Lund University

Efficient and Earth Abundant: Aluminum Nanoplasmonics

  • Climate
  • Properties
Academic project

Research question

Nanoplasmonic particles have a wide range of potential uses to aid in a sustainable future, such as CO2 conversion, pollutants removal, solar energy harvesting and storage, as well as sustainable synthesis.  However, a significant challenge remains in effectively using photoexcited (hot) electrons to achieve relevant chemical reactions or transferring carriers into devices. The goal of this project is to understand how the detailed structural and chemical features of Al nanoplasmonic structures govern their electron dynamics (down to sub-femtosecond and nanometer scales) that in turn determine their functionality. The vision is to significantly improve the properties and thus performance of new earth abundant Al nanoplasmonic particles for a wide range of applications for a sustainable world.

Sustainability aspects

For cleaning, mitigation and protection the realization of an efficient photodriven Al nanoplasmonic technology can be used to counter climate change by CO2 capture and for technologies that reduce pollution and increase water quality. The envisioned CO2 capture can also produce renewable fuels. As it involves Al in combination with other cheap and safe materials such as Ti it can also limit undesired by-products such as hazardous chemicals/pollutants. The involved micro/nanoparticles will be embedded in larger structures which will also limit potential health risks of nanoparticles. It can act as both an active system in chemical catalysis systems and as a passive component in coatings for infrastructure. However, a main challenge is the production costs of the photodriven methods which is higher than other competing (but much less sustainable) production types. This currently inhibits large-scale implementation, and resolving this issue is a long-term goal of this project.

researcher photo

Lund University

Anders Mikkelsen


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