Special Issue "Functional Materials for 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: 28 February 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Assoc. Prof. Sima Aminorroaya Yamini
Website
Guest Editor
Sheffield Hallam University
Interests: design, fabrication, and characterisation of functional materials for advanced manufacturing applications

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The world’s ever growing demand for energy, as well as environmental concerns arising from traditional fossil fuel sources, have inspired intensive research to develop clean and sustainable energy sources, as well as saving and utilizing energy as efficiently as possible. The science of functional materials, where physics meets chemistry, has attracted a great deal of attention because of its versatile techniques to achieve these goals.

This Issue will focus on functional materials with specific electrical, thermal, magnetic, chemical, or electrochemical properties as a foundation for designing and fabricating new, desired materials enabling high performance energy storage and conversion devices.

Assoc. Prof. Sima Aminorroaya Yamini
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • energy storage
  • energy harvesting
  • functional materials
  • advanced materials

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Electrodeposition of CdTe Thin Films for Solar Energy Water Splitting
Materials 2020, 13(7), 1536; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13071536 - 27 Mar 2020
Abstract
CdTe thin films have been prepared by electrochemical deposition. The morphological, structural, and optical properties of CdTe thin films deposited with different deposition time were investigated, and the influence of film thickness on the photoelectric characteristics of CdTe thin films was studied. At [...] Read more.
CdTe thin films have been prepared by electrochemical deposition. The morphological, structural, and optical properties of CdTe thin films deposited with different deposition time were investigated, and the influence of film thickness on the photoelectric characteristics of CdTe thin films was studied. At the deposition time of 1.5 h, CdTe thin films had good optical properties and the photocurrent reached 20 μAcm−2. Furthermore, the Pt/CdS/CdTe/FTO structure was prepared to improve its PEC stability and the photocurrent of 240 μAcm−2 had been achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Materials for Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Open AccessArticle
Development by Mechanochemistry of La0.8Sr0.2Ga0.8Mg0.2O2.8 Electrolyte for SOFCs
Materials 2020, 13(6), 1366; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13061366 - 18 Mar 2020
Abstract
In this work, a mechanochemical process using high-energy milling conditions was employed to synthesize La0.8Sr0.2Ga0.8Mg0.2O3-δ (LSGM) powders from the corresponding stoichiometric amounts of La2O3, SrO, Ga2O3, [...] Read more.
In this work, a mechanochemical process using high-energy milling conditions was employed to synthesize La0.8Sr0.2Ga0.8Mg0.2O3-δ (LSGM) powders from the corresponding stoichiometric amounts of La2O3, SrO, Ga2O3, and MgO in a short time. After 60 min of milling, the desired final product was obtained without the need for any subsequent annealing treatment. A half solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) was then developed using LSGM as an electrolyte and La0.8Sr0.2MnO3 (LSM) as an electrode, both obtained by mechanochemistry. The characterization by X-ray diffraction of as-prepared powders showed that LSGM and LSM present a perovskite structure and pseudo-cubic symmetry. The thermal and chemical stability between the electrolyte (LSGM) and the electrode (LSM) were analyzed by dynamic X-ray diffraction as a function of temperature. The electrolyte (LSGM) is thermally stable up to 800 and from 900 °C, where the secondary phases of LaSrGa3O7 and LaSrGaO4 appear. The best sintering temperature for the electrolyte is 1400 °C, since at this temperature, LaSrGaO4 disappears and the percentage of LaSrGa3O7 is minimized. The electrolyte is chemically compatible with the electrode up to 800 °C. The powder sample of the electrolyte (LSGM) at 1400 °C observed by HRTEM indicates that the cubic symmetry Pm-3m is preserved. The SOFC was constructed using the brush-painting technique; the electrode–electrolyte interface characterized by SEM presented good adhesion at 800 °C. The electrical properties of the electrolyte and the half-cell were analyzed by complex impedance spectroscopy. It was found that LSGM is a good candidate to be used as an electrolyte in SOFC, with an Ea value of 0.9 eV, and the LSM sample is a good candidate to be used as cathode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Materials for Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Open AccessArticle
Application of PVDF Organic Particles Coating on Polyethylene Separator for Lithium Ion Batteries
Materials 2019, 12(19), 3125; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12193125 - 25 Sep 2019
Abstract
Surface coating modification on a polyethylene separator serves as a promising way to meet the high requirements of thermal dimensional stability and excellent electrolyte wettability for lithium ion batteries (LIBs). In this paper, we report a new type of surface modified separator by [...] Read more.
