Ana has been promoted to Professor! :-) August 2023

Ana has been promoted to Professor! Prof Jorge Sobrido started her independent career at QMUL as Academic Fellow in 2016, before becoming Lecturer in 2019, Senior Lecturer 2019, Reader in 2021 and now Full Professor! She is lucky to have a fantastic research team that has contribute to her success. Also an amazing bunch that welcome her with balloons on her office door to congratulate her after her promotion. Celebrations are due! 😀

Collaboration with NPU Results in a Publication in Science – July 2023

A collaboration led by NPU’s academic Prof Xuanhua Li in collaboration with Dr Ana Sobrido has resulted in a publication in Science, In situ photocatalytically enhanced thermogalvanic cells for electricity and hydrogen production.

In thermogalvanic cells, temperature-driven concentration gradients of redox active species can lead to a potential difference that can produce electricity. This work describes a pioneering system combining electricity generation with H2 production by harnessing energy from solar radiation.

The photocatalytically enhanced thermogalvanic devices were demonstrated through an in situ–induced photocatalytic process that produced a continuous concentration gradient of FeCN4– and FeCN3– ions on both hot and cold sides. The system displayed a photocatalytically enhanced thermopower of 8.2 mV K−1 accompanied by simultaneous solar-driven water splitting with an STH efficiency of up to 0.4%.

Ana Sobrido Participates in a Leadership Retreat Workshop in Reading – July 2023

Ana spent three days in Reading at a workshop on leadership organised by the FLF Development Network, along with other 19 fellows.

The workshop programme, facilitated by Steve Joy and Tracey Stead, included topics such as self-leadership, team dysfunction, important conversations and action planning.

For those FLF who have not had the opportunity to participate in one, Ana would encourage them to do so!

Carlos passes his PhD viva! 1st June 2023

Carlos passed his PhD viva with very minor corrections on the 1st June 2023. His PhD studied the electron spin selectivity through chirality and probed the effect of electrons spin selectivity on oxygen evolution reaction. Well done Carlos! Many congratulations! We can’t wait to see what you will do next.

Ana gives a talk at CIC Energigune – April 2023


Ana gave a talk at the CIC Energigune in Vitoria, Basque Country. She enjoyed the visit to the centre, the impressive facilities and knowing more about the research conducted there, in particular in the area of electrochemical energy storage. It was great to get to see Montse Cabanas again after so long since they both shared office at ICMAB, and also Stiven who is doing a PhD in recycling Li-ion batteries at CIC Energigune.

New publication in Chemistry- An Asian Journal (January 2023)

Surface Modification of PAN-Derived Commercial Graphite Felts Using Deep Eutectic Solvents for their Application as Electrodes in All-Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries

Mauricio, Eneith and Michael published this great work on modification of carbon felts for redox flow battery applications, using deep eutectic solvents to modify the surface chemistry of the commercial fibre electrodes.


All-vanadium redox flow batteries are promising large-scale energy storage solutions to support intermittent
power generation. Commercial graphite felts are among the most used materials as electrodes for these batteries due to their cheap price, high conductivity, and large surface area. However, these materials exhibit poor wettability and electrochemical activity towards vanadium redox reactions, which translates into overpotentials and lower efficiencies. Deep eutectic solvents (DES) are mixtures of Lewis acids and bases that exhibit lower melting points than their original components. Here, a DES composed of choline chloride and urea, and a DES composed of FeCl3 and NH4Cl have been
employed to modify the surface of graphite felts alongside a series of re-carbonization steps. The resulting materials were compared against pristine, thermally activated, and oxidatively activated graphite felts. Our results indicated that the treatments introduced new oxygen and nitrogen functionalities to the carbonaceous surface and increased the surface area, the degree of disorder and defects in the graphitic layers of the fibres. Cyclic voltammetry studies demonstrated higher electrochemical activity towards vanadium redox reactions and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy experiments showed the modified materials exhibited significantly lower charge transfer resistances. When tested in full cell configuration the electrode modified with the urea-based DES exhibited comparable coulombic efficiencies and superior energy storage capacity retention than the thermally oxidized felt used as benchmark, suggesting that the introduction of oxygen- and nitrogen-rich functional groups had a positive effect on the overall electrochemical performance of graphite felts.