Here is a transcript of a PBS discussion which includes comments from Nathan Lewis, professor at the California Institute of Technology. Dr Lewis discusses his ideas for using titanium oxide to generate solar power TiO is currently about 10% efficient in converting solar power to energy.
Nathan Lewis says:
TiO2 is an incredibly common cheap chemical. It’s in toothpaste. It’s the pigment in white paint, these little tiny particles.
He has to make the material cheap and embeddable into house paint and other building material and have it not increase the maintenance costs.