The need for new energy sources alternative to fossil fuels is today pushing our efforts to develop systems able to produce hydrogen in an affordable way; this wonderful gas is highly energetic and only produces water when burned, making it an efficient and completely green fuel. Despite these appealing properties, it is nowadays still obtained from hydrocarbons. In order to overcome this challenge, a proposed solution is to develop a system able to split water molecules down to its components, oxygen and hydrogen, using the sun energy to make the process viable.
This way, we would have created a cycle providing a renewable source of energy. In order to do so, our research is focused on the coupling of two different materials: carbon-dots, a novel species of non-toxic nanoparticles able to harvest and transfer the solar energy, and polyoxometalates, a molecular cluster renowned for their catalytic ability to split water molecules.