Surface coating modification on a polyethylene separator serves as a promising way to meet the high requirements of thermal dimensional stability and excellent electrolyte wettability for lithium ion batteries (LIBs). In this paper, we report a new type of surface modified separator by coating polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) organic particles on traditional microporous polyethylene (PE) separators. The PE separator coated by PVDF particles (PE-PVDF separator) has higher porosity (61.4%), better electrolyte wettability (the contact angle to water was 3.28° ± 0.21°) and superior ionic conductivity (1.53 mS/cm) compared with the bare PE separator (51.2%, 111.3° ± 0.12°, 0.55 mS/cm). On one hand, the PVDF organic polymer has excellent organic electrolyte compatibility. On the other hand, the PVDF particles contain sub-micro spheres, of which the separator can possess a large specific surface area to absorb additional electrolyte. As a result, LIBs assembled using the PE-PVDF separator showed better electrochemical performances. For example, the button cell using a PE-PVDF as the separator had a higher capacity retention rate (70.01% capacity retention after 200 cycles at 0.5 C) than the bare PE separator (62.5% capacity retention after 200 cycles at 0.5 C). Moreover, the rate capability of LIBs was greatly improved as well—especially at larger current densities such as 2 C and 5 C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Materials for Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Open AccessArticle
Tunable Magnetocaloric Properties of Gd-Based Alloys by Adding Tb and Doping Fe Elements
Materials 2019, 12(18), 2877; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12182877 - 06 Sep 2019
Abstract
In this paper, the magnetocaloric properties of Gd1−xTbx alloys were studied and the optimum composition was determined to be Gd0.73Tb0.27. On the basis of Gd0.73Tb0.27, the influence of different Fe-doping content [...] Read more.
In this paper, the magnetocaloric properties of Gd1−xTbx alloys were studied and the optimum composition was determined to be Gd0.73Tb0.27. On the basis of Gd0.73Tb0.27, the influence of different Fe-doping content was discussed and the effect of heat treatment was also investigated. The adiabatic temperature change (ΔTad) obtained by the direct measurement method (under a low magnetic field of 1.2 T) and specific heat capacity calculation method (indirect measurement) was used to characterize the magnetocaloric properties of Gd1−xTbx (x = 0~0.4) and (Gd0.73Tb0.27)1−yFey (y = 0~0.15), and the isothermal magnetic entropy (ΔSM) was also used as a reference parameter for evaluating the magnetocaloric properties of samples together with ΔTad. In Gd1−xTbx alloys, the Curie temperature (Tc) decreased from 293 K (x = 0) to 257 K (x = 0.4) with increasing Tb content, and the Gd0.73Tb0.27 alloy obtained the best adiabatic temperature change, which was ~3.5 K in a magnetic field up to 1.2 T (Tc = 276 K). When the doping content of Fe increased from y = 0 to y = 0.15, the Tc of (Gd0.73Tb0.27)1−yFey (y = 0~0.15) alloys increased significantly from 276 K (y = 0) to 281 K (y = 0.15), and a good magnetocaloric effect was maintained. The annealing of alloys (Gd0.73Tb0.27)1−yFey (y = 0~0.15) at 1073 K for 10 h resulted in an average increase of 0.3 K in the maximum adiabatic temperature change and a slight increase in Tc. This study is of great significance for the study of magnetic refrigeration materials with adjustable Curie temperature in a low magnetic field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Materials for Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Hydrogen Storage for Mobility: A Review
Materials 2019, 12(12), 1973; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12121973 - 19 Jun 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Numerous reviews on hydrogen storage have previously been published. However, most of these reviews deal either exclusively with storage materials or the global hydrogen economy. This paper presents a review of hydrogen storage systems that are relevant for mobility applications. The ideal storage [...] Read more.
Numerous reviews on hydrogen storage have previously been published. However, most of these reviews deal either exclusively with storage materials or the global hydrogen economy. This paper presents a review of hydrogen storage systems that are relevant for mobility applications. The ideal storage medium should allow high volumetric and gravimetric energy densities, quick uptake and release of fuel, operation at room temperatures and atmospheric pressure, safe use, and balanced cost-effectiveness. All current hydrogen storage technologies have significant drawbacks, including complex thermal management systems, boil-off, poor efficiency, expensive catalysts, stability issues, slow response rates, high operating pressures, low energy densities, and risks of violent and uncontrolled spontaneous reactions. While not perfect, the current leading industry standard of compressed hydrogen offers a functional solution and demonstrates a storage option for mobility compared to other technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Materials for Energy Conversion and Storage)
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