In the continuing effort to find more efficient ways of generating hydrogen
, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have harnessed nanotechnology to create a photocatalyst to crack water into its constituent elements. The team created a nanostructured film comprised of three semiconductor films. Prof. Pratim Biswas and grad student Elijah Thimsen developed a process for producing semiconductors like titanium dioxide and tungsten oxide that are put into films and sandwiched together. When placed in water with light, the catalyst triggers reactions that split the water into hydrogen and oxygen.