Nanomaterials hold promise for producing hydrogen from water
A researcher from the University of Houston is working with a colleague in Taiwan to use hollow gold-silver nanoshells to boost the efficiency of photocatalysts, where the combined nanocomposite materials generate hydrogen from water, powered only by sunlight.
T. Randall Lee, Cullen Distinguished University Chair in chemistry and associate dean for research in the UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, said the nanoshells allow the composite photocatalyst system to absorb a wider spectrum of available light, enhancing the ability of the photocatalyst to separate hydrogen from the water, leaving only oxygen as the byproduct.
Lee also is affiliated with the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH. His work on the project is funded by a $150,000 grant from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and follows several years of participation in the U.S. Air Force-Taiwan Nanoscience Initiative. His collaborator, Tai-Chou Lee of National Central University in Taoyuan City, Taiwan, was a former post-doctoral researcher in his lab at UH.