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Tiny Tubes and Rods Show Promise as Catalysts, Sunscreen

SpecialChem / SpecialChem – Sep 28, 2007

UPTON, NY - Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed new ways to make or modify nanorods and nanotubes of titanium oxide, a material used in a variety of industrial and medical applications. The research is published in two papers now available online, one in Advanced Materials (August 22, 2007), and the other in the Journal of Physical Chemistry (September 8, 2007). In the first study, the scientists enhanced the ability of titanium oxide to absorb light. Titanium dioxide's ability to absorb light is one the main reasons it is so useful in industrial and medical applications," said Wei-Qiang Han, a scientist at Brookhaven's Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) and lead author on both papers. It is used as a photocatalyst for converting sunlight to electricity in solar cells and also has applications in the production of hydrogen, in gas sensors, in batteries, and in using sunlight to degrade some environmental contaminants. It is also a common ingredient in sunscreen.

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