Advance in New Energy Materials and Devices

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 February 2023) | Viewed by 26308

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of New Energy, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206, China
Interests: new energy materials and devices
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
College of Materials and Metallurgy, Guizhou University, Guiyang, China
Interests: preparation and performance research of electrochromic and other optoelectronic functional materials and devices
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the increasing depletion of energy and growth in climate change, developing renewable energy has become the central theme of world energy development. New energy materials and devices are the key to implementing the transformation and utilization of renewable energy technologies. This Special Issue focuses on the research and development of a new generation of high-performance green energy materials, technologies and devices. Energy conversion and storage materials, device design and preparing technology are the main research directions. Topics concerning solar cells, batteries and photocatalytic systems will receive increasing interesting due to their clean, green sources and important application potential.

Prof. Dr. Meicheng Li
Prof. Dr. Rongzong Zheng
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • new energy materials and devices
  • energy conversion and storage
  • solar cells, lithium-ion batteries
  • photocatalytic materials

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 3217 KiB  
Article
Electrical Breakdown Mechanism of ENB-EPDM Cable Insulation Based on Density Functional Theory
by Zhiyi Pang, Yi Li and Yiyi Zhang
Polymers 2023, 15(5), 1217; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15051217 - 28 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1970
Abstract
The ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) is utilized in high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable accessories due to its exceptional insulation properties. The microscopic reactions and space charge characteristics of EPDM under electric fields are studied using density functional theory. The results indicate [...] Read more.
The ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) is utilized in high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable accessories due to its exceptional insulation properties. The microscopic reactions and space charge characteristics of EPDM under electric fields are studied using density functional theory. The results indicate that as the electric field intensity increases, the total energy decreases while the dipole moment and polarizability increase, leading to a decrease in the stability of EPDM. The molecular chain elongates under the stretching effect of the electric field and the stability of the geometric structure decreases, resulting in a decline in its mechanical and electrical properties. With increased electric field intensity, the energy gap of the front orbital decreases, and its conductivity improves. Additionally, the active site of the molecular chain reaction shifts, leading to different degrees of hole trap and electron trap energy level distribution in the area where the front track of the molecular chain is located, making EPDM more susceptible to trapping free electrons or injecting charge. When the electric field intensity reaches 0.0255 a.u., the EPDM molecular structure is destroyed, and its infrared spectrum undergoes significant changes. These findings provide a basis for future modification technology, and theoretical support for high voltage experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in New Energy Materials and Devices)
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19 pages, 3306 KiB  
Article
The Role of Polymers in Halide Perovskite Resistive Switching Devices
by Gregory Soon How Thien, Kah-Yoong Chan and Ab Rahman Marlinda
Polymers 2023, 15(5), 1067; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15051067 - 21 Feb 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2323
Abstract
Currently, halide perovskites (HPs) are gaining traction in multiple applications, such as photovoltaics and resistive switching (RS) devices. In RS devices, the high electrical conductivity, tunable bandgap, good stability, and low-cost synthesis and processing make HPs promising as active layers. Additionally, the use [...] Read more.
Currently, halide perovskites (HPs) are gaining traction in multiple applications, such as photovoltaics and resistive switching (RS) devices. In RS devices, the high electrical conductivity, tunable bandgap, good stability, and low-cost synthesis and processing make HPs promising as active layers. Additionally, the use of polymers in improving the RS properties of lead (Pb) and Pb-free HP devices was described in several recent reports. Thus, this review explored the in-depth role of polymers in optimizing HP RS devices. In this review, the effect of polymers on the ON/OFF ratio, retention, and endurance properties was successfully investigated. The polymers were discovered to be commonly utilized as passivation layers, charge transfer enhancement, and composite materials. Hence, further HP RS improvement integrated with polymers revealed promising approaches to delivering efficient memory devices. Based on the review, detailed insights into the significance of polymers in producing high-performance RS device technology were effectively understood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in New Energy Materials and Devices)
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17 pages, 2912 KiB  
Article
Ionic Push–Pull Polythiophenes: A Further Step towards Eco-Friendly BHJ Organic Solar Cells
by Martina Marinelli, Massimiliano Lanzi, Filippo Pierini, Yasamin Ziai, Alberto Zanelli, Debora Quadretti, Francesca Di Maria and Elisabetta Salatelli
Polymers 2022, 14(19), 3965; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14193965 - 22 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2093
Abstract
Four new conjugated polymers alternating benzothiadiazole units and thiophene moieties functionalized with ionic phosphonium or sulfonic acid salts in the side chains were synthesized by a postfunctionalization approach of polymeric precursors. The introduction of ionic groups makes the conjugated polymers soluble in water [...] Read more.
