Discovery optimises electron transfer in solar fuel devices


Wednesday, 22 June, 2016


Researchers have discovered a way to optimise the flow of electrons in solar fuel devices, a finding that could have a big impact on devices that convert sunlight into electricity and fuel. The discovery pertains specifically to electron transfer in semiconductors used in solar fuel devices.

Researchers have already shown that the efficiency of electron transfer at semiconductor interfaces depends on the distance the electron has to travel. The new finding shows that the efficiency of the transfer also depends on the type of chemical bonds — or the bridge — that the electron travels through along the way.

“Now we can design molecules to act as a gate and keep electrons moving forward in one direction and not reverse their direction,” said University of British Columbia chemist and chemical engineer Curtis Berlinguette, senior author on the paper. 

“If electrons go in the wrong direction, we lose much of the Sun’s energy as heat before it can be converted into electricity or fuel.”

The discovery has been published in Nature Chemistry.

Related News

CSIRO and Piotrek partner on solid-state batteries

CSIRO and Piotrek have partnered to develop the next generation of solid polymer electrolytes...

Used car batteries converted into energy storage systems

The repurposed 2 kWh units could be used in developing countries or isolated communities, with...

Boosting solar cell performance as easy as 1-2-3

Adding a third ingredient to the light-capturing layer of an emerging solar cell technology can...


  • All content Copyright © 2019 Westwick-Farrow Pty Ltd