Nanowire used to increase solar fuel cell efficiency

By | July 21, 2015


nanowires



Everyone likes to produce completely carbon free energy. So researchers from Dutch Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter and Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherland have made a breakthrough in producing carbon free clean hydrogen Energy. According to reports published by them at Nature Communications, they have improved the hydrogen producing capacity of a solar fuel cell by ten times. They have achieved this by building a solar cell, which uses gallium phosphide nanowire to produce hydrogen gas from water. This has become possible by splitting liquid water to extract hydrogen from them and the created fuel can be used for industrial purpose also.



This gallium phosphide semiconductor has amazing electrical properties. Researchers have created a grid by using 500 nm long and 90 nm thick gallium phosphide nanowires. This technique is uses 10,000 times less material than other similar kind of technology and it is also ten times more efficient than them. Due to this, producing solar fuel cell becomes very cheap.

According to Erik Bakkers, the lead scientists of this study, “For the nanowires we needed ten thousand less precious GaP materials than in cells with a flat surface. That makes these kinds of cells potentially a great deal cheaper. In addition, [gallium phosphide] is also able to extract oxygen from the water—so you then actually have a fuel cell in which you can temporarily store your solar energy.”



With this new study, the researchers are pretty confident than gallium phosphide need to be explored more, as this can be used in some other materials.