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Creation of Novel Photoelectric Conversion Systems
by Organizing Metal Nanoparticles and Organic-Inorganic Compounds,
and Plasmonics

photo

Concept of plasmon
enhancement of photoelectric
conversion and luminescence

ABSTRACT:
The 21st century could be called the "century of light." Light functions as both energy (photons) and information (waves). Thus, the creation of novel materials and the development of methods to control and convey light (photons) are powerful strategies with which to lead "green innovation." To realize these strategies, we have been working to create innovative photofunctional materials such as unique solar cells by cooperatively organizing organic-inorganic compounds and metal nanoparticles, and by mimicking the basic principles of photosynthesis. Moreover, we have been leading research in the area of "plasmonics," a future photoscience and technology with great potential.

DETAILED:
The 21st century could be called the "century of light." Light functions as both energy and information. Thus, the creation of novel materials and the development of methods of controlling and conveying light (photons) are among the most powerful strategies with which to lead "green innovation."

In nature, ingenious systems have been built up to maintain living activity, as exemplified by vision and photosynthesis. Photosynthesis in particular is the ultimate photoenergy conversion factory. The basic principle of photoenergy conversion used in solar cells is essentially identical to what occurs in the reaction center of photosynthesis. Thus, we can mimic this principal operation mechanism to create highly efficient light (photon) application technologies and artificial photosynthesis systems.

It has recently been verified that novel metal nanoparticles (nanostructures) transiently store photons and exhibit locally-enhanced photon fields (called "photon banks"). We have been focusing on the development of novel photofunctional films, such as very-thin solar cells, by incorporating and organizing these novel metal nanoparticles. In our journey toward the ultimate goal of creating a practical, artificial photosynthesis system, we have been devoted to the development of methods that can be used to control photoresponses with magnetic and electric fields, and have been leading the way in the expansion of "plasmonics." Highly-efficient photoenergy conversion is an essential research subject in the quest to realizing a clean world.

Our group's motto is:
"Learn from nature, imagine with physics, create with chemistry, and contribute to a better world."

Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University
Professor Sunao Yamada
Associate Professor Hiroaki Yonemura
Assistant Professor Yukina Takahashi
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