Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > UQ researchers make breakthrough in renewable energy materials

Abstract:
University of Queensland researchers have made a ground-breaking discovery that produces highly efficient miniature crystals which could revolutionise the way we harvest and use solar energy.

UQ researchers make breakthrough in renewable energy materials

Australia | Posted on May 28th, 2008

Professor Max Lu, from UQ's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), said they were one step closer to the holy grail of cost-effective solar energy with their discovery.

"We have grown the world's first titanium oxide single crystals with large amounts of reactive surfaces, something that was predicted as almost impossible," Professor Lu said.

"Highly active surfaces in such crystals allow high reactivity and efficiency in devices used for solar energy conversion and hydrogen production.

"Titania nano-crystals are promising materials for cost-effective solar cells, hydrogen production from splitting water, and solar decontamination of pollutants.

"The beauty of our technique is that it is very simple and cheap to make such materials at mild conditions.

"Now that the research has elucidated the conditions required, the method is like cooking in an oven and the crystals can be applied like paints."

Professor Lu, who was recently awarded a second prestigious Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship, said it wasn't just renewable energy where this research could be applied.

"These crystals are also fantastic for purifying air and water," he said.

"The same principle for such materials to convert sunlight to electricity is also working to break down pollutants in water and air.

"One could paint these crystals onto a window or a wall to purify the air in a room.

"The potential of applications of this technology in water purification and recycling are huge."

Professor Lu said it would be about five years for the water and air pollution applications to be commercially available, and about 5 to 10 years for the solar energy conversion using such crystals.

He said the breakthrough technology was a great example of cross-discipline collaborations with work by Professor Sean Smith's Computational Molecular Science group at AIBN, who conducted key computational studies and helped the experimentalist researchers to focus on specific surface modification elements for control of the crystal morphology.

"First-principle computational chemistry is a powerful tool in aiding the design and synthetic realisation of novel nanomaterials, and this work is a beautiful example of the synergy," Professor Smith said.

Professor Lu said the work was also the result of a very fruitful and long-term international collaboration with Professor Huiming Cheng's group from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a world-class institution with which UQ has many productive research collaborations.

The research, which was produced with colleagues Huagui Yang, Chenghua Sun, Shizhang Qiao, Gang Liu, Jin Zou, has been published in the latest edition of scientific journal Nature (doi:10.1038/nature06964).

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Professor Max Lu
07 3346 3828
or 0402 892 799
or
Andrew Dunne
UQ Communications
07 3365 2802
or 0433 364 181

Copyright © University of Queensland

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Materials for the next generation of electronics and photovoltaics: MacArthur Fellow develops new uses for carbon nanotubes October 21st, 2014

Special UO microscope captures defects in nanotubes: University of Oregon chemists provide a detailed view of traps that disrupt energy flow, possibly pointing toward improved charge-carrying devices October 21st, 2014

Super stable garnet ceramics may be ideal for high-energy lithium batteries October 21st, 2014

Could I squeeze by you? Ames Laboratory scientists model molecular movement within narrow channels of mesoporous nanoparticles October 21st, 2014

Announcements

Special UO microscope captures defects in nanotubes: University of Oregon chemists provide a detailed view of traps that disrupt energy flow, possibly pointing toward improved charge-carrying devices October 21st, 2014

Super stable garnet ceramics may be ideal for high-energy lithium batteries October 21st, 2014

Could I squeeze by you? Ames Laboratory scientists model molecular movement within narrow channels of mesoporous nanoparticles October 21st, 2014

Detecting Cancer Earlier is Goal of Rutgers-Developed Medical Imaging Technology: Rare earth nanocrystals and infrared light can reveal small cancerous tumors and cardiovascular lesions October 21st, 2014

Energy

Could I squeeze by you? Ames Laboratory scientists model molecular movement within narrow channels of mesoporous nanoparticles October 21st, 2014

First Canada Excellence Research Chair gets $10 million from the federal government for oilsands research at the University of Calgary: Federal government announces prestigious research chair to study improving oil production efficiency October 19th, 2014

Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways October 16th, 2014

Unique catalysts for hydrogen fuel cells synthesized in ordinary kitchen microwave oven October 14th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE





  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE