Special Issue "Novel Nanomaterials for Applications in Energy and Catalysis"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy and Catalysis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Anna Klinkova
Website
Guest Editor
University of Waterloo, Department of Chemistry, Waterloo, Canada
Interests: nanomaterial synthesis; nanocrystal shape control; nanoparticle self-assembly; nanocatalysis; CO2 electroreduction; electroorganic synthesis; plasmonics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With an increasing worldwide energy demand and a growing need to protect our environment, the development of technologies for green-energy production and storage, renewable fuels, and closing the carbon cycle is of tremendous interest to the research community. Nanomaterials have shown breakthrough performance and potential for these applications due to nanoscale surface morphology and quantum confinement effects enabling their chemical reactivity and selectivity, catalytic behavior, and light-driven properties.

With the nanomaterial prospective for our global energy and sustainability challenges in mind, this Special Issue focuses on nanomaterials and nanocatalysts for energy storage and production, including:

1. (Photo)electrochemical hydrogen production catalysts;
2. Photo- and electrocatalysts for conversion of CO2 into fuels;
3. Nanomaterials for gas-to-liquid and power-to-X conversion technologies;
4. Materials for fuel cells;
5. Materials for photovoltaics;
6. Materials for batteries.

We invite authors to contribute original research and communication articles or comprehensive review articles covering the most recent progress and new developments in the design and utilization of nanomaterials for these photo-, electrochemical, and catalytic processes, which are relevant to applications in renewable energy and sustainability.

Prof. Dr. Anna Klinkova
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. 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 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

  • nanocatalysis
  • hydrogen evolution reaction
  • dehydrogenation
  • CO2 reduction
  • renewable fuels
  • fuel cells
  • photovoltaics
  • solar cells
  • batteries

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
One-Pot Synthesized Biomass C-Si Nanocomposites as an Anodic Material for High-Performance Sodium-Ion Battery
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(9), 1728; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10091728 - 31 Aug 2020
Abstract
Aiming at materializing an excellent anodic source material of the high-performance sodium-ion battery (SIB), we fabricated the biomass carbon-silicon (C-Si) nanocomposites by the one-pot synthesis of facile magnesiothermic reduction using brown rice husk ashes. The C-Si nanocomposites displayed an aggregated morphology, where the [...] Read more.
Aiming at materializing an excellent anodic source material of the high-performance sodium-ion battery (SIB), we fabricated the biomass carbon-silicon (C-Si) nanocomposites by the one-pot synthesis of facile magnesiothermic reduction using brown rice husk ashes. The C-Si nanocomposites displayed an aggregated morphology, where the spherical Si nanoparticles (9 nm on average) and the C nanoflakes were encapsulated and decorated with each other. When utilizing the nanocomposites as an SIB anode, a high initial discharge capacity (i.e., 378 mAh/g at 100 mA/g) and a high reversible capacity (i.e., 122 mAh/g at 200 mA/g) were achieved owing to their enhanced electronic and ionic conductivities. Moreover, the SIB device exhibited a high cyclic stability in its Coulombic efficiency (i.e., 98% after 100 charge-discharge cycles at 200 mA/g). These outstanding results depict that the one-pot synthesized biomass C-Si nanocomposites are beneficial for future green energy-storage technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Nanomaterials for Applications in Energy and Catalysis)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Excellent Oxygen Evolution Reaction of Activated Carbon-Anchored NiO Nanotablets Prepared by Green Routes
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(7), 1382; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10071382 - 15 Jul 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
A sustainable and efficient electrocatalyst for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is vital to realize green and clean hydrogen production technology. Herein, we synthesized the nanocomposites of activated carbon-anchored nickel oxide (AC-NiO) via fully green routes, and characterized their excellent OER performances. The [...] Read more.
