Special Issue "Nanomaterials in Energy Conversion and Storage"

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A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2013)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Professor Thomas Nann (Website)

School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
Phone: +64 4 463 5950
Interests: nanoparticles; colloids and surfaces; surface functionalisation; synthesis methods; spectroscopy; electrochemistry; transmission electron microscopy; energy conversion; water splitting; drug delivery; nanomedicine
Guest Editor
Dr. Sait Elmas

Physical Chemistry of Colloids and Nanostructures, Ian Wark Research Institute, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes Campus, Adelaide, SA 5095, Australia
Phone: +61 8 8302 3431
Interests: catalysis; chemical utilisation of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide as chemical feedstock); energy conversion; water splitting; sustainable and green chemistry; synthesis methods; spectroscopy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The sustainable provision of mankind with renewable energy is one of the most pressing problems we face at the moment. The most likely scenario for a future energy supply will consist of a mixture of renewable energy sources in combination with advanced storage technologies. Nanomaterials became key elements of many modern approaches to energy conversion and storage—for example, platinum nanoparticles are being used in commercial fuel cells

The scope of this special issue covers all areas where nanomaterials are being used in this field. Examples include, but are not limited to, photovoltaic cells (e.g. bulk heterojunction nanocomposites), artificial photosynthesis, fuel cells, thermo-electric devices, batteries, super-capacitors, and others. High-quality manuscripts will be accepted from all areas of energy conversion and storage provided nanomaterials are a key element of the research.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Nann
Dr. Sait Elmas
Guest Editor
s

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • energy conversion
  • energy transfer
  • energy storage
  • nanostructures
  • nanotechnology

