Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Penn State Science
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Pengtao Xu

Pengtao Xu

Main Content

  • Chemistry Graduate Student (Mallouk)
221 South Frear Laboratory
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 324-4683

Research Interests

I am interested in understanding the fundamental mechanism of  electron transport in water-splitting dye-sensitized solar cells, which convert solar energy into chemical fuels.


Thomas Mallouk


Research Summary

Xu Research Image

Research in artificial photosynthesis is driven by the goal of creating low-cost, integrated systems for the direct conversion of solar energy to high energy density fuels. Water-splitting dye-sensitized solar cells can in principle leverage the successful architecture, spectral tunability, and high quantum efficiency of regenerative photovoltaic dye cells toward this goal. Currently, I am developing a kinetic model to describe the electron transfer processes in the water-splitting photoanode using intensity modulated photocurrent spectroscopy.

Selected Publications

  • P. Xu, N. S. McCool, and T. E. Mallouk, "Water splitting dye-sensitized solar cells," Nano Today, 14, 42-58 (2017)
  • D. Zhou, Y. C. Li, P. Xu, N. S. McCool, L. Li, W. Wang, and T. E. Mallouk, "Visible-light controlled catalytic Cu2O-Au micromotors," Nanoscale, 9, 75-78 (2017)
  • P. Xu, T. J. Milstein, and T. E. Mallouk, "Flat-band potentials of molecularly thin metal oxide nanosheets," ACS Appl. Mater. 8, 11539-11547 (2016)
  • X. Fan, P. Xu, Y. C. Li, D. Zhou, Y. Sun, M. A. T. Nguyen, M. Terrones, and T. E. Mallouk, "Controlled exfoliation of MoS2 crystals into trilayer nanosheets," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 138, 5143-5149 (2016)
  • X. Fan, P. Xu, D. Zhou, Y. Sun, Y. C. Li, M. A. T. Nguyen, M. Terrones, and T. E. Mallouk, "Fast and efficient preparation of exfoliated 2H MoS2 nanosheets by sonication-assisted lithium intercalation and infrared laser-induced 1T to 2H phase reversion," Nano Lett., 15, 5956-5960 (2015)



  • ACS meeting, San Francisco, CA, April 2017, Atomic Layer-deposited Cobalt Oxide Stabilizes Dye-sensitized Photoanode for Improved Water Oxidation.