Black Nanoparticles Could Play Key Role in Clean Energy Photocatalysis

The ability to turn low-efficiency photocatalytic “white” nanoparticles of titanium dioxide into high-efficiency “black” nanoparticles could be the key to clean energy technologies based on hydrogen. Using a unique atomic-scale engineering technique, scientists at the United States Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley caused disorder in the nanocrystalline structure of the semiconductor titanium dioxide, leading to the change in color. The black nanoparticles are able to absorb infrared as well as visible and ultraviolet (UV) light, substantially improving the efficiency of the titanium dioxide to split water molecules for the production of hydrogen.

Source: Lawrence Berkeley Lab, April 10, 2013

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