Scientists at the Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) used gold nanoparticles and by rearranging size and gaps between them developed a new material which has unique properties such as capacity to absorb light and carbon dioxide.
Gold does not have these properties, therefore ‘black gold’ is being called a new material. In appearance it is black, hence the name ‘black gold.’
One of the most fascinating properties of the new material is its ability to absorb the entire visible and near-infrared region of solar light. It does so because of inter-particle plasmonic coupling as well as heterogeneity in nanoparticle size.
Black gold could also act as a catalyst and could convert carbon dioxide into methane at atmospheric pressure and temperature using solar energy.
The results of various studies indicate the potential application of black gold in purification of seawater to potable water via steam generation using solar energy under atmospheric reaction conditions.
Black Gold has been created not by doping gold nanoparticles with any other material or by adding other materials.
Instead the researchers have varied inter-particle distance between gold nanoparticles using a cycle-by-cycle growth approach by optimizing the nucleation-growth step, using dendritic fibrous nanosilica, whose fibers were used as the deposition site for gold nanoparticles.
This is a ‘India Science Wire’ story; edited by Clean Future Team