Special Issue "Novel Materials for Sustainable Energy Conversion and Storage"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Jung Kyu Kim
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Chemical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), South Korea
Interests: heterojunctions with tailored nanostructures; nanocarbons; conductive polymers; photoelectrochemical cells; solar fuels; electrocatalysis; electrochemistry; polymer optoelectronics; organic-inorganic hybrid solar cells; perovskite solar cells
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainability is highly desired for humanbeings due to the urgently changing global climate and numerous environmental issues. In past decades, the-state-of-the-art researches have been extensively conducted to achieve sustainable energy conversion and storage.  However, the remained challenges in the commercialization of enegy conversion and stroage devices are to develop novel materials and advanced manufacturing process. Further, the engineering of nanostructures and device-archtectures is of great importance for the energy conversion and storage flatforms. This special issue “Novel Materals for Sustainable Energy Conversion and Storage” aims the-state-of-the-art resarch reports of novel nanometerials and engineering of device archtectures with advanced manufacturing process for divergent energy conversion and storage applications with high sustainability involing solar energy systems, electrochemical cells, artificial photosynthesis, CO2 conversion to over C2 production or secondary (rechargeable) batteries. The scope of interests includes but is not limited to the following topics:

  • Organic, inorganic or hybrid solar cells (i.e. organic (or polymer) solar cells, dye (or QD) sensitized solar cells, thin-film solar cells, perovskite solar cells)
  • Solar fuel productions (i.e. artificial photosynthesis, photocatalysts, photoelectrochemical cells)
  • Electrocatalysts for electrochemical water splitting, CO2 reduction or ammonia (NH3) synthesis
  • Cleaning technologies for removal of VOC or other pollutants
  • Anode, cathode and seperator materials for secondary batteries
  • Nano-sciences and technologies for energy conversion and storage deives
  • Manufacturing process for energy conversion and storage deives
  • Engineering of device archtecture and structure design for efficient energy conversion and storage

Particularly, this special issue calls for papers on advanced materials and device architectures promoting efficient energy conversion and high capability of energy storage.

Prof. Dr. Jung Kyu Kim
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • novel materials
  • device architecture
  • energy storage battery
  • electrocatalysis
  • solar cells
  • photoelectrochemical cells
  • solar fuels