A sustainable and efficient electrocatalyst for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is vital to realize green and clean hydrogen production technology. Herein, we synthesized the nanocomposites of activated carbon-anchored nickel oxide (AC-NiO) via fully green routes, and characterized their excellent OER performances. The AC-NiO nanocomposites were prepared by the facile sonication method using sonochemically prepared NiO nanoparticles and biomass-derived AC nanosponges. The nanocomposites exhibited an aggregated structure of the AC-NiO nanotablets with an average size of 40 nm. When using the nanotablets as an OER catalyst in 1 M KOH, the sample displayed superb electrocatalytic performances, i.e., a substantially low value of overpotential (320 mV at 10 mA/cm2), a significantly small Tafel slope (49 mV/dec), and a good OER stability (4% decrease of overpotential after 10 h). These outstanding OER characteristics are considered as attributing to the synergetic effects from both the ample surface area of the electrochemically active NiO nanoparticles and the high electrical conductivity of the AC nanosponges. The results pronounce that the fully ecofriendly synthesized AC-NiO nanotablets can play a splendid role as high-performance electrocatalysts for future green energy technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Nanomaterials for Applications in Energy and Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle
Surface Study of CuO Nanopetals by Advanced Nanocharacterization Techniques with Enhanced Optical and Catalytic Properties
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(7), 1298; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10071298 - 02 Jul 2020
Abstract
In the present work, a facile one-step hydrothermal synthesis of well-defined stabilized CuO nanopetals and its surface study by advanced nanocharacterization techniques for enhanced optical and catalytic properties has been investigated. Characterization by Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis confirmed existence of high crystalline [...] Read more.
In the present work, a facile one-step hydrothermal synthesis of well-defined stabilized CuO nanopetals and its surface study by advanced nanocharacterization techniques for enhanced optical and catalytic properties has been investigated. Characterization by Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis confirmed existence of high crystalline CuO nanopetals with average length and diameter of 1611.96 nm and 650.50 nm, respectively. The nanopetals are monodispersed with a large surface area, controlled morphology, and demonstrate the nanocrystalline nature with a monoclinic structure. The phase purity of the as-synthesized sample was confirmed by Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns. A significantly wide absorption up to 800 nm and increased band gap were observed in CuO nanopetals. The valance band (VB) and conduction band (CB) positions at CuO surface are measured to be of +0.7 and −1.03 eV, respectively, using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), which would be very promising for efficient catalytic properties. Furthermore, the obtained CuO nanopetals in the presence of hydrogen peroxide ( H 2 O 2 ) achieved excellent catalytic activities for degradation of methylene blue (MB) under dark, with degradation rate > 99% after 90 min, which is significantly higher than reported in the literature. The enhanced catalytic activity was referred to the controlled morphology of monodispersed CuO nanopetals, co-operative role of H 2 O 2 and energy band structure. This work contributes to a new approach for extensive application opportunities in environmental improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Nanomaterials for Applications in Energy and Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle
Study on the Effects of a π Electron Conjugated Structure in Binuclear Metallophthalocyanines Graphene-Based Oxygen Reduction Reaction Catalysts
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 946; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050946 - 15 May 2020
Abstract
The high overpotentials for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) create an extremely negative impact on the energy efficiency of the air-based battery systems. To overcome this problem, binuclear ball-type metallophthalocyanines containing methoxy substituents (M2Pc2(EP)4, M = Fe(II), Co(II) [...] Read more.
