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Indian researchers develop sub-material & # 39; black gold & # 39;



Indian scientists have tinkered with the yellow metal chemistry and have turned it into "black gold". They claim that it can potentially be used for applications ranging from solar energy to seawater desalination.

Researchers at the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) used gold nanoparticles and by rearranging size and gaps between them, developed a new material that has unique properties such as capacity to absorb light and carbon dioxide. Gold does not have these properties, therefore called "black gold". a new material. In appearance, it is black, hence the name "black gold".

The results have been announced in Chemical Science, a scientific journal published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

"We have not doped gold nanoparticles with any other material or added other materials. We varied the intermediate particle distance between gold nanoparticles by a cycle-by-cycle growth method by optimizing the nucleation growth step using dendritic fibrous nanosilica whose fibers were used as the landfill site for gold nanoparticles, explained Vivek Polshettiwar, who led the research team while talking to India Science Wire.

One of the most fascinating features of the new material is its ability to absorb the entire visible and near infrared area of ​​sunlight. Due to interparticle plasmonic coupling and nanoparticle size heterogeneity, black gold can also act as a catalyst and be able to convert carbon dioxide to methane at atmospheric pressure and temperature using solar energy.

"If we develop an artificial tree with leaves made of black gold, it can perform artificial photosynthesis, capture carbon dio xid and convert it into fuel and other useful chemicals, "added Prof Polshettiwar. The efficiency of the conversion of carbon dioxide to fuel is currently low, but researchers believe it could be improved in the future.

To study the amount of solar material collected by the new material, the researchers dispersed it in water and exposed the solution for one hour and the solution temperature was measured. The temperature of the solution with pure silica spheres rose to 38 degrees, while those with different concentrations of black gold rose to 67 to 88 degrees. The maximum temperature rise was attributed to the formation of thermal hotspots due to the heterogeneity of the particle size and optimum interparticle coupling.

The researchers said the material can be used as a nanofarm to hide sea water in drinking water with good efficiency. "Our findings show the potential use of black gold in seawater purification for drinking water through steam generation using solar sub-atmospheric reaction conditions," the researchers said.

The research team included Mahak Dhiman, Ayan Maity, Anirban Das, Rajesh Belgamwar, Bhagyashree Chalke and Vivek Polshettiwar (TIFT); Yeonhee Lee, Kyunjong Sim and Jwa-Min Nam (Seoul National University). The study was funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). (India Science Wire)

Twitter handle: @dineshcsharma

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