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessCommunication
Electrospun Carbon Nanofibers with Embedded Co-Ceria Nanoparticles for Efficient Hydrogen Evolution and Overall Water Splitting
Materials 2020, 13(4), 856; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040856 - 13 Feb 2020
Abstract
In this study, simple electrospinning combined with pyrolysis were used to fabricate transition-metal-based-nanoparticle-incorporated carbon nanofiber (CNF) electrocatalysts for a high-efficiency hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and overall water splitting. Co-CeO2 nanoparticle-incorporated carbon nanofibers (Co-CeO2@CNF) exhibit an outstanding electrocatalytic HER performance with [...] Read more.
In this study, simple electrospinning combined with pyrolysis were used to fabricate transition-metal-based-nanoparticle-incorporated carbon nanofiber (CNF) electrocatalysts for a high-efficiency hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and overall water splitting. Co-CeO2 nanoparticle-incorporated carbon nanofibers (Co-CeO2@CNF) exhibit an outstanding electrocatalytic HER performance with an overpotential and Tafel slope of 92 mV and 54 mV/dec, respectively. For the counterpart, electrolysis, we incorporate the widely used Ni2Fe catalyst with a high oxygen evolution reaction (OER) activity into the carbon nanofiber (Ni2[email protected]). To evaluate their electrochemical properties for the overall water splitting, Co-CeO2@CNF and Ni2[email protected] were used as the HER and OER electrocatalysts in an alkaline electrolyzer. With the paired Co-CeO2@CNF and Ni2[email protected] electrodes, an overall water splitting current density of 10 mA/cm2 was achieved by applying 1.587 V across the electrodes with a remarkably lower overpotential of 257 mV compared to that of an electrolyzer comprised of Pt/C and IrO2 electrodes (400 mV). Owing to the conformal incorporation of nanoparticles into the CNF, the electrocatalysts exhibit significant long-term durability over 70 h of overall water splitting. This study provides rational designs of catalysts with high electrochemical catalytic activity and durability to achieve overall water splitting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Materials for Sustainable Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
In-situ Deposition of Graphene Oxide Catalyst for Efficient Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Evolution Reaction Using Atmospheric Plasma
Materials 2020, 13(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13010012 - 18 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The vacuum deposition method requires high energy and temperature. Hydrophobic reduced graphene oxide (rGO) can be obtained by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition under atmospheric pressure, which shows the hydrophobic surface property. Further, to compare the effect of hydrophobic and the hydrophilic nature of [...] Read more.
The vacuum deposition method requires high energy and temperature. Hydrophobic reduced graphene oxide (rGO) can be obtained by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition under atmospheric pressure, which shows the hydrophobic surface property. Further, to compare the effect of hydrophobic and the hydrophilic nature of catalysts in the photoelectrochemical cell (PEC), the prepared rGO was additionally treated with plasma that attaches oxygen functional groups effectively to obtain hydrophilic graphene oxide (GO). The hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) electrocatalytic activity of the hydrophobic rGO and hydrophilic GO deposited on the p-type Si wafer was analyzed. Herein, we have proposed a facile way to directly deposit the surface property engineered GO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Materials for Sustainable Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Open AccessArticle
Reduced Graphene Oxides Decorated NiSe Nanoparticles as High Performance Electrodes for Na/Li Storage
Materials 2019, 12(22), 3709; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12223709 - 10 Nov 2019
Abstract
A facile, one-pot hydrothermal method was used to synthesize Nickel selenide (NiSe) nanoparticles decorated with reduced graphene oxide nanosheets (rGO), denoted as NiSe/rGO. The NiSe/rGO exhibits good electrochemical performance when tested as anodes for Na-ion batteries (SIBs) and Li-ion batteries (LIBs). An initial [...] Read more.
A facile, one-pot hydrothermal method was used to synthesize Nickel selenide (NiSe) nanoparticles decorated with reduced graphene oxide nanosheets (rGO), denoted as NiSe/rGO. The NiSe/rGO exhibits good electrochemical performance when tested as anodes for Na-ion batteries (SIBs) and Li-ion batteries (LIBs). An initial reversible capacity of 423 mA h g−1 is achieved for SIBs with excellent cyclability (378 mA h g−1 for 50th cycle at 0.05 A g−1). As anode for LIBs, it delivers a remarkable reversible specific capacity of 1125 mA h g−1 at 0.05 A g−1. The enhanced electrochemical performance of NiSe/rGO nanocomposites can be ascribed to the synergic effects between NiSe nanoparticles and rGO, which provide high conductivity and large specific surface area, indicating NiSe/rGO as very promising Na/Li storage materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Materials for Sustainable Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Open AccessArticle
Current Characteristics Estimation of Si PV Modules Based on Artificial Neural Network Modeling
Materials 2019, 12(18), 3037; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12183037 - 19 Sep 2019
Abstract
In the photovoltaic (PV) field, the outdoor evaluation of a PV system is quite complex, due to the variations of temperature and irradiance. In fact, the diagnosis of the PV modules is extremely required in order to maintain the optimum performance. In this [...] Read more.