The high overpotentials for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) create an extremely negative impact on the energy efficiency of the air-based battery systems. To overcome this problem, binuclear ball-type metallophthalocyanines containing methoxy substituents (M2Pc2(EP)4, M = Fe(II), Co(II) and Zn(II)) were wrapped with polystyrene sodium sulfonate (PSS) modified graphene oxide (GO), using a facilely “solvothermal π-π assembly” method to prepare M2Pc2(EP)4/PSS-Gr composites. Compared with the commercial Pt/C catalysts, the M2Pc2(EP)4/PSS-Gr composites enhanced the catalytic activity of oxygen reduction reaction. The π electron conjugated structure of the MN4-type phthalocyanine macrocyclic system strongly influenced the one-step four-electron electrocatalytic process of the M2Pc2(EP)4/PSS-Gr composites. Moreover, the π-π interactions between the M2Pc2(EP)4 and PSS-Gr dramatically enhanced the π electron density in the conjugated structure and oxygen could be reduced more easily. The electrocatalytic activity test was displayed in the order of Fe2Pc2(FP)4/PSS-Gr > Co2Pc2(EP)4/PSS-Gr > Zn2Pc2(EP)4/PSS-Gr. The results indicated that the catalytic performance of M2Pc2Rn could be enhanced by the modification of π electron conjugated structure of M2Pc2(EP)4 and carbon materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Nanomaterials for Applications in Energy and Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle
Dopant-Free Triazatruxene-Based Hole Transporting Materials with Three Different End-Capped Acceptor Units for Perovskite Solar Cells
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 936; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050936 - 13 May 2020
Abstract
A series of dopant-free D-π-A structural hole-transporting materials (HTMs), named as SGT-460, SGT-461, and SGT-462, incorporating a planner-type triazatruxene (TAT) core, thieno[3,2-b]indole (TI) π-bridge and three different acceptors, 3-ethylthiazolidine-2,4-dione (ED), 3-(dicyano methylidene)indan-1-one (DI), and malononitrile (MN), were designed and synthesized for [...] Read more.
A series of dopant-free D-π-A structural hole-transporting materials (HTMs), named as SGT-460, SGT-461, and SGT-462, incorporating a planner-type triazatruxene (TAT) core, thieno[3,2-b]indole (TI) π-bridge and three different acceptors, 3-ethylthiazolidine-2,4-dione (ED), 3-(dicyano methylidene)indan-1-one (DI), and malononitrile (MN), were designed and synthesized for application in perovskite solar cells (PrSCs). The effect of three acceptor units in star-shaped D-π-A structured dopant-free HTMs on the photophysical and electrochemical properties and the photovoltaic performance were investigated compared to the reference HTM of 2,2′,7,7′-tetrakis[N,N-di(4-methoxyphenyl)amino]-9,9′-spirobifluorene (spiro-OMeTAD). Their highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) energy levels were positioned for efficient hole extraction from a MAPbCl3−xIx layer (5.43 eV). The hole mobility values of the HTMs without dopants were determined to be 7.59 × 10−5 cm2 V−1 s−1, 5.13 × 10−4 cm2 V−1 s−1, and 7.61 × 10−4 cm2 V−1 s−1 for SGT-460-, SGT-461-, and SGT-462-based films. The glass transition temperature of all HTMs showed higher than that of the spiro-OMeTAD. As a result, the molecular engineering of a planer donor core, π-bridge, and end-capped acceptor led to good hole mobility, yielding 11.76% efficiency from SGT-462-based PrSCs, and it provides a useful insight into the synthesis of the next-generation of HTMs for PrSC application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Nanomaterials for Applications in Energy and Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle
Pistachio Shell-Derived Carbon Activated with Phosphoric Acid: A More Efficient Procedure to Improve the Performance of Li–S Batteries
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 840; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10050840 - 27 Apr 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
A sustainable and low-cost lithium–sulfur (Li–S) battery was produced by reusing abundant waste from biomass as a raw material. Pistachio shell was the by-product from the agri-food industry chosen to obtain activated carbon with excellent textural properties, which acts as a conductive matrix [...] Read more.
A sustainable and low-cost lithium–sulfur (Li–S) battery was produced by reusing abundant waste from biomass as a raw material. Pistachio shell was the by-product from the agri-food industry chosen to obtain activated carbon with excellent textural properties, which acts as a conductive matrix for sulfur. Pistachio shell-derived carbon activated with phosphoric acid exhibits a high surface area (1345 m2·g−1) and pore volume (0.67 cm3·g−1), together with an interconnected system of micropores and mesopores that is capable of accommodating significant amounts of S and enhancing the charge carrier mobility of the electrochemical reaction. Moreover, preparation of the S composite was carried out by simple wet grinding of the components, eliminating the usual stage of S melting. The cell performance was very satisfactory, both in long-term cycling measurements and in rate capability tests. After the initial cycles required for cell stabilization, it maintained good capacity retention for the 300 cycles measured (the capacity loss was barely 0.85 mAh·g−1 per cycle). In the rate capability test, the capacity released was around 650 mAh·g−1 at 1C, a higher value than that supplied by other activated carbons from nut wastes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Nanomaterials for Applications in Energy and Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle
Effective Platinum-Copper Catalysts for Methanol Oxidation and Oxygen Reduction in Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040742 - 13 Apr 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The behavior of supported alloyed and de-alloyed platinum-copper catalysts, which contained 14–27% wt. of Pt, was studied in the reactions of methanol electrooxidation (MOR) and oxygen electroreduction (ORR) in 0.1 M HClO4 solutions. Alloyed PtCux/C catalysts were prepared by a [...] Read more.
