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Black Gold developed by Indian scientists can absorb light and carbon dioxide

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Black Gold developed by Indian scientists can absorb light and carbon dioxide

There is no denying that Indians have always been very fascinated with gold. In fact, India is one of the largest consumers of gold in the whole world. Indian scientists have tinkered with the chemistry of the material and developed something called black gold. This newly developed material they say can be potentially used for a variety of applications. Starting from desalinating seawater to solar energy harvesting, the material can be used for all such purposes.

Scientists at the Mumbai based Tata Institute of Fundamental Research used nanoparticles of gold and rearranged size and gaps between them to develop new material with unique properties. This new material has the ability to absorb light and carbon dioxide. These properties are not possessed by gold and this is why black gold is considered to be new material. Not just that but the material also looks black and hence, the name black gold.

The findings have been published in Chemical Science, a science journal published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Vivek Polshettiwar, the leader of the team said while speaking to India Science Wire:

“WE have not doped gold nanoparticles with any other material or added other materials. We varied the inter-particle distance between gold nanoparticles using a cycle-by-cycle growth approach by optimizing the nucleation-growth step, using dendritic fibrous nanosilica whose fibers were used as the deposition site for gold nanoparticles.”

The most fascinating property of the new material is that it can absorb the entire visible and near-infrared region of solar light. This happens because of the inert-particle plasmonic coupling as well as heterogeneity in nanoparticle size. This new material can also serve as a catalyst and can convert carbon dioxide into methane when subjected to atmospheric pressure and temperature using solar energy.

Polshettiwar said:

“If we develop an artificial tree with leaves made out of black gold, it can perform artificial photosynthesis, capturing carbon dioxide and converting it into fuel and other useful chemicals.”

However, the efficiency of conversion of carbon dioxide currently is low but researchers are trying to improve it.

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