Hiroaki MISAWA, Professor, Research Institute for Electronic Science
There is a global need for the development of technologies to efficiently harvest and transform incident visible sunlight into other forms of energy such as chemical fuels and electrical power. Professor Hiroaki MISAWA and his group have applied photon-management concepts to successfully develop a photoelectrode that efficiently confines visible light into a space of 30 nanometers in thickness. They demonstrated that a titanium oxide semiconductor film
sandwiched between gold nanoparticles and a gold film can absorb more than 85% of all visible light due to this strong optical confinement. This ultrathin photoelectrode can convert optical energy to chemical energy with more than 10 times the efficiency of conventional photoelectrodes. This effective use of renewable energy with an extremely small amount of material is expected to make a significant contribution to the realization of a sustainable society.