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Titanium Nitride nanoparticles achieve new breakthroughs in solar energy utilization

wallpapers Tech 2021-01-14
The research team of the Nanosystem Photonics Group of the Materials Nanostructure Center of the National Research Institute of Japan found through numerical calculations that transition metal nitride and carbide nanoparticles can effectively absorb sunlight. At the same time, experiments have confirmed that when nitride nanoparticles are dispersed in water, the water temperature will increase rapidly. Through effective use of sunlight, these nanoparticles may be used for water heating and distillation.
 
Water and air heating account for 55% of household energy consumption. If sunlight can be efficiently converted into heat, it will be possible to heat water and air without using electricity, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The use of conventional solar collectors and collector tubes to absorb sunlight will cause heat loss due to heat conduction. Because nanoparticles can directly heat the medium including water when dispersed in the medium, they have attracted much attention.
 
Recently, the above-mentioned research team and Naotoumezawa, a senior researcher in the Department of Environmental and Energy Materials at the National Research Institute of Japan, jointly used first-principles calculations to find nanoparticle materials suitable for photothermal conversion and estimate their physical properties. The research team found that transition metal nitrides and carbides-ceramics can efficiently absorb sunlight.
 
In addition, after selecting titanium nitride (tin) from many transition metal nitrides, the research team dispersed tin nanoparticles into water and exposed the aqueous solution to light. In this experiment, the research team confirmed that tin nanoparticles can convert sunlight into heat with high efficiency of close to 90%. Because tin nanoparticles exhibit broadband plasmon resonance, the sunlight absorption efficiency of tin nanoparticles on each nanoparticle base may be higher than that of gold and carbon nanoparticles.
 
In future research, the team is planning to apply the results to the distillation of geothermal, hydrothermal, sewage and seawater. In addition to this project, the research team is also committed to other nanoparticle applications, such as the development of polymer materials between polymers and nanoparticles, and the study of nanoparticle-mediated chemical reactions.

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