Nano Paves the Way for Advanced Devices
July 3, 2017
The Jerusalem Post — BGU and Weizmann Institute scientists have produced nanomaterials that can lead to new optoelectric devices and sensors, highly efficient rechargeable batteries and new superconducting capabilities.
Profs. Jeffrey Gordon and Daniel Feuermann, of BGU’s Alexandre Yersin Department of Solar Energy and Environmental Physics in the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, worked alongside Weizmann’s Prof. Reshef Tenne to produce the stunning new varieties of nanostructures.
Made up of metal cores within shells of inorganic compounds, the nanostructures can be generated in a lab safely, rapidly and with a high yield. The structures feature remarkable optical, electronic, catalytic, and mechanical properties.
The research was made possible with help from an advanced solar furnace designed and built by Profs. Gordon and Feuermann in their lab at BGU’s Sede Boqer Campus. The ultra-high temperature conditions created in the solar furnace — it can achieve temperatures approaching 3,000 degrees Celsius (5,432 degrees Fahrenheit) — are necessary to synthesize the unique nanostructures.
“A single solar procedure can generate a variety of core-shell and hollow nanostructures,” the researchers explain in a paper published in the journal Nano.
Geared toward generating valued new materials for human technology, rather than simply producing heat, electricity or fuels, this use of immensely concentrated sunlight in the service of fundamentally new nanomaterials represents a new paradigm for solar energy.
While the full capabilities of the nanostructures are still being studied, their unique properties suggest their future applications could be many.