May 28, 2008
Titanium Oxide Crystals For Photovoltaics

Previously I became aware of the potential for paintable titanium nanotubes to make cheap solar photovoltaics from watching a slide show by CalTech researcher Nathan Lewis. So news from the University of Queensland about a cheap way to make titanium oxide crystals suitable for painting and the prospects for cheap photovoltaics strikes me as potentially important information.

Professor Max Lu, from UQ's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), said they were one step closer to the holy grail of cost-effective solar energy with their discovery.

“We have grown the world's first titanium oxide single crystals with large amounts of reactive surfaces, something that was predicted as almost impossible,” Professor Lu said.

“Highly active surfaces in such crystals allow high reactivity and efficiency in devices used for solar energy conversion and hydrogen production.

“Titania nano-crystals are promising materials for cost-effective solar cells, hydrogen production from splitting water, and solar decontamination of pollutants.

“The beauty of our technique is that it is very simple and cheap to make such materials at mild conditions.

“Now that the research has elucidated the conditions required, the method is like cooking in an oven and the crystals can be applied like paints.”

Let us hope that Professor Lu meets with further successes in his research endeavors.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2008 May 28 09:50 PM  Energy Solar

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