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Monday, January 27, 2014

When Aluminum outshines Gold and Silver

Scientists from Rice University in the U.S. revealed that aluminum can be much more valuable than gold and silver for a particular application. Scientists found that aluminum has nanoparticles or nanostructures that display optical resonance in the region of a broader spectrum than gold or silver.
Researchers says, that Aluminum is the best absorber of solar energy. (Picture from: http://en.wikipedia.org/)
Thus, aluminum may be a good material to absorb solar energy. For other applications, aluminum was suitable for large optical devices and as expensive to produce material with metal coins.
Induced electric fields in Rice University computer models of aluminum nanomatryushkas show that at low gap distances (left), the charge transfer between the core and shell are so large, the system essentially behaves as a solid sphere. At higher gap distances (center and right), the core and shell show stronger individual plasmonic effects. The scale bar shows the strength of the induced field divided by the incoming field strength. (Picture from: http://www.spacemart.com/)
Researchers conducted a study in Houston, United States. Until now, aluminum is not considered to be useful for 'plasmonic' applications. Aluminum can naturally undergo oxidation (incorporation of a substance with oxygen) so it is likely to cause rust which is a form of chemical weathering.

"The reason we use gold and silver in nanoscience is that they don't oxidize. But finally, with aluminum, nature has given us something we can exploit," said Peter Nordlander.

He further revealed, in addition to being inexpensive materials, aluminum shows the effect of a larger quantum mechanics. This provides more benefits, easily accessible and more precise than gold or silver. The new findings appear in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (ACS). *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SPACE MART]
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