Navigation Links
Nanostructure boosts efficiency in energy transport
Date:3/3/2009

CHESTNUT HILL, MA (March 3, 2009) Overcoming a critical conductivity challenge to clean energy technologies, Boston College researchers have developed a titanium nanostructure that provides an expanded surface area and demonstrates significantly greater efficiency in the transport of electrons.

The challenge has vexed researchers pursuing solar panels thick enough to absorb sunlight, yet thin enough to collect and transport electrons with minimal energy loss. Similarly, the relatively new science of water splitting requires capturing energy within semiconductor materials and then efficiently transporting charges ultimately used to generate hydrogen.

Boston College Asst. Prof of Chemistry Dunwei Wang and members of his lab found that incorporating two titanium-based semiconductors into a nano-scale structure improved the efficiency of power-collecting efforts by approximately 33 percent, the team reported in the online edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The team achieved a peak conversion efficiency of 16.7 percent under ultraviolet light, reported Wang and his co-authors, BC graduate students Yongjing Lin and Sa Zhou, post doctoral researcher Xiaohua Liu and undergraduate Stafford Sheehan. That compared to an efficiency of 12 percent from a structure composed only of titanium dioxide (TiO2).

Wang said the efficiency gains within the novel material can serve so-called water-splitting, where semiconductor catalysts have been shown to separate and store hydrogen and oxygen gases.

"The current challenge in splitting water involves how best to capture photons within the semiconductor material and then grab and transport them to produce hydrogen," Wang says. "For practical water splitting, you want to generate oxygen and hydrogen separately. For this, good electrical conductivity is of great importance because it allows you to collect electrons in the oxygen-generation region and transport them to the hydrogen-generation chamber for hydrogen production."

By using two crystalline semiconductors materials critical to the processes of energy capture and transport Wang says the researchers discovered a new and successful transfer mechanism in an engineered structure nearly invisible to the human eye.

Titanium dioxide has played a key role in early water-splitting research because of its prowess as a catalyst. However, its light absorption is confined to ultraviolet rays only and the material is also a relatively poor conductor.

Wang and his researchers started by growing a nanostructure made of titanium disilicide (TiSi2), a semiconductor capable of absorbing solar light and a material able to provide a sturdy structure with expanded surface area critical to absorbing photons. Still in need of its catalytic capabilities, titanium dioxide was used to coat the structure, Wang said.

The resulting net-like nanostructure effectively separated charges, collecting the electrons in the titanium disilicide core and transporting them away. The structure transferred positive charges to the titanium dioxide region of the material for chemical reactions. In water-splitting, these charges could potentially be used to generate hydrogen.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ed Hayward
ed.hayward@bc.edu
617-552-4826
Boston College
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. Two nanostructures are better than one
2. NIST team develops novel method for nanostructured polymer thin films
3. Smart insulin nanostructures pass feasibility test, UT study reports
4. New nanostructured thin film shows promise for efficient solar energy conversion
5. UC San Diego nanostructures will raise thin-film solar cell efficiency
6. In novel playground, metals are formed into porous nanostructures
7. New process creates 3-D nanostructures with magnetic materials
8. Murad Boosts Skin Immunity With the New Murad(R) Professional Line
9. New Scandinavian collaboration boosts nanotech development
10. Cystic Fibrosis: License Agreement Boosts Development of Therapy Against Lung Infections
11. Genzyme Boosts Quality Using Dyadem Quality Lifecycle Management
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Nanostructure boosts efficiency in energy transport
(Date:5/4/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 , ... The ... a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. It ... cure. , Through numerous community events held during the month of May, as well ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... enterprise talent development, skill-building and compliance training platform on mobile devices, today ... course: Overview of Regulatory Requirements for Medical Devices. The course is essential for ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... NeuroTech NYC , the sensor and data driven conferences, will take place on June ... UnitedHealth's Vidya Raman-Tangella on incorporating technology -- including AR/VR, machine ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... May 2, 2016 Q BioMed ... technology partner Mannin Research Inc. will be attending the ... takes place from May 1-5, 2016 in ... meeting with its vendors and research partners. The meeting ... goals and other collaborative opportunities for the MAN-01 program ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:3/15/2016)... --> --> ... Research "Digital Door Lock Systems Market - Global Industry Analysis, ... global digital door lock systems market in terms of revenue ... forecast to grow at a CAGR of 31.8% during the ... enterprises (MSMEs) across the world and high industrial activity driving ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... MELBOURNE, Florida , March 14, 2016 ... on the growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of ... York channels starting the week of March 21 st . ... and CNBC, including its popular Squawk on the Street show. ... company focused on the growing mobile commerce market, announces the ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... 11, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ) - --> ... is available at AP Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - ... used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be ... CeBIT in Hanover next week.   --> ... be used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):