The behavior of supported alloyed and de-alloyed platinum-copper catalysts, which contained 14–27% wt. of Pt, was studied in the reactions of methanol electrooxidation (MOR) and oxygen electroreduction (ORR) in 0.1 M HClO4 solutions. Alloyed PtCux/C catalysts were prepared by a multistage sequential deposition of copper and platinum onto a Vulcan XC72 dispersed carbon support. De-alloyed PtCuxy/C catalysts were prepared by PtCux/C materials pretreatment in acid solutions. The effects of the catalysts initial composition and the acid treatment condition on their composition, structure, and catalytic activity in MOR and ORR were studied. Functional characteristics of platinum-copper catalysts were compared with those of commercial Pt/C catalysts when tested, both in an electrochemical cell and in H2/Air membrane-electrode assembly (MEA). It was shown that the acid pretreatment of platinum-copper catalysts practically does not have negative effect on their catalytic activity, but it reduces the amount of copper passing into the solution during the subsequent electrochemical study. The activity of platinum-copper catalysts in the MOR and the current-voltage characteristics of the H2/Air proton-exchange membrane fuel cell MEAs measured in the process of their life tests were much higher than those of the Pt/C catalysts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Nanomaterials for Applications in Energy and Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle
Controlled Growth and Bandstructure Properties of One Dimensional Cadmium Sulfide Nanorods for Visible Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution Reaction
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040619 - 27 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
One dimensional (1D) metal sulfide nanostructures are one of the most promising materials for photocatalytic water splitting reactions to produce hydrogen (H2). However, tuning the nanostructural, optical, electrical and chemical properties of metal sulfides is a challenging task for the fabrication [...] Read more.
One dimensional (1D) metal sulfide nanostructures are one of the most promising materials for photocatalytic water splitting reactions to produce hydrogen (H2). However, tuning the nanostructural, optical, electrical and chemical properties of metal sulfides is a challenging task for the fabrication of highly efficient photocatalysts. Herein, 1D CdS nanorods (NRs) were synthesized by a facile and low-cost solvothermal method, in which reaction time played a significant role for increasing the length of CdS NRs from 100 nm to several micrometers. It is confirmed that as the length of CdS NR increases, the visible photocatalytic H2 evolution activity also increases and the CdS NR sample obtained at 18 hr. reaction time exhibited the highest H2 evolution activity of 206.07 μmol.g−1.h−1. The higher H2 evolution activity is explained by the improved optical absorption properties, enhanced electronic bandstructure and decreased electron-hole recombination rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Nanomaterials for Applications in Energy and Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle
Nitrogen-Doped Porous Carbon Derived from Biomass Used as Trifunctional Electrocatalyst toward Oxygen Reduction, Oxygen Evolution and Hydrogen Evolution Reactions
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(1), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10010076 - 31 Dec 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Tremendous developments in energy storage and conversion technologies urges researchers to develop inexpensive, greatly efficient, durable and metal-free electrocatalysts for tri-functional electrochemical reactions, namely oxygen reduction reactions (ORRs), oxygen evolution reactions (OERs) and hydrogen evolution reactions (HERs). In these regards, this present study [...] Read more.
