Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > How to split a water molecule

Figure 3 STM images of water molecule before (a) and after (b) dissociation into OH, and before (c) and after (d) dissociation into O.
Figure 3 STM images of water molecule before (a) and after (b) dissociation into OH, and before (c) and after (d) dissociation into O.

Abstract:
A research team at RIKEN has succeeded for the first time in selectively controlling for reaction products in the dissociation of a single water molecule on an ultrathin film. The reaction, described in the April 19th issue of Nature Materials, opens the door to the creation of novel functional catalysts and applications in clean energy production.

How to split a water molecule

Tokyo | Posted on April 19th, 2010

In recent years, the knowledge that materials exhibit novel properties at the nano-scale has driven a search for functional nano-materials with useful applications. Among these, ultrathin metal oxide films have attracted attention for their application in reaction catalysis, yet mechanisms underlying this catalytic role have remained unclear.

Using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) at ultra-low temperatures, the research team explored the dynamics of single water molecules interacting with a film of magnesium oxide (MgO) several atoms in thickness. They discovered that by injecting tunnelling electrons into water molecules on the MgO surface, they could select between dissociation pathways: excitation of the molecule's vibrational states induced dissociation into hydroxyl (H + OH) (Figure 3 (a) and (b)), whereas excitation of its electronic states induced dissociation into atomic oxygen (O) (Figure 3 (c) and (d)).

The controlled dissociation of water molecules via selected reaction pathways presents unique opportunities in targeted catalysis, particularly in the production of hydrogen, a potential source of clean energy. While advancing our understanding of the dynamics of water molecules, the discovery also sets the stage for applications in the catalysis of more complex systems on insulating films.

####

About RIKEN
The mission of RIKEN is to conduct comprehensive research in science and technology (excluding only the humanities and social sciences) as provided for under the "RIKEN Law," and to publicly disseminate the results of its scientific research and technological developments. RIKEN carries out high level experimental and research work in a wide range of fields, including physics, chemistry, medical science, biology, and engineering, covering the entire range from basic research to practical application.

RIKEN was first organized in 1917 as a private research foundation, and reorganized in 2003 as an independent administrative institution under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Dr. Yousoo Kim
Surface and Interface Science Laboratory
RIKEN Advanced Science Institute
Tel: +81-(0)48-467-4073
Fax: +81-(0)48-462-4663

Ms. Tomoko Ikawa (PI officer)
Global Relations Office
RIKEN
Tel: +81-(0)48-462-1225
Fax: +81-(0)48-462-4715

Copyright © RIKEN

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

Basque researchers turn light upside down February 23rd, 2018

Stiffness matters February 23rd, 2018

Imaging individual flexible DNA 'building blocks' in 3-D: Berkeley Lab researchers generate first images of 129 DNA structures February 22nd, 2018

'Memtransistor' brings world closer to brain-like computing: Combined memristor and transistor can process information and store memory with one device February 22nd, 2018

Chemistry

Ultra-efficient removal of carbon monoxide using gold nanoparticles on a molecular support: New method and mechanism for state-of-the-art gas purification February 9th, 2018

Fast-spinning spheres show nanoscale systems' secrets: Rice University lab demonstrates energetic properties of colloids in spinning magnetic field February 7th, 2018

New filters could enable manufacturers to perform highly-selective chemical separation January 23rd, 2018

Nanowrinkles could save billions in shipping and aquaculture Surfaces inspired by carnivorous plants delay degradation by marine fouling January 17th, 2018

Thin films

A simple new approach to plastic solar cells: Osaka University researchers intelligently design new highly efficient organic solar cells based on amorphous electronic materials with potential for easy printing January 28th, 2018

Scientists reveal the fundamental limitation in the key material for solid-state lighting January 25th, 2018

Possible Futures

Basque researchers turn light upside down February 23rd, 2018

Stiffness matters February 23rd, 2018

Developing reliable quantum computers February 22nd, 2018

Imaging individual flexible DNA 'building blocks' in 3-D: Berkeley Lab researchers generate first images of 129 DNA structures February 22nd, 2018

Announcements

Basque researchers turn light upside down February 23rd, 2018

Stiffness matters February 23rd, 2018

Histology in 3-D: New staining method enables Nano-CT imaging of tissue samples February 22nd, 2018

Developing reliable quantum computers February 22nd, 2018

Environment

Ultra-efficient removal of carbon monoxide using gold nanoparticles on a molecular support: New method and mechanism for state-of-the-art gas purification February 9th, 2018

New filters could enable manufacturers to perform highly-selective chemical separation January 23rd, 2018

Rice U.'s one-step catalyst turns nitrates into water and air: NSF-funded NEWT Center aims for catalytic converter for nitrate-polluted water January 5th, 2018

'Quantum material' has shark-like ability to detect small electrical signals December 20th, 2017

Energy

Round-the-clock power from smart bowties February 5th, 2018

Silk fibers could be high-tech ‘natural metamaterials’ January 31st, 2018

A simple new approach to plastic solar cells: Osaka University researchers intelligently design new highly efficient organic solar cells based on amorphous electronic materials with potential for easy printing January 28th, 2018

Nature paper by Schlumberger researchers used photothermal based nanoscale IR spectroscopy to analyze heterogeneous process of petroleum generation January 23rd, 2018

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project