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle NiO Nanofibers as a Candidate for a Nanophotocathode
Nanomaterials 2014, 4(2), 256-266; doi:10.3390/nano4020256
Received: 28 February 2014 / Revised: 21 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 3 April 2014
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (10924 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
p-type NiO nanofibers have been synthesized from a simple electrospinning and sintering procedure. For the first time, p-type nanofibers have been electrospun onto a conductive fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) surface. The properties of the NiO nanofibers have been directly [...] Read more.
p-type NiO nanofibers have been synthesized from a simple electrospinning and sintering procedure. For the first time, p-type nanofibers have been electrospun onto a conductive fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) surface. The properties of the NiO nanofibers have been directly compared to that of bulk NiO nanopowder. We have observed a p-type photocurrent for a NiO photocathode fabricated on an FTO substrate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Energy Conversion and Storage)
Open AccessArticle Composite Electrolyte Membranes from Partially Fluorinated Polymer and Hyperbranched, Sulfonated Polysulfone
Nanomaterials 2014, 4(1), 1-18; doi:10.3390/nano4010001
Received: 29 October 2013 / Revised: 13 December 2013 / Accepted: 13 December 2013 / Published: 23 December 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1899 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Macromolecular modification of poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (PVDF) was done with various proportions of sulfonic acid terminated, hyperbranched polysulfone (HPSU) with a view to prepare ion conducting membranes. The PVDF-co-HFP was first chemically modified by dehydrofluorination and chlorosulfonation in order to make the membrane [...] Read more.
Macromolecular modification of poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (PVDF) was done with various proportions of sulfonic acid terminated, hyperbranched polysulfone (HPSU) with a view to prepare ion conducting membranes. The PVDF-co-HFP was first chemically modified by dehydrofluorination and chlorosulfonation in order to make the membrane more hydrophilic as well as to introduce unsaturation, which would allow crosslinking of the PVDF-co-HFP matrix to improve the stability of the membrane. The modified samples were characterized for ion exchange capacity, morphology, and performance. The HPSU modified S-PVDF membrane shows good stability and ionic conductivity of 5.1 mS cm1 at 80 °C and 100% RH for blends containing 20% HPSU, which is higher than the literature values for equivalent blend membranes using Nafion. SEM analysis of the blend membranes containing 15% or more HPSU shows the presence of spherical domains with a size range of 300–800 nm within the membranes, which are believed to be the HPSU-rich area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Nanotube Film Thickness on the Performance of Nanotube-Silicon Hybrid Solar Cells
Nanomaterials 2013, 3(4), 655-673; doi:10.3390/nano3040655
Received: 25 November 2013 / Revised: 11 December 2013 / Accepted: 11 December 2013 / Published: 17 December 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (668 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The results of measurements on solar cells made from randomly aligned thin films of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) on n-type monocrystalline silicon are presented. The films are made by vacuum filtration from aqueous TritonX-100 suspensions of large diameter arc-discharge SWCNTs. [...] Read more.
The results of measurements on solar cells made from randomly aligned thin films of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) on n-type monocrystalline silicon are presented. The films are made by vacuum filtration from aqueous TritonX-100 suspensions of large diameter arc-discharge SWCNTs. The dependence of the solar cell performance on the thickness of the SWCNT film is shown in detail, as is the variation in performance due to doping of the SWCNT film with SOCl2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication and Characterization of SnO2/Graphene Composites as High Capacity Anodes for Li-Ion Batteries
Nanomaterials 2013, 3(4), 606-614; doi:10.3390/nano3040606
Received: 18 October 2013 / Revised: 8 November 2013 / Accepted: 12 November 2013 / Published: 15 November 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1371 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tin-oxide and graphene (TG) composites were fabricated using the Electrostatic Spray Deposition (ESD) technique, and tested as anode materials for Li-ion batteries. The electrochemical performance of the as-deposited TG composites were compared to heat-treated TG composites along with pure tin-oxide films. The [...] Read more.
Tin-oxide and graphene (TG) composites were fabricated using the Electrostatic Spray Deposition (ESD) technique, and tested as anode materials for Li-ion batteries. The electrochemical performance of the as-deposited TG composites were compared to heat-treated TG composites along with pure tin-oxide films. The heat-treated composites exhibited superior specific capacity and energy density than both the as-deposited TG composites and tin oxide samples. At the 70th cycle, the specific capacities of the as-deposited and post heat-treated samples were 534 and 737 mA·h/g, respectively, and the corresponding energy densities of the as-deposited and heat-treated composites were 1240 and 1760 W·h/kg, respectively. This improvement in the electrochemical performance of the TG composite anodes as compared to the pure tin oxide samples is attributed to the synergy between tin oxide and graphene, which increases the electrical conductivity of tin oxide and helps alleviate volumetric changes in tin-oxide during cycling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of Microspherical LiFePO4-Carbon Composites for Lithium-Ion Batteries
Nanomaterials 2013, 3(3), 443-452; doi:10.3390/nano3030443
Received: 27 June 2013 / Revised: 16 July 2013 / Accepted: 17 July 2013 / Published: 22 July 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2572 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This paper reports an “all in one” procedure to produce mesoporous, micro-spherical LiFePO4 composed of agglomerated crystalline nanoparticles. Each nanoparticle is individually coated with a thin glucose-derived carbon layer. The main advantage of the as-synthesized materials is their good performance at [...] Read more.
