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About The Carbon Nanoflorets


Carbon nanoflorets made by IIT Bombay researchers can convert incident sunlight to heat with 87% efficiency.


GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Carbon nanoflorets
  2. Key Observations
  3. Properties Contributing to High Efficiency

About Carbon nanoflorets

Carbon nanoflorets are unique structures resembling tiny marigold flowers made entirely of carbon. These nanoflorets exhibit remarkable properties related to their efficiency in absorbing sunlight and converting it into heat. The process of synthesizing carbon nanoflorets involves specific steps:

Synthesis Process:
  • Researchers start with a special form of silicon dust known as DFNS (dendritic fibrous nanosilica).
  • This DFNS material is heated in a furnace.
  • Acetylene gas is introduced into the heated chamber.
  • The white DFNS powder turns black during the process, indicating the deposition of carbon onto the DFNS.
  • The resulting black powder is collected.
  • The black powder is treated with a strong chemical that dissolves the DFNS, leaving carbon particles behind.

Key Observations:

  • Carbon nanoflorets exhibit remarkable capabilities for absorbing sunlight at various frequencies and converting it into heat with high efficiency.
  • They are effective in retaining the heat generated without dissipating it into the environment, making them promising materials for heat-related applications.
  • These nanoflorets achieve solar-thermal conversion with an extraordinary efficiency of 87%.

Properties Contributing to High Efficiency:

  • Carbon nanoflorets can absorb sunlight across multiple frequencies, including infrared, visible light, and ultraviolet, unlike other common materials that mainly absorb visible and ultraviolet light.
  • The specific shape of carbon cones minimizes light reflection, ensuring that a significant portion is absorbed.
  • The structure of carbon nanoflorets incorporates long-range disorder, meaning that different regions of the material possess distinct physical properties. This feature helps limit the transmission of heat over long distances within the material, thereby reducing heat dissipation.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023