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Researchers from the University of Rochester, University of California, Santa Barbara and the University at Buffalo have developed a new molecule that can be used to capture photons of light and use them to produce photocatalytic materials.
The study, published in Nature Communications, was conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory.
“The material has been developed as a way to use sunlight to make photocatalysis,” said Dr. Scott E. Kornel, a professor of physics at UR’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.
He is the lead author of the study.
This molecule can be made by the reaction of the hydroxy acid hydrogen and oxygen with carbon, producing hydroxy-benzoic acid.
The hydroxy and benzionic acids combine to produce hydroxypropyl-2,4-dihydroxybenzoate, which is a photocatalysing compound that can also be used in solar-powered cells.
Researchers have been using hydroxybenzoacridine, a synthetic compound of benzacridin, as a photocattener, but the molecule is highly reactive.
Now the researchers have developed the new compound, which has been in the lab for more than two years, using the hydropropyl 2,4 -dihyphenyl ketone as a catalyst.
They have shown that it works on a variety of molecules, including platinum and gold, which are often used in catalysts.
Hydroxybenzocarbons have been used to make catalysts for a variety.
But the researchers found the hydrocarbonyl form is much more stable than the hydrocarbon form.
“We’re working on new ways to use these materials,” said Kornell.
Dr. Steven H. Cottrell, a senior author of a paper in the same paper, is an associate professor at Brookhaven.
For the study, the researchers tested a number of hydrocarbons, including hydroxycarbons and hydroxyprotonals.
Carbon-based hydrocarbon compounds have been a favorite target for this kind of research because they are relatively inexpensive and stable.
One advantage of hydrocarbon-based catalysts is that they do not require the use of expensive catalysts that degrade quickly.
As a result, they can be easily applied to other materials.
The research was funded by the UB NanoScience program and the National Science Foundation.