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Carbon Nanoflorets

Carbon Nanoflorets:

Carbon nanoflorets made by IIT Bombay researchers can convert incident sunlight to heat with 87% efficiency.

  • Carbon nanoflorets are like tiny marigold flowers made only of carbon, which are called as the material carbon nanoflorets.
  • Researchers heated a special form of silicon dust called DFNS (for dendritic fibrous nanosilica) in a furnace.
  • Once heated, she introduced acetylene gas into the chamber.
  • The white powder turned black, a sign that carbon had been deposited on the DFNS.
  • Then they collected the black powder and treated it with a strong chemical that dissolved the DFNS away, leaving carbon particles behind.
  • The structure of the silicon particles – 50-1,200 nanometers in size—resembled spikes arranged around a sphere.
  • They reported that these nanoflorets could absorb sunlight at many frequencies and convert it to heat with unprecedented efficiency.
  • The nanoflorets also didn’t easily dissipate the heat generated into the environment, making the material a good candidate for heat.
  • The nanoflorets converted the light energy they absorbed into thermal energy—a process called solar-thermal conversion—with a remarkable efficiency of 87%.
  • The carbon nanoflorets’ high efficiency comes from three properties.
  • The nanoflorets absorb three frequencies in sunlight – infrared, visible light, and ultraviolet, while other common materials absorb only visible and ultraviolet light.