IIT Madras researchers discover component to split water into Hydrogen and Oxygen using solar power

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) researchers have discovered a new photovoltaic material to effectively split water into Hydrogen and Oxygen using solar power, said a statement from the institute on Friday.

This research is expected to create a renewed interest in the solar fuels domain, which can potentially bring the cost. A material to be employed in solar fuel generation should be a good photovoltaic material and at the same time remain stable in water medium.

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The statement said that ‘Halide perovskite’ (Cs2PtI6), the material discovered by the researchers satisfies both the criteria.

Apart from the applications, the researchers are seeking to understand the fundamental properties to unravel the material’s electrochemistry in finer details, which is essential for the design of solar fuel devices.

“Ideally, seawater splitting using photoelectric cell to generate clean hydrogen should be a serious research, if India should remain committed to green energy and avoid potential consequences of continued carbon emission. In our recent work, we attempted to make a first successful demonstration of water splitting using the best photovoltaic material,” said Aravind Kumar Chandiran, who leads the Solar Energy Research Group (SERG) at IIT Madras.

This research paper has been published in the reputed peer-reviewed chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition. It was co-authored by research scholar Muhammed Hamdan as well.

Solar energy conversion to electricity and their storage at a very low cost is an integral part of renewable energy research, to reduce the world’s reliance on fossil fuels and in turn move out of anthropogenic greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.

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In the last two to three decades different solution-processed solar technologies based on dye-sensitization, semiconducting polymers, and quantum dots have come up, however, their performance in the large
area devices and stability couldn’t compete with the conventional devices.

The SERG’s research scholar Hamdan, while investigating materials for solar cells, discovered a ‘halide perovskite’ (Cs2PtI6), which completely absorbs the entire visible light and remains extremely stable, the statement added. This material is also found to be stable in strong acids and bases.

Courtesy: The New Indian Express

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