The use of gold nanoparticles can impact hydrogen economy?

Nanotechnology has been considered a dimension of science that has no limit and can offer outputs beyond our imagination. To improve the nanocomposite material and its uses, a team of scientists at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU), and Leibniz University Hannover (Leibniz Universitat Hannover) performed several experiments. The results of their research were published in an academic article -"The mechanism of charge carrier generation at the TiO2 - n-Si heterojunction activated by gold nanoparticles" in the Journal of Semiconductor Science and Technology. 

Composite material – a semiconductor developed by titanium dioxide has been found useful in various avenues. The researchers are working to identify all the possibilities of this compound being put into application. The chemical processes in this compound are very complicated. To use it more efficiently, one needs to increase the capacity of this semiconductor. For this, the flow of energy between its layers needs to be stable. 

The researchers have modeled a process to explain the processes involved in the composite’s use as a semiconductor. They are using silicon water and nanoparticles of gold along with a thin layer of titanium dioxide to create this composite. The motive is to transfer energy inside this material while keeping nanoparticles isolated from silicon. These nanoparticles if not detached can prevent the transfer of power to both silicon and titanium dioxide. This results in the loss of control. 

In the experiment, gold nanoparticles were placed on the top of the silicon wafer based pillars, and the complete structure was coated with titanium dioxide. Thus, the nanoparticles could be isolated from silicon and could come in contact with only titanium dioxide. Dr. Maxim Mishin from the University of SPbPU, who is a professor of Physics, Chemistry, and technology of Microsystems Equipment stated that with this process, the efficiency of light energy must increase.

An international scientific group at St. Petersburg established a model of this new structure. The main component of the composition being Hannover -  a silicon wafer with pillars and nanoparticles of gold on its top. 

When the wafer got oxidized, substrate and gold nanoparticles were put on its top. Pillars were next created by making sure that the substrate remained under the particles and not between them. Dealing with objects of nano-size, with gold particles having a diameter of 10 nanometers and height of pillar being 80 nanometers, was a complicated activity. It needed extreme precision. It took ten days to accomplish the task of completing this experiment. With the rapid growth in technology, nanotechnology has advanced to another level.