Christa van Oversteeg

PhD Candidate
Employed since: November 2015
Room: DDW 4th floor and Ornstein Laboratorium 169



Supervisors: Prof. Dr. P.E. de Jongh and Dr. C. de Mello Donegá

This project is part of the Multiscale Center for Energy Conversion (MCEC).

The use of sunlight to produce fuels is emerging as an important strategy to develop a sustainable and environmentally benign economy. However, the quest for systems to efficiently produce solar fuels poses major challenges.

In this project membranes based on self-assembled chalcogenide semiconductor nanocrystals are investigated for their use in photocatalytic water splitting.  This approach uniquely allows to tune the nanoscale properties of individual nanocrystal building blocks for optimum light capture and charge separation, while on the larger scale stable superstructures can be formed by self-assembly with intrinsically separated reduction and oxidation functionalities.

In the first stage of the project, nanocrystals with different sizes, shapes, compositions and hetero-architectures will be synthesized and studied by advanced structural characterization and optical spectroscopy.  The project focuses on Cu2S and CuInS2 (hetero)nanocrystals, since these materials consist of less toxic elements and have not yet been studied in detail. Subsequently, (photo)catalytic properties of the synthesized nanocrystals will be studied to understand the catalytic properties and evaluate if co-catalysts might be needed.  Eventually the self-organization properties of the nanocrystals will be studied in order to develop strategies to prepare functional nanocrystal superstructures.

Figure 1: Schematic illustration of the approach of the project.




September 2013 – August 2015:
Master in Nanomaterials: Chemistry & Physics (Honours)
Institute: Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Master thesis: ‘Using X-ray spectroscopy to study the reduction and oxidation sensitivity of cobalt and nickel promoter species in conventional HDS catalysts.’
Research group: Inorganic Chemistry & Catalysis, Utrecht University
Supervisor: Prof. dr. F.M.F. de Groot

Internship: ‘A study of the composition of the electric double layer in battery electrolytes with applied voltage’.
Research group: Ćuk group, University of California, Berkeley
Supervisor: Dr. T. Ćuk

September 2010 − July 2013
Bachelor in Chemistry, Institute: Utrecht University
Bachelor thesis: ‘Improving the stability in the methanol synthesis reaction; The impact of drying conditions on the copper particle distribution in a silica-supported copper catalyst.’
Research group: Inorganic Chemistry & Catalysis, Utrecht University
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. P.E. de Jongh


Oversteeg, Van C H M; Oropeza, F E; Hofmann, J P; Hensen, E J M; Jongh, De P E; Donega, De Mello C

Water-Dispersible Copper Sulfide Nanocrystals via Ligand Exchange of 1-Dodecanethiol Journal Article

Chemistry of Materials, 31 (2), pp. 541-552, 2019.

Links | BibTeX

Oversteeg, Van C H M; Doan, H Q; Groot, De F M F; Cuk, T

In situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy of transition metal based water oxidation catalysts Journal Article

Chemical Society Reviews, 46 (1), pp. 102-125, 2017, (cited By 24).

Links | BibTeX