Australian, Chinese researchers
make breakthrough in renewable energy materials
May 29, 2008 - Xinhua
BRISBANE, Australia - A group of Australian and
Chinese researchers have made a ground-breaking discovery
which could revolutionize solar energy.
Max Lu, professor at the University of Queensland
(UQ)'s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and
Nanotechnology (AIBN), said here Thursday they were
one step closer to the holy grail of cost-effective
solar energy with their discovery.
We have grown the world's first titanium oxide single
crystals with large amounts of reactive surfaces,
something that was predicted as almost impossible," Lu
Titania nano-crystals are promising materials for
cost-effective solar cells, hydrogen production from
splitting water, and solar decontamination of pollutants," he
He said what his team has done was to make such
Talking about the application of the highly efficient
miniature crystals, Lu said it wasn't just renewable
energy where this research could be applied.
They are also fantastic for purifying air and water," he
said, "One could paint these crystals on to
a window or a wall to purify the air in a room."
" The potential of applications of this technology
in water purification and recycling are huge."
Lu said it would be about five years for the
water and air pollution applications to be
commercially available, and about five to
10 years for solar
energy conversion using such crystals.
Professor Lu also said the work was the result
of very fruitful and long-term international
collaboration with Professor Huiming Cheng's
group from the Chinese
Academy of Sciences, a world-class institution
which UQ has collaborated many times in
The research findings were published in
the latest edition of scientific journal