• Question: What are you holding in your picture?.

    Asked by mikip to Suze on 15 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by ilovelauralongtime.
    • Photo: Suze Kundu

      Suze Kundu answered on 15 Jun 2011:


      That is a big jar of nanoparticles of titanium dioxide. It is the stuff that I am turning into a really thin see-through layer, that is able to catch the energy from the sun. Water can’t catch it by itself, so it needs something else to grab the energy and pass it on, and I’m using this. When something is used in this way to harvest sunlight energy to drive another reaction, it is called a photocatalyst, and that is what titanium dioxide is here.

      It’s a really brilliant white powder. In this jar, the white powder is in really tiny specks, and so the powder is really fluffy and sticky. It is so difficult to weigh out sometimes, because it sticks to everything, and flies all about the place with the slightest breeze! I have to hold my breath when I weigh it out!