An anonymous reader writes "This show it is possible to use nanocrystals with a common metal catalyst to generate H2 gas with an high efficiency. An ideal source of clean fuel, if it can be scaled up to industrial levels.
The summary from Science Journal:
Homogeneous systems for light-driven reduction of protons to H2 typically suffer from short lifetimes because of decomposition of the light-absorbing molecule. We report a robust and highly active system for solar hydrogen generation in water that uses CdSe nanocrystals capped with dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA) as the light absorber and a soluble Ni2+-DHLA catalyst for proton reduction with ascorbic acid as an electron donor at pH 4.5, which gives >600,000 turnovers. Under appropriate conditions, the precious-metal-free system has undiminished activity for at least 360 hours under illumination at 520 nm and achieves quantum yields in water of over 36%.( original article paywalled)
Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1227775"
Link to Original Source