September 29, 2012

Nanomaterials: Smarter production of a promising water splitter

A method is now available to produce non-aggregating semiconducting particles in water

Conversion of water into hydrogen is a fundamental reaction powered by light, but the lack of suitable artificial drivers, or photocatalysts, for this reaction has hampered its commercial development. Platinum-decorated semiconductor nanoparticles are expected to fill this gap; however, production of these tiny particles typically requires high-temperature metal deposition or ultraviolet irradiation techniques in organic solvents. When synthesized in water, as a benign alternative, the particles tend to form clumps during metal deposition.