Researchers from the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester have discovered a way to use light to accelerate proton transport through graphene, which could revolutionize the way we generate hydrogen.

Proton transport is a key step in many , such as and solar water splitting, and it was also previously shown to be permeable to protons by Manchester scientists.

Their new study published in Nature Communications has shown that light can be used to accelerate proton transport through . Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms that is an excellent conductor of both electricity and heat. However, it was previously thought that graphene was impermeable to protons.

The researchers found that when graphene is illuminated with light, the in the graphene become excited. These excited electrons then interact with protons, accelerating their transport through the material.

This discovery could have a significant impact on the development of new renewable energy technologies. For example, it could lead to the development of more efficient fuel cells and solar water-splitting devices.

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