Four new conjugated polymers alternating benzothiadiazole units and thiophene moieties functionalized with ionic phosphonium or sulfonic acid salts in the side chains were synthesized by a postfunctionalization approach of polymeric precursors. The introduction of ionic groups makes the conjugated polymers soluble in water and/or polar solvents, allowing for the fabrication of bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells using environmentally friendly conditions. All polymers were fully characterized by spectroscopic, thermal, electrochemical, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron, and atomic force techniques. BHJ solar cells were obtained from halogen-free solvents (i.e., ethanol and/or anisole) by blending the synthesized ionic push–pull polymers with a serinol-fullerene derivative or an ionic homopolymer acting as electron-acceptor (EA) or electron-donor (ED) counterparts, respectively. The device with the highest optical density and the smoothest surface of the active layer was the best-performing, showing a 4.76% photoconversion efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in New Energy Materials and Devices)
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24 pages, 7842 KiB  
Article
Two-Dimensional Simulation of the Freezing Characteristics in PEMFCs during Cold Start Considering Ice Crystallization Kinetics
by Panxing Jiang, Zhigang Zhan, Di Zhang, Chenlong Wang, Heng Zhang and Mu Pan
Polymers 2022, 14(15), 3203; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14153203 - 5 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1811
Abstract
Cold start is one of the major issues that hinders the commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). In this study, a 2D transient multi-physics model is developed to simulate the cold start processes in a PEMFC. The phase change between water [...] Read more.
Cold start is one of the major issues that hinders the commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). In this study, a 2D transient multi-physics model is developed to simulate the cold start processes in a PEMFC. The phase change between water vapor, liquid water, and ice in the catalyst layers (CLs), micro porous layer (MPLs), and gas diffusion layers (GDLs) is also investigated, particularly the effect of ice crystallization kinetics when supercooled liquid water changes into ice. The factors affecting the different operating conditions and structural features of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) are investigated. The results show that when the start temperature is −20 °C or higher, ice formation is delayed and the formation rate is decreased, and supercooled liquid water permeates from the CL into the MPL. For an MEA with relatively high hydrophobicity, the water permeation rate is high. These results can enable a PEMFC to start at subzero temperatures. The effect of ice crystallization kinetics is negligible when the fuel cell is started at −30 °C or below. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in New Energy Materials and Devices)
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21 pages, 5056 KiB  
Article
Development of WO3–Nafion Based Membranes for Enabling Higher Water Retention at Low Humidity and Enhancing PEMFC Performance at Intermediate Temperature Operation
by Asmaa Selim, Gábor Pál Szijjártó, Loránd Románszki and András Tompos
Polymers 2022, 14(12), 2492; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14122492 - 19 Jun 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2337
Abstract
The proton exchange membrane (PEM) represents a pivotal material and a key challenge in developing fuel cell science and hydrogen technology. Nafion is the most promising polymer which will lead to its commercialisation. Hybrid membranes of nanosized tungsten oxide (WO3) and [...] Read more.
