Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Energy News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



ENERGY TECH
Efficient hydrogen production made easy
by Staff Writers
Los Alamos NM (SPX) Jun 19, 2016


New research from Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers, "Efficient Hydrogen Evolution in Transition Metal Dichalcogenides via a Simple One-Step Hydrazine Reaction," not only presents one of the best hydrogen water splitting electrocatalysts to date, but also opens up a whole new direction for research in electrochemistry and semiconductor device physics. Image courtesy Los Alamos National Laboratory. For a larger version of this image please go here.

In the 2015 movie "The Martian," stranded astronaut Matt Damon turns to the chemistry of rocket fuel, hydrazine and hydrogen, to create lifesaving water and nearly blows himself up. But if you turn the process around and get the hydrazine to help, you create hydrogen from water by changing conductivity in a semiconductor, a transformation with wide potential applications in energy and electronics.

"We demonstrate in our study that a simple chemical treatment, in this case a drop of dilute hydrazine (N2H4) in water, can dope electrons directly to a semiconductor, creating one of the best hydrogen-evolution electrocatalysts," said Gautam Gupta, project leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Light to Energy team of the Lab's Materials Synthesis and Integrated Devices group. The research was published in Nature Communications.

Understanding how to use a simple, room-temperature treatment to drastically change the properties of materials could lead to a revolution in renewable fuels production and electronic applications. As part of the Los Alamos mission, the Laboratory conducts multidisciplinary research to strengthen the security of energy for the nation, work that includes exploring alternative energy sources.

In recent years, the materials science community has grown more interested in the electrical and catalytic properties of layered transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). TMDs are primarily metal sulfides and selenides (e.g., MoS2) with a layered structure, similar to graphite; this layered structure allows for unique opportunities, and challenges, in modifying electrical properties and functionality.

Gupta and Aditya Mohite, a physicist with a doctorate in electrical engineering, have been pioneering work at Los Alamos seeking to understand the electrical properties of TMDs and use that knowledge to optimize these semiconductors for renewable fuels production.

In this work, MoS2 shell - MoOx core nanowires, as well as pure MoS2 particles and 2D sheets - are tested for electrocatalysis of the hydrogen evolution reaction. The addition of dilute hydrazine to MoS2 significantly improves the electrocatalytic performance. Further characterization shows that the MoS2 changes from semiconducting behavior to having more metallic properties following the hydrazine exposure.

"The most interesting thing about this result is that it is different than conventional doping, where actual chemicals are added to a semiconductor to change its charge carrier concentration. In the case of hydrazine treatment, we are 'doping' electrons directly to the material, without modifying the original chemistry," said Dustin Cummins, first author on this project, currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Laboratory's Sigma Division working on the DOE/NNSA CONVERT Program, exploring fuel fabrication for next-generation reactors.

Cummins first found the hydrogen-production result working with Gupta at Los Alamos as a graduate student research affiliate from the University of Louisville (advisor: Dr. Mahendra Sunkara) and he continued to conduct experiments and refine discussion while working as a postdoc.

"Hydrazine acting as an electron dopant in inorganic semiconductors has been observed since the 1970s, but there is limited understanding of the process," Cummins noted. "Our biggest hurdle was to prove to that hydrazine was actually changing the conductivity of the MoS2 system, and that is what results in increased catalytic activity," which was demonstrated on single-flake devices, he said.

Multiple areas of Los Alamos staff expertise in layered semiconductors, chemistry, spectroscopy, electrical device fabrication and more all came together to provide some of the best understanding and mechanism to date for hydrazine acting as an electron dopant.

This paper, "Efficient Hydrogen Evolution in Transition Metal Dichalcogenides via a Simple One-Step Hydrazine Reaction," not only presents one of the best hydrogen water splitting electrocatalysts to date, but also "it opens up a whole new direction for research in electrochemistry and semiconductor device physics in general," said Gupta.

Publication: This phenomenon, and more importantly the complete understanding of these materials, is published in Nature Communications (DOI 10.1038/NCOMMS11857).


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
ENERGY TECH
A new way to control oxygen for electronic properties
Lemont IL (SPX) Jun 14, 2016
Hotel managers and materials scientists have a lot in common - they both need to find a way to control properties by managing vacancies. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory found they could use a small electric current to introduce oxygen voids, or vacancies, that dramatically change the conductivity of thin oxide films. The results are published in Nature ... read more


ENERGY TECH
Norway MPs vote to go carbon neutral by 2030

Algorithm could help detect and reduce power grid faults

It pays to increase energy consumption

Changing the world, 1 fridge at a time

ENERGY TECH
Loofah-based material could give lithium batteries a boost

A new way to control oxygen for electronic properties

Efficient hydrogen production made easy

Storage technologies for renewable energy can pay off

ENERGY TECH
Renewables getting cheaper, report finds

Gamesa, Siemens join forces to create global wind power leader

Germany slows pace of green energy transition

Ireland aims for greener future

ENERGY TECH
OPDE builds three community solar farms in UK with a total capacity of 15 MW

New generation of high-efficiency solar thermal absorbers developed

World Bank finds cash moving to renewables

Novel capping strategy improves stability of perovskite nanocrystals

ENERGY TECH
New material has potential to cut costs and make nuclear fuel recycling cleaner

Southern Research launches 'Gen IV' nuclear power effort with key hire

Proposed bilateral deal allows US to share nuclear reactors with Norway

Dutch probe cross-border nuclear safety

ENERGY TECH
Bioenergy integrated in the bio-based economy crucial to meet climate targets

Chemicals from wood waste

New 3-D printed polymer can convert methane to methanol

Nissan bets on ethanol for fuel-cell vehicles

ENERGY TECH
Experts Fear Chinese Space Station Could Crash Into Earth

Bolivia to pay back loan to China for Tupac Katari satellite

China plans 5 new space science satellites

NASA Chief: Congress Should Revise US-China Space Cooperation Law

ENERGY TECH
Future summers could be hotter than any on record

Drying Arctic soils could accelerate greenhouse gas emissions

France becomes first major nation to ratify UN climate deal

May goes down as Earth's hottest on record: NASA




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement