Success May Promote Solar Heat Utilization Based on Plasmon Resonance of Ceramic Materials
A research team in Japan discovered through numerical calculations that nanoparticles of transition metal nitrides and carbides absorb sunlight very efficiently, and confirmed experimentally that nitride nanoparticles, when dispersed in water, quickly raise water temperature.
A research team of Satoshi Ishii, MANA scientist, and Tadaaki Nagao, group leader, Nano-System Photonics Group, International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), discovered through numerical calculations that nanoparticles of transition metal nitrides and carbides absorb sunlight very efficiently, and confirmed experimentally that nitride nanoparticles, when dispersed in water, quickly raise water temperature. These nanoparticles may be applied for heating and distillation of water through efficient sunlight use.
Sunlight is one of the most promising renewable energies. The examples of sunlight use are power generation using solar cells and water heating through photothermal conversion, a process in which absorbed sunlight is converted into heat. Water and air heating accounts for 55% of household energy consumption. If sunlight can be converted into heat very efficiently, it is possible to heat water and air without using electricity, leading to reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. Absorption of sunlight using conventional solar heat collector panels and heat collector tubes results in loss of heat through conduction. For this reason, nanoparticles that can directly heat media including water when they are dispersed in the media are attracting attention.
International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA from MAterials NanoArchitectonics) is a special research unit established in 2007 at the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) within the World Premier International (WPI) Research Center Initiative by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).
The research directions of MANA are based on the concept named nanoarchitectonics – a technology allowing to manipulate a group of atoms or molecules. Consequently, much effort is devoted to the synthesis and characterization of various nanomaterials and nanostructures with the results published in the main scientific journals and the MANA research and MANA news pages.
In September 2008, MANA embarked on a new program of scientific cooperation with the Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. The exchange of researchers and research information between the two institutions is projected as a crucial factor in collaborative research on the development and evaluation of sustainable chemical technology and nano-biofusion technology.
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