In recent years, researchers have been interested in proton transport in graphene because of its possible uses in fuel cells, sensors, and other electrochemical devices. The process can be used in the development of renewable energy, particularly green hydrogen.
Graphene's atomically thin structure makes it impenetrable to a variety of elements, including protons. However, graphene's edges, flaws, and functionalization can open up channels for proton diffusion. Temperature, humidity, and the existence of functional groups are some of the variables that affect the flow of protons in graphene.
Now, scientists at the University of Manchester's National Graphene Institute have found a way to speed up proton transport across graphene using light. The innovation could open up new avenues to producing green hydrogen.
The hydrogen economy is poised for explosive growth.
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