In the photovoltaic (PV) field, the outdoor evaluation of a PV system is quite complex, due to the variations of temperature and irradiance. In fact, the diagnosis of the PV modules is extremely required in order to maintain the optimum performance. In this paper, an artificial neural network (ANN) is proposed to build and train the model, and evaluate the PV module performance by mean bias error, mean square error and the regression analysis. We take temperature, irradiance and a specific voltage for input, and a specific current value for output, repeat several times in order to obtain an I-V curve. The main feature lies to the data-driven black-box method, with the ignorance of any analytical equations and hence the conventional five parameters (serial resistance, shunt resistance, non-ideal factor, reverse saturation current, and photon current). The ANN is able to predict the I-V curves of the Si PV module at arbitrary irradiance and temperature. Finally, the proposed algorithm has proved to be valid in terms of comparison with the testing dataset. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Materials for Sustainable Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting Reaction System Based on Metal-Organic Halide Perovskites
Materials 2020, 13(1), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13010210 - 03 Jan 2020
Abstract
In the development of hydrogen-based technology, a key challenge is the sustainable production of hydrogen in terms of energy consumption and environmental aspects. However, existing methods mainly rely on fossil fuels due to their cost efficiency, and as such, it is difficult to [...] Read more.
In the development of hydrogen-based technology, a key challenge is the sustainable production of hydrogen in terms of energy consumption and environmental aspects. However, existing methods mainly rely on fossil fuels due to their cost efficiency, and as such, it is difficult to be completely independent of carbon-based technology. Electrochemical hydrogen production is essential, since it has shown the successful generation of hydrogen gas of high purity. Similarly, the photoelectrochemical (PEC) method is also appealing, as this method exhibits highly active and stable water splitting with the help of solar energy. In this article, we review recent developments in PEC water splitting, particularly those using metal-organic halide perovskite materials. We discuss the exceptional optical and electrical characteristics which often dictate PEC performance. We further extend our discussion to the material limit of perovskite under a hydrogen production environment, i.e., that PEC reactions often degrade the contact between the electrode and the electrolyte. Finally, we introduce recent improvements in the stability of a perovskite-based PEC device. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Materials for Sustainable Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Low Dimensional Carbon-Based Catalysts for Efficient Photocatalytic and Photo/Electrochemical Water Splitting Reactions
Materials 2020, 13(1), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13010114 - 25 Dec 2019
Abstract
A universal increase in energy consumption and the dependency on fossil fuels have resulted in increasing severity of global warming, thus necessitating the search of new and environment-friendly energy sources. Hydrogen is as one of the energy sources that can resolve the abovementioned [...] Read more.
A universal increase in energy consumption and the dependency on fossil fuels have resulted in increasing severity of global warming, thus necessitating the search of new and environment-friendly energy sources. Hydrogen is as one of the energy sources that can resolve the abovementioned problems. Water splitting promotes ecofriendly hydrogen production without the formation of any greenhouse gas. The most common process for hydrogen production is electrolysis, wherein water molecules are separated into hydrogen and oxygen through electrochemical reactions. Solar-energy-induced chemical reactions, including photocatalysis and photoelectrochemistry, have gained considerable attention because of the simplicity of their procedures and use of solar radiation as the energy source. To improve performance of water splitting reactions, the use of catalysts has been widely investigated. For example, the novel-metal catalysts possessing extremely high catalytic properties for various reactions have been considered. However, due to the rarity and high costs of the novel-metal materials, the catalysts were considered unsuitable for universal use. Although other transition-metal-based materials have also been investigated, carbon-based materials, which are obtained from one of the most common elements on Earth, have potential as low-cost, nontoxic, high-performance catalysts for both photo and electrochemical reactions. Because abundancy, simplicity of synthesis routes, and excellent performance are the important factors for catalysts, easy optimization and many variations are possible in carbon-materials, making them more attractive. In particular, low-dimensional carbon materials, such as graphene and graphitic carbon nitride, exhibit excellent performance because of their unique electrical, mechanical, and catalytic properties. In this mini-review, we will discuss the performance of low-dimensional carbon-based materials for water splitting reactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Materials for Sustainable Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Cyanocobalamin Redox Mediator: A Highly Electrocatalytic Electrolyte for Quantum Dot-Sensitized Solar Cells

Hsin-Ming Cheng et al.

Department of Electronic Engineering, Ming Chi University of Technology, New Taipei City 24301, Taiwan,

A modified polysulfide redox mediator with incorporation of cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) was employed in quantum dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSCs), which can improve the electrocatalytic activity and reduce the charge transfer resistance caused by sulfureted contamination on the platinum counter electrode. The enhancement in the electron transfer properties could be regarded as a cause of a new formed vitalizing chelation which could behave as an ohmic characteristic interface between modified electrolyte and platinum counter. As a result, QDSCs with high filling factor of 65% with energy conversion efficiency more than 6% have been achieved.

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