Tremendous developments in energy storage and conversion technologies urges researchers to develop inexpensive, greatly efficient, durable and metal-free electrocatalysts for tri-functional electrochemical reactions, namely oxygen reduction reactions (ORRs), oxygen evolution reactions (OERs) and hydrogen evolution reactions (HERs). In these regards, this present study focuses upon the synthesis of porous carbon (PC) or N-doped porous carbon (N-PC) acquired from golden shower pods biomass (GSB) via solvent-free synthesis. Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) studies confirmed the doping of nitrogen in N-PC. In addition, morphological analysis via field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) provide evidence of the sheet-like porous structure of N-PC. ORR results from N-PC show the four-electron pathway (average n = 3.6) for ORRs with a Tafel slope of 86 mV dec−1 and a half-wave potential of 0.76 V. For OERs and HERs, [email protected] shows better overpotential values of 314 and 179 mV at 10 mA cm−2, and its corresponding Tafel slopes are 132 and 98 mV dec−1, respectively. The chronopotentiometry curve of [email protected] reveals better stability toward OER and HER at 50 mA cm−2 for 8 h. These consequences provide new pathways to fabricate efficient electrocatalysts of metal-free heteroatom-doped porous carbon from bio-waste/biomass for energy application in water splitting and metal air batteries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Nanomaterials for Applications in Energy and Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle
Reductive and Coordinative Effects of Hydrazine in Structural Transformations of Copper Hydroxide Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(10), 1445; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9101445 - 11 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Shape-specific copper oxide nanostructures have attracted increasing attention due to their widespread applications in energy conversion, sensing, and catalysis. Advancing our understanding of structure, composition, and surface chemistry transformations in shaped copper oxide nanomaterials during changes in copper oxidation state is instrumental from [...] Read more.
Shape-specific copper oxide nanostructures have attracted increasing attention due to their widespread applications in energy conversion, sensing, and catalysis. Advancing our understanding of structure, composition, and surface chemistry transformations in shaped copper oxide nanomaterials during changes in copper oxidation state is instrumental from both applications and preparative nanochemistry standpoints. Here, we report the study of structural and compositional evolution of amorphous copper (II) hydroxide nanoparticles under hydrazine reduction conditions that resulted in the formation of crystalline Cu2O and composite Cu2O-N2H4 branched particles. The structure of the latter was influenced by the solvent medium. We showed that hydrazine, while being a common reducing agent in nanochemistry, can not only reduce the metal ions but also coordinate to them as a bidentate ligand and thereby integrate within the lattice of a particle. In addition to shape and composition transformation of individual particles, concurrent interparticle attachment and ensemble shape evolution were induced by depleting surface stabilization of individual nanoparticles. Not only does this study provide a facile synthetic method for several copper (I) oxide structures, it also demonstrates the complex behavior of a reducing agent with multidentate coordinating ability in nanoparticle synthesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Nanomaterials for Applications in Energy and Catalysis)
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Open AccessCommunication
A Facile Method for Preparing UiO-66 Encapsulated Ru Catalyst and its Application in Plasma-Assisted CO2 Methanation
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(10), 1432; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9101432 - 10 Oct 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
With increasing applications of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) in the field of gas separation and catalysis, the preparation and performance research of encapsulating metal nanoparticles (NPs) into MOFs ([email protected]) have attracted extensive attention recently. Herein, an [email protected] catalyst is prepared by a one-step method. [...] Read more.
