Mike Chino

Researchers Shine Light on Gold Nanoparticles to Produce Electricity

by , 02/24/10

sustainable design, green design, Plasmon-Induced Electrical Conduction, solar power, renewable energy, electricity, Nano/Bio Interface Center, University of Pennsylvania, gold nanoparticles

Not only are these gold nanoparticles gorgeous to look at – they may one day act as microscopic powerhouses for molecular machines. Researchers at the Nano/Bio Interface Center at the University of Pennsylvania recently discovered a novel to way to generate solar power by shining light onto gold nanoparticles. The discovery has far-reaching implications in the realm of nanotechnology, and may open the door for everything from self-powering molecular circuits to super-efficient data storage.

sustainable design, green design, Plasmon-Induced Electrical Conduction, solar power, renewable energy, electricity, Nano/Bio Interface Center, University of Pennsylvania, gold nanoparticles

To generate current the researchers first packed a bunch of light-sensitive gold nanoparticles together on a glass substrate and then exposed them to optical radiation (light). This knocks conductive electrons free from the gold particles, which run along the surface to create surface plasmons, which in turn induce an electrical current across the molecules.

The amount of electricity generated is minute, but the researchers believe that by optimizing size, shape, and orientation of the nanparticles they could create a current strong enough to power nano-sized circuits. Professor Bonnell, who participated in the experiment, said “If the efficiency of the system could be scaled up without any additional, unforeseen limitations, we could conceivably manufacture a 1A, 1V sample the diameter of a human hair and an inch long“.

+ Nano/Bio Interface Center

Via Gizmag

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4 Comments

  1. toddg July 12, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    The picture of lighted nanogold particles looks good on my desktop, anyway you can make like a thin monitor nanogold display that i can turn on and use as a nightlight?

  2. dj tanner February 27, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Bulk nano is possible, so who needs macro anyway? Macro is, like, sooooo 1990′s.

  3. God February 25, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Unfortunately, nano world is not scaleable to macro. Another dream.

  4. God February 25, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Unfortunatelly, nano scale is not scaleable to macro. Another eko-bull-sheet. :)

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