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A team from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) developed a novel nanostructure embedded into a semiconductor nanofibre that results in superb conductivity. The nanocomposite addresses a key inhibitor to conductivity, with the potential to improve a wide range of applications, from batteries and solar cells, to air purification devices.
While semiconductors are widely used, their effectiveness has been limited by the natural process of photo-generated electrons in recombining with 'holes', or potential electron resting spots. This reduces the moving current of electrons generated by light or external power and, as a consequence, reduces the efficiency of the device. PolyU's Department of Mechanical Engineering designed a composite nanofibre that essentially provides a dedicated superhighway for electron transport once they are generated, eliminating the problem of electron-hole recombination.
Innovation - Gold - Medal - Congratulations - Jury
The innovation was awarded the Gold Medal with Congratulations of the Jury at the 45th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in 2017.
The team avoided recombination by inserting a highly conductive nanostructure made of carbon nanotubes and graphene into a titanium dioxide (TiO2) composite nanofibre. The electrons and charges can be transported efficiently in the graphene core as soon as they are generated, prior to recombining with the 'holes' in the nanofibre. Led by Wallace Leung, the team has tested the effectiveness of the nanocomposite in solar cells and air purification photocatalysts.
Nanocomposite - TiO2 - Component
They embedded the nanocomposite into the TiO2 component of dye-sensitized and of perovskite-based...
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