With increasing applications of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) in the field of gas separation and catalysis, the preparation and performance research of encapsulating metal nanoparticles (NPs) into MOFs ([email protected]) have attracted extensive attention recently. Herein, an [email protected] catalyst is prepared by a one-step method. Ru NPs are encapsulated in situ in the UiO-66 skeleton structure during the synthesis of UiO-66 metal-organic framework via a solvothermal method, and its catalytic activity for CO2 methanation with the synergy of cold plasma is studied. The crystallinity and structural integrity of UiO-66 is maintained after encapsulating Ru NPs according to the X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). As illustrated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and mapping analysis, the Ru species of the hydration ruthenium trichloride precursor are reduced to metallic Ru NPs without additional reducing processes during the synthesis of [email protected], and the Ru NPs are uniformly distributed inside the [email protected] Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and N2 sorption analysis show that the specific surface area and thermal stability of [email protected] decrease slightly compared with that of UiO-66 and was ascribed to the encapsulation of Ru NPs in the UiO-66 skeleton. The results of plasma-assisted catalytic CO2 methanation indicate that [email protected] exhibits excellent catalytic activity. CO2 conversion and CH4 selectivity over [email protected] reached 72.2% and 95.4% under 13.0 W of discharge power and a 30 mL·min−1 gas flow rate ( V H 2 : V C O 2 = 4 : 1 ), respectively. Both values are significantly higher than pure UiO-66 with plasma and Ru/Al2O3 with plasma. The enhanced performance of [email protected] is attributed to its unique framework structure and excellent dispersion of Ru NPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Nanomaterials for Applications in Energy and Catalysis)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Yolk–Shell Nanostructures: Syntheses and Applications for Lithium-Ion Battery Anodes
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040675 - 03 Apr 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Yolk–shell nanostructures have attracted tremendous research interest due to their physicochemical properties and unique morphological features stemming from a movable core within a hollow shell. The structural potential for tuning inner space is the focal point of the yolk–shell nanostructures in a way [...] Read more.
Yolk–shell nanostructures have attracted tremendous research interest due to their physicochemical properties and unique morphological features stemming from a movable core within a hollow shell. The structural potential for tuning inner space is the focal point of the yolk–shell nanostructures in a way that they can solve the long-lasted problem such as volume expansion and deterioration of lithium-ion battery electrodes. This review gives a comprehensive overview of the design, synthesis, and battery anode applications of yolk–shell nanostructures. The synthetic strategies for yolk–shell nanostructures consist of two categories: templating and self-templating methods. While the templating approach is straightforward in a way that the inner void is formed by removing the sacrificial layer, the self-templating methods cover various different strategies including galvanic replacement, Kirkendall effect, Ostwald ripening, partial removal of core, core injection, core contraction, and surface-protected etching. The battery anode applications of yolk–shell nanostructures are discussed by dividing into alloying and conversion types with details on the synthetic strategies. A successful design of yolk–shell nanostructures battery anodes achieved the improved reversible capacity compared to their bare morphologies (e.g., no capacity retention in 300 cycles for [email protected] yolk–shell vs. capacity fading in 10 cycles for [email protected] core–shell). This review ends with a summary and concluding remark yolk–shell nanostructures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Nanomaterials for Applications in Energy and Catalysis)
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Open AccessReview
Synthesis and Electrochemical Energy Storage Applications of Micro/Nanostructured Spherical Materials
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(9), 1207; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9091207 - 27 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Micro/nanostructured spherical materials have been widely explored for electrochemical energy storage due to their exceptional properties, which have also been summarized based on electrode type and material composition. The increased complexity of spherical structures has increased the feasibility of modulating their properties, thereby [...] Read more.
Micro/nanostructured spherical materials have been widely explored for electrochemical energy storage due to their exceptional properties, which have also been summarized based on electrode type and material composition. The increased complexity of spherical structures has increased the feasibility of modulating their properties, thereby improving their performance compared with simple spherical structures. This paper comprehensively reviews the synthesis and electrochemical energy storage applications of micro/nanostructured spherical materials. After a brief classification, the concepts and syntheses of micro/nanostructured spherical materials are described in detail, which include hollow, core-shelled, yolk-shelled, double-shelled, and multi-shelled spheres. We then introduce strategies classified into hard-, soft-, and self-templating methods for synthesis of these spherical structures, and also include the concepts of synthetic methodologies. Thereafter, we discuss their applications as electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors, and sulfur hosts for lithium–sulfur batteries. The superiority of multi-shelled hollow micro/nanospheres for electrochemical energy storage applications is particularly summarized. Subsequently, we conclude this review by presenting the challenges, development, highlights, and future directions of the micro/nanostructured spherical materials for electrochemical energy storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Nanomaterials for Applications in Energy and Catalysis)
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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.

Title: Synthesis and study of the behavior of new de-alloyed PtCu electrocatalysts for oxygen electroreduction and methanol electrooxidation reactions
Author: Vladimir Guterman
Correspondence: [email protected]
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