Researchers of Tomsk Polytechnic University mutually with groups from the University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague and Jan Evangelista Purkyne University in Ústí nad Labem have built up another 2-D material to create hydrogen, which is the premise of elective vitality.
The material proficiently creates hydrogen atoms from new, salt, and contaminated water by introduction to daylight. The outcomes are distributed in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.
“Hydrogen is an alternative source of energy. Thus, the development of hydrogen technologies can become a solution to the global energy challenge. However, there are a number of issues to solve. In particular, scientists are still searching for efficient and green methods to produce hydrogen.
One of the main methods is to decompose water by exposure to sunlight. There is a lot of water on our planet, but only a few methods suitable for salt or polluted water. In addition, few use the infrared spectrum, which is 43% of all sunlight,” Olga Guselnikova, one of the creators and a specialist of the TPU Research School of Chemistry and Applied Biomedical Sciences, notes.
The created material is a three-layer structure with a 1-micrometer thickness. The lower layer is a flimsy film of gold, the subsequent one is made of 10-nanometer platinum, and the third is a film of metal-natural structures of chromium mixes and natural particles.
“During the experiments, we watered material and sealed the container to take periodic gas samples to determine the amount of hydrogen. Infrared light caused the excitation of plasmon resonance on the sample surface. Hot electrons generated on the gold film were transferred to the platinum layer. These electrons initiated the reduction of protons at the interface with the organic layer. If electrons reach the catalytic centers of metal-organic frameworks, the latter were also used to reduce protons and obtain hydrogen,” Guselnikova clarifies.
Analyses have exhibited that 100 square centimeters of the material can produce 0.5 liters of hydrogen in 60 minutes. It is probably the most noteworthy rate recorded for 2-D materials.
“In this case, the metal-organic frame also acted as a filter. It filtered impurities and passed already purified water without impurities to the metal layer. It is very important, because, although there is a lot of water on Earth, its main volume is either salt or polluted water. Thereby, we should be ready to work with this kind of water,” she notes.
Later on, researchers would like to improve the material to make it proficient for both infrared and noticeable spectra.
“The material already demonstrates a certain absorption in the visible light spectrum, but its efficiency is slightly lower than in the infrared spectrum. After improvement, it will be possible to say that the material works with 93% of the spectral volume of sunlight,” Guselnikova includes.