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Oregon researchers shed new light on solar water-splitting process
Date:12/2/2013

gy. Traditional solar photovoltaic cells absorb sunlight to form excited electrons that are funneled into wires as electricity but storing energy as electricity, for example in batteries, is expensive.

Details about how excited electrons move from semiconductors to catalysts have been poorly understood, Boettcher said. "This lack of understanding makes improving water-splitting devices difficult, as researchers have been relying on trial-and-error instead of rational design."

The system used in the study, Boettcher added, was not efficient. "That wasn't our goal," he said. "We wanted to understand what's happening at a basic level with well-defined materials. This will facilitate the design of systems that are more efficient using other materials."

"Researchers at the University of Oregon are reengineering the science, manufacturing and business processes related to critical products," said Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation and dean of the UO Graduate School. "This important discovery by Dr. Boettcher and his team could lead to more efficient systems that help foster a sustainable future."


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Contact: Jim Barlow
jebarlow@uoregon.edu
541-346-3481
University of Oregon
Source:Eurekalert  

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