The proton exchange membrane (PEM) represents a pivotal material and a key challenge in developing fuel cell science and hydrogen technology. Nafion is the most promising polymer which will lead to its commercialisation. Hybrid membranes of nanosized tungsten oxide (WO3) and Nafion were fabricated, characterised, and tested in a single cell. The incorporation of 10 wt% WO3 resulted in 21% higher water uptake, 11.7% lower swelling ratio, almost doubling the hydration degree, and 13% higher mechanical stability of the hybrid membrane compared to the Nafion XL. Compared to commercial Nafion XL, the rNF–WO-10 hybrid membrane showed an 8.8% and 20% increase in current density of the cell at 0.4 V operating at 80 and 95 °C with 1.89 and 2.29 A/cm2, respectively. The maximum power density has increased by 9% (0.76 W/cm2) and 19.9% (0.922 W/cm2) when operating at the same temperatures compared to the commercial Nafion XL membrane. Generally, considering the particular structure of Nafion XL, our Nafion-based membrane with 10 wt% WO3 (rNF–WO-10) is a suitable PEM with a comparable performance at different operating conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in New Energy Materials and Devices)
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10 pages, 2669 KiB  
Article
Model-Based Dielectric Constant Estimation of Polymeric Nanocomposite
by Jiang Shao, Le Zhou, Yuqi Chen, Xue Liu and Mingbo Ji
Polymers 2022, 14(6), 1121; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14061121 - 11 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2238
Abstract
The interphase region widely exists in polymer-based nanocomposites, which affects the dielectric properties of the nanocomposites. General models, such as the Knott model, are often used to predict the dielectric constant of nanocomposites, while the model does not take the existence of interphase [...] Read more.
The interphase region widely exists in polymer-based nanocomposites, which affects the dielectric properties of the nanocomposites. General models, such as the Knott model, are often used to predict the dielectric constant of nanocomposites, while the model does not take the existence of interphase into account, which leads to a large deviation between the predicted results and the experimental values. In this study, a developed Knott model is proposed by introducing the interphase region and appropriately assuming the properties of the interphase. The modeling results based on the developed model are in good agreement with the experimental data, which verifies the high accuracy of the development model. The influence of nanoparticle loading on the effective volume fraction is further studied. In addition, the effects of the polymer matrix, nanoparticles, interphase dielectric and thickness, nanoparticle size and volume fraction on the dielectric properties of the nanocomposites are also investigated. The results show that polymer matrix or nanoparticles with a high dielectric and thick interphase can effectively improve the dielectric properties of the materials. Small size nanoparticles with high concentrations are more conducive to improving the dielectric properties of the nanocomposites. This study demonstrates that the interphase properties have an important impact on the dielectric properties of nanocomposites, and the developed model is helpful to accurately predict the dielectric constant of polymer-based nanocomposites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in New Energy Materials and Devices)
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16 pages, 5671 KiB  
Article
Poly(ionic liquid) Based Composite Electrolytes for Lithium Ion Batteries
by Robert Löwe, Thomas Hanemann, Tatiana Zinkevich and Andreas Hofmann
Polymers 2021, 13(24), 4469; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13244469 - 20 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3774
Abstract
Polymerized ionic liquids (PIL) are an interesting substance class, which is discussed to transfer the outstanding properties and tunability of ionic liquids into a solid material. In this study we extend our previous research on ammonium based PIL and discuss the influence of [...] Read more.
Polymerized ionic liquids (PIL) are an interesting substance class, which is discussed to transfer the outstanding properties and tunability of ionic liquids into a solid material. In this study we extend our previous research on ammonium based PIL and discuss the influence of additives and their usability as polymer electrolyte membranes for lithium ion batteries. The polymer electrolyte is thereby used as replacement for the commercially widespread system of a separator that is soaked with liquid electrolyte. The influence of the material composition on the ionic conductivity (via electrochemical impedance spectroscopy) and the diffusion coefficients (via pulsed-field-gradient nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy) were studied and cell tests with adapted membrane materials were performed. High amounts of the additional ionic liquid (IL) MPPyrr-TFSI (1-methyl-1-propylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide) increased the ionic conductivity of the materials up to 1.3·10−4 S·cm−1 but made the usage of a cross-linker necessary to obtain mechanically stable membranes. The application of liquid electrolyte mixtures with ethylene carbonate (EC) and MPPyrr-TFSI decreased ionic conductivity values down to the 10−9 S·cm−1 range, but increased 7Li diffusion coefficients with increasing amounts of EC up to 1.7·10−10 m2·s−1. Cell tests with two membrane mixtures proofed that it is possible to build electrolyte membranes on basis of the polymerized ionic liquids, but also showed that further research is necessary to ensure stable and efficient cell cycling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in New Energy Materials and Devices)
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23 pages, 8708 KiB  
Article
Recycling of Silicon Carbide Sludge on the Preparation and Characterization of Lightweight Foamed Geopolymer Materials
by Kang-Wei Lo, Ya-Wen Lin, Ta-Wui Cheng, Kae-Long Lin and Wei-Ting Lin
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 4029; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13224029 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1712
Abstract
This study used silicon carbide sludge (SCS) to prepare lightweight foaming geopolymer materials (FGPs) by the direct foaming method. Results showed that when the SCS replacement level was 10%, the bulk density of the lightweight FGPs with added foaming agent amounts of 0.5% [...] Read more.
