy to promote the understanding of fundamental mechanism of catalytic systems, and structural and microscopy characterization by synchrotron-based techniques.


Chen, L. et al. Mo-Doped BiVO4 Photoanodes Synthesized by Reactive Sputtering. ChemSusChem, DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201402984 (2015).

Cooper, J. K. et al. Indirect Bandgap and Optical Properties of Monoclinic Bismuth Vanadate. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, DOI: 10.1021/jp512169w (2015).

Li, Y. et al. Fabrication of Planar Heterojunction Perovskite Solar Cells by Controlled Low-Pressure Vapor Annealing. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, DOI: 10.1021/jz502720a (2015).

Yang, J. H. et al. Efficient and Sustained Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation by Cobalt Oxide/Silicon Photoanodes with Nanotextured Interfaces. Journal of the American Chemical Society 136, 6191-6194,DOI: 10.1021/ja501513t (2014).

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