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August 25th, 2010

New material developed for photocatalysis

Published on August 25th, 2010 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Hollow rods of titanium oxide with the solid manganese oxide core removed. (Credit: UConn.)

According to a University of Connecticut press release, researchers believe they have developed a new material that could be used as a catalyst in alternative fuel development.

Featured in the September issue of the nanotechnology journal, Small, University of Connecticut chemistry professor Steven Suib describes a method developed for the production of a nanosized crystalline material that can potentially be used for energy conservation.

Small fibers or rods of titanium oxide emanating from the manganese oxide-based template. (Credit: UConn.)

Small fibers or rods of titanium oxide emanating from the manganese oxide-based template. (Credit: UConn.)

The material, sized at 100 nanometers, consists of two materials, one a template and the other a material that can grow around it in a well-ordered array. The growth can be controlled and its photocatalytic properties may be useful to drive reactions such as the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen.

According to Suib, the material can be a component of paint or can be applied to a surface, and will be useful in solar applications.

“It’s very hard to make materials this size,” Suib says, “as small antennas come in and out of a surface that small.”

Suib’s work with catalysts also expands to new oxygen reduction catalysts composed of octahedral molecular sieves of the the gamma form of manganese oxide (gamma-MnO2) and a small amount of titanium. We published a story on this work with active oxidation catalyst for Li-air batteries, which can be seen here.

 


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