This paper reports an “all in one” procedure to produce mesoporous, micro-spherical LiFePO4 composed of agglomerated crystalline nanoparticles. Each nanoparticle is individually coated with a thin glucose-derived carbon layer. The main advantage of the as-synthesized materials is their good performance at high charge-discharge rates. The nanoparticles and the mesoporosity guarantee a short bulk diffusion distance for both lithium ions and electrons, as well as additional active sites for the charge transfer reactions. At the same time, the thin interconnected carbon coating provides a conductive framework capable of delivering electrons to the nanostructured LiFePO4. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Work Function Engineering of Graphene
Nanomaterials 2014, 4(2), 267-300; doi:10.3390/nano4020267
Received: 16 December 2013 / Revised: 6 March 2014 / Accepted: 18 March 2014 / Published: 3 April 2014
Cited by 27 | PDF Full-text (2316 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Graphene is a two dimensional one atom thick allotrope of carbon that displays unusual crystal structure, electronic characteristics, charge transport behavior, optical clarity, physical & mechanical properties, thermal conductivity and much more that is yet to be discovered. Consequently, it has generated [...] Read more.
Graphene is a two dimensional one atom thick allotrope of carbon that displays unusual crystal structure, electronic characteristics, charge transport behavior, optical clarity, physical & mechanical properties, thermal conductivity and much more that is yet to be discovered. Consequently, it has generated unprecedented excitement in the scientific community; and is of great interest to wide ranging industries including semiconductor, optoelectronics and printed electronics. Graphene is considered to be a next-generation conducting material with a remarkable band-gap structure, and has the potential to replace traditional electrode materials in optoelectronic devices. It has also been identified as one of the most promising materials for post-silicon electronics. For many such applications, modulation of the electrical and optical properties, together with tuning the band gap and the resulting work function of zero band gap graphene are critical in achieving the desired properties and outcome. In understanding the importance, a number of strategies including various functionalization, doping and hybridization have recently been identified and explored to successfully alter the work function of graphene. In this review we primarily highlight the different ways of surface modification, which have been used to specifically modify the band gap of graphene and its work function. This article focuses on the most recent perspectives, current trends and gives some indication of future challenges and possibilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Open AccessReview Numerical Modeling of Sub-Wavelength Anti-Reflective Structures for Solar Module Applications
Nanomaterials 2014, 4(1), 87-128; doi:10.3390/nano4010087
Received: 3 January 2014 / Revised: 21 January 2014 / Accepted: 22 January 2014 / Published: 29 January 2014
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (4641 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This paper reviews the current progress in mathematical modeling of anti-reflective subwavelength structures. Methods covered include effective medium theory (EMT), finite-difference time-domain (FDTD), transfer matrix method (TMM), the Fourier modal method (FMM)/rigorous coupled-wave analysis (RCWA) and the finite element method (FEM). Time-based [...] Read more.
This paper reviews the current progress in mathematical modeling of anti-reflective subwavelength structures. Methods covered include effective medium theory (EMT), finite-difference time-domain (FDTD), transfer matrix method (TMM), the Fourier modal method (FMM)/rigorous coupled-wave analysis (RCWA) and the finite element method (FEM). Time-based solutions to Maxwell’s equations, such as FDTD, have the benefits of calculating reflectance for multiple wavelengths of light per simulation, but are computationally intensive. Space-discretized methods such as FDTD and FEM output field strength results over the whole geometry and are capable of modeling arbitrary shapes. Frequency-based solutions such as RCWA/FMM and FEM model one wavelength per simulation and are thus able to handle dispersion for regular geometries. Analytical approaches such as TMM are appropriate for very simple thin films. Initial disadvantages such as neglect of dispersion (FDTD), inaccuracy in TM polarization (RCWA), inability to model aperiodic gratings (RCWA), and inaccuracy with metallic materials (FDTD) have been overcome by most modern software. All rigorous numerical methods have accurately predicted the broadband reflection of ideal, graded-index anti-reflective subwavelength structures; ideal structures are tapered nanostructures with periods smaller than the wavelengths of light of interest and lengths that are at least a large portion of the wavelengths considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Open AccessReview Multiple Exciton Generation in Colloidal Nanocrystals
Nanomaterials 2014, 4(1), 19-45; doi:10.3390/nano4010019
Received: 20 November 2013 / Revised: 18 December 2013 / Accepted: 18 December 2013 / Published: 24 December 2013
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (1047 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In a conventional solar cell, the energy of an absorbed photon in excess of the band gap is rapidly lost as heat, and this is one of the main reasons that the theoretical efficiency is limited to ~33%. However, an alternative process, [...] Read more.
In a conventional solar cell, the energy of an absorbed photon in excess of the band gap is rapidly lost as heat, and this is one of the main reasons that the theoretical efficiency is limited to ~33%. However, an alternative process, multiple exciton generation (MEG), can occur in colloidal quantum dots. Here, some or all of the excess energy is instead used to promote one or more additional electrons to the conduction band, potentially increasing the photocurrent of a solar cell and thereby its output efficiency. This review will describe the development of this field over the decade since the first experimental demonstration of multiple exciton generation, including the controversies over experimental artefacts, comparison with similar effects in bulk materials, and the underlying mechanisms. We will also describe the current state-of-the-art and outline promising directions for further development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Energy Conversion and Storage)
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