Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How to split a water molecule

(Nanowerk News) A research team at RIKEN has succeeded for the first time in selectively controlling for reaction products in the dissociation of a single water molecule on an ultrathin film. The reaction, described in the April 19th issue of Nature Materials, opens the door to the creation of novel functional catalysts and applications in clean energy production.
The controlled dissociation of water molecules via selected reaction pathways presents unique opportunities in targeted catalysis, particularly in the production of hydrogen, a potential source of clean energy. While advancing our understanding of the dynamics of water molecules, the discovery also sets the stage for applications in the catalysis of more complex systems on insulating films.

RIKEN, Japan’s flagship research organization, conducts basic and applied experimental research in a wide range of science and technology fields including physics, chemistry, medical science, biology and engineering.