California is committed to 33 percent energy from renewable resources by 2020. With that deadline fast approaching, researchers across the state are busy exploring options.

Solar energy is attractive but for widespread adoption, it requires transformation into a storable form. This week in ACS Central Science, researchers report that nanowires made from multiple metal oxides could put solar ahead in this race.

One way to harness solar power for broader use is through photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting that provides hydrogen for fuel cells. Many materials that can perform the reaction exist, but most of these candidates suffer from issues, ranging from efficiency to stability and cost.

Peidong Yang and colleagues designed a system where nanowires from one of the most commonly used materials (TiO2) acts as a “host” for “guest” nanoparticles from another oxide called BiVO4.

BiVO4 is a newly introduced material that is among the best ones for absorbing light and performing the water splitting reaction, but does not carry charge well while TiO2 is stable, cheap and an efficient charge carrier but does not absorb light well.

Together with a unique studded nanowire architecture, the new system works better than either material alone. The authors state their approach can be used to improve the efficiencies of other photoconversion materials.

Publication: Joaquin Resasco, Hao Zhang, Nikolay Kornienko, Nigel Becknell, Hyunbok Lee, Jinghua Guo, Alejandro L. Briseno, Peidong Yang. TiO2/BiVO4Nanowire Heterostructure Photoanodes Based on Type II Band Alignment. ACS Central Science, 2016
Story: Host-guest nanowires for efficient water splitting and solar energy storage | American Chemical Society — February 3, 2016

Editorial Team
The Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with data and insights to deliver useful news updates. We are experts with the mission to inform, educate and inspire the industry. We are passionately curious, enthusiastic, and motivated to positively impact the world. Send us a tip via hello @ pvbuzz [dot] com.

Get ready, its coming: Tesla to launch version 2.0 of the Powerwall energy storage pack this 2016

Previous article

Alberta government to offer $5M boost towards solar energy rebates for farms, municipalities

Next article

You may also like


Comments are closed.