Faculty Advisor

Rao, Pratap M.


Hydrogen, the most abundant chemical element in the universe, can be harnessed through solar-driven water electrolysis by a photocatalyst material. The project team designed, manufactured, and tested a device in which a photocatalyst material can be mechanically strained to improve its energy conversion efficiency. The device consists of an electrically conductive substrate, a straining mechanism, and a reaction chamber. The electrically conductive substrate, made of a metal-filled polymer, acts as an electrode for the photocatalyst. The straining mechanism was designed to bend this substrate and transfer strain to the photocatalyst over a range of -2 to 2%. The reaction chamber was created to house the substrate and mechanism while allowing light to reach the photocatalyst.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2016


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering