Scientists have synthesized a compound that absorbs near-infrared light to produce hydrogen from water. The compound contains three ruthenium atoms connected by an organic molecule. The absorbed light stimulates electrons to 'jump' into orbitals that do not exist in other, similar compounds. This is the first successful use of infrared light to reduce water into hydrogen, which can be used for energy conversion and storage, and other industrial purposes in a future sustainable energy society.
Following the path of radicals and being able to identify many damaged residues because of incredibly accurate, expeditious and sensitive mass spectrometry, three scientists studied the great granddaddy of all photosynthetic organisms -- a strain of cyanobacteria -- to develop the first experimental map of that organism's water world.
Hybrid materials known as mixed matrix membranes are considered a promising approach to capture carbon dioxide and mitigate against global warming. These materials are derived from a polymer combined with porous nanoparticles. We show that materials prepared using porous organic polymers are resilient to the acidic impurities present in industrial gas streams, whereas other hybrid materials fail. This means that they can be effective in carbon capture applications where these impurities are present.
LED light bulbs are getting cheaper and more energy efficient every year. So, does it make sense to replace less-efficient bulbs with the latest light-emitting diodes now, or should you wait for future improvements and even lower costs?
Someday, left-over toner in discarded printer cartridges could have a second life as bridge or building components instead of as trash, wasting away in landfills and potentially harming the environment. A research group reports that they have devised a method to recycle the residual powder in 'empty' cartridges into iron using temperatures that are compatible with existing industrial processes.
The optical and photocatalytic properties of so-called carbon dots can be precisely tuned by controlling the positions of nitrogen atoms introduced into their structure, physicists have demonstrated in a new study.
Sometimes during catalytic hydrogenation, the partially hydrogenated products become volatile, melting and evaporating away before they can bind to more hydrogen atoms. Now, researchers have explored how and why this volatility varies during hydrogenation, suggesting that a previously underappreciated effect from carbon-hydrogen bonds is the main culprit. The new analysis can help chemists identify the ideal conditions needed for catalytic hydrogenation so they can better remove excess hydrogen.
Modern solar cells, which use energy from light to generate electrons and holes that are then transported out of semiconducting materials, have existed for over 60 years. Little attention has been paid, however, to the promise of using light to drive the transport of oppositely charged protons and hydroxides obtained by dissociating water molecules. Researchers report such a design, which has promising application in producing electricity to turn brackish water drinkable.
Fusion is the process that powers the sun, and harnessing it on Earth would provide unlimited clean energy. Researchers say that constructing a fusion power plant has proven to be a daunting task because there have been no materials that could survive the grueling conditions found in the core of a fusion reactor. Now, researchers have discovered a way to make materials that may be suitable for use in future fusion reactors.
Exhaust gas cleaning of passenger cars, power generation from sunlight, or water splitting: In the future, these and other applications may profit from new findings relating to ceria. Scientists have studied ceria nanoparticles with the help of probe molecules and a complex ultrahigh vacuum-infrared measurement system and obtained partly surprising new insights into their surface structure and chemical activity.
Scrapbooks or social networks are collections of mostly unsorted data. The search for single elements in very large data volumes, i.e. for the needle in the data haystack, is extremely complex for classical computers. Scientists have now quantum mechanically implemented and successfully executed Grover's algorithm, a process for the quick finding of a search element in unsorted databases.
In a unique experiment, researchers have clocked how long it takes for an electron to be emitted from an atom. The result is .00000000000000002 seconds, or 20 billionths of a billionth of a second. The researchers' stopwatch consists of extremely short laser pulses. Hopefully, the results will help to provide new insights into some of the most fundamental processes in nature.