Ludmilla Steier


Professor Ludmilla Steier

Associate Professor of Inorganic Chemistry



Research Interests

We design, characterise and test new catalysts for efficient and stable production of high-value fuels and chemicals from solar energy.  Our particular focus is on designing and understanding interfaces and surfaces that are crucial to improving the selectivity and activity of our catalysts and to prolonging their operational stability. 

We target solar fuels such as green hydrogen from water or industrial waste products as well as chained hydrocarbons and oxygenates from CO2.  

We use a combination of material synthesis techniques including sol-gel synthesis and electrodeposition but are currently developing new atomic layer deposition (ALD) routes to the photo- and electrocatalysts of tomorrow. With ALD we aim at controlling our material growth at the atomic scale to achieve the cleanest interfaces, highly defined surfaces and controlled defect concentrations across our semiconducting materials. 

Current projects are focused on: 

  • Linking dopants in oxide perovskite photocatalysts to photocatalytic activity 
  • Understanding the selectivity and stability of oxide electrocatalysts with copper +2 and +1 oxidation states in the CO2 reduction reaction 
  • Understanding surface modifications in the electrochemical conversion of CO
  • Developing earth-abundant electrocatalysts for water electrolysis
  • Understanding oxide/metal interfaces and their role in photocatalytic reactions 

Our group website is coming soon. Stay tuned! 

Vacancy: If you are looking for a PhD, take a look here! It’s a fully funded position open to national and international students. Apply now and join us! 


Ludmilla is an Associate Professor of Inorganic Chemistry and Goodenough Tutorial Fellow at Saint Catherine’s College. She obtained her B.Sc and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Siegen (Germany). During her undergraduate studies she developed an interest in electrochemistry and semiconductor physics driving her to pursue a M.Sc. project on dye-sensitized solar cells in the group of Professor Michael Grätzel at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland). Staying in the same group, Ludmilla worked on oxide thin film photoelectrodes applied in photoelectrochemical water splitting and perovskite solar cells during her Ph.D. degree which she obtained in 2016. Ludmilla joined the group of Professor James Durrant at Imperial College London to study photochemical and photophysical processes in semiconductors using time-resolved spectroscopy and shortly after was awarded the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship (2017-2019). Ludmilla began her independent research career as Imperial College Research Fellow (2019-2021) before moving to Oxford in October 2021. Her research at Oxford aims at the design of atomically defined photo- and electrocatalysts that convert CO2, water and other “waste products” to energy-rich fuels and chemicals with high conversion efficiency, selectivity and long operational stability.


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