New catalyst promotes artificial photosynthesis

The discovery was made in the lab of Kenton Whitmire, a Rice University professor of chemistry, with assistance from researchers at the University of Houston.

They found that growing a layer of an active catalyst directly on the surface of a light-absorbing nanorod array produced an artificial photosynthesis material that could split water at the full theoretical potential of the light-absorbing semiconductor with sunlight.

Finding a clean renewable source of hydrogen fuel is already the focus of research, but the technology is yet to be commercialised but one promising method is through an oxygen-evolution catalyst that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen.

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