Kyushu University announced Oct 27, 2017, that it has succeeded in producing hydrogen from water by using near-infrared light (very low energy) in a verification test.

Because light in the long-wavelength band, which cannot be easily used even by natural photosynthesis, has been used for an artificial molecular system for the first time, the latest results are expected to be applied to practicable artificial photosynthesis systems.

Technologies for producing hydrogen by using sunlight and water are being researched as promising technologies for solving energy-related problems. However, with the conventional model, only visible light (wavelength: up to 600nm) can be used, and sunlight energy cannot be fully utilized.

This time, the research group of the university succeeded in generating hydrogen with near-infrared light by using a metal complex that contains three ruthenium centers in the molecule, as a light-harvesting molecule. With the latest research results, it becomes possible to use about 100% more solar energy, compared with the conventional model.

The latest research results were published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition (German academic journal) Oct 16, 2017. The final version is scheduled to be published in the near future.