Light Localized Chemistry with Nanoscale Antenna- Reactors
As the highest energy consumer of all industrial sectors, the energy costs of the chemical industry are staggering: to substantially improve efficiency requires entirely new approaches. Traditionally, chemical reactions are performed by applying heat. Driving chemical reactions with light instead of heat is inherently more efficient, however, directing light energy into reactant molecules has been a barrier to practical applications. We have introduced the concept of an Antenna-Reactor nanoparticle complex, which combines the light capturing properties of coinage metallic nanoparticles with the adsorbate-binding properties of catalytic metals. Antenna-Reactors have been licensed by Syzygy Plasmonics, which has developed a solid-state lighting-based chemical reactor technology for Antenna-Reactors that can demonstrate methane reforming at more than 500 degrees below current industrial practice, opening the door to low-cost Hydrogen on demand and a wealth of other chemical processes.
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