Nonadiabatic chemical-to-electrical energy conversion in heterojunction nanostructures

2011-05-07T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Eduard G. Karpov Ievgen Nedrygailov
Nonadiabatic energy dissipation by electron subsystem of nanostructured solids unveil interesting opportunities for the solid-state energy conversion and sensor applications. We found that planar Pt/GaP and Pd/GaP Schottky structures with nanometer thickness metallization demonstrates a nonadiabatic channel for the conversion into electricity the energy of a catalytic hydrogen-to-water oxidation process on the metal layer surface. The observed above thermal current greatly complements the usual thermionic emission current and its magnitude is linearly proportional to the rate of formation and desorption of product water molecules from the nanostructure surface. The possibilities of utilizing the nonadiabatic functionality in chemical-to-electrical energy conversion devices are discussed.