This study used silicon carbide sludge (SCS) to prepare lightweight foaming geopolymer materials (FGPs) by the direct foaming method. Results showed that when the SCS replacement level was 10%, the bulk density of the lightweight FGPs with added foaming agent amounts of 0.5% and 2.0% was 0.59 and 0.49 g/cm3, respectively; at a curing time of 28 days, the lightweight FGPs with amounts of added foaming agent of 0.5% and 2.0% had bulk densities that were 0.65 and 0.58 g/cm3, respectively. When the SCS replacement level was 10%, and the amount of added foaming agent was 2.0%, the porosity ratio of the lightweight FGP increased from 31.88% to 40.03%. The mechanical strength of the lightweight FGPs with SCS replacement levels of 10% and 20% was 0.88 and 0.31 MPa, respectively. Additionally, when the amount of foaming agent increased to 2.0%, the thermal conductivity of the lightweight FGPs with SCS replacement levels of 10% and 20% were 0.370 and 0.456 W/m⋅K, respectively. When the curing time was 1 day, and the amount of added foaming agent was 0.5%, the reverse-side temperature of the lightweight FGPs with SCS replacement levels of 10% and 20% were 286 and 311 °C, respectively. The k value of the O2 reaction decreased from 2.94 × 10−4 to 1.76 × 10−4 because the reaction system was affected by the presence of SiC sludge, which was caused the reaction to consume O2 to form CO2. The results have been proposed to explain that the manufactured lightweight FGPs had a low thermal conductivity (0.370–0.456 W/m⋅K). Therefore, recycling of silicon carbide sludge in lightweight foaming geopolymer materials has potential as fire resistance material for the construction industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in New Energy Materials and Devices)
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11 pages, 3520 KiB  
Article
Polyethylene Oxide as a Multifunctional Binder for High-Performance Ternary Layered Cathodes
by Jinshan Mo, Dongmei Zhang, Mingzhe Sun, Lehao Liu, Weihao Hu, Bing Jiang, Lihua Chu and Meicheng Li
Polymers 2021, 13(22), 3992; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13223992 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3606
Abstract
Nickel cobalt manganese ternary cathode materials are some of the most promising cathode materials in lithium-ion batteries, due to their high specific capacity, low cost, etc. However, they do have a few disadvantages, such as an unstable cycle performance and a poor rate [...] Read more.
Nickel cobalt manganese ternary cathode materials are some of the most promising cathode materials in lithium-ion batteries, due to their high specific capacity, low cost, etc. However, they do have a few disadvantages, such as an unstable cycle performance and a poor rate performance. In this work, polyethylene oxide (PEO) with high ionic conductance and flexibility was utilized as a multifunctional binder to improve the electrochemical performance of LiNi0.6Co0.2Mn0.2O2 cathode materials. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the addition of PEO can greatly improve the adhesion of the electrode components and simultaneously enhance the integrity of the electrode. Thus, the PEO-based electrode (20 wt% PEO in PEO/PVDF) shows a high electronic conductivity of 19.8 S/cm, which is around 15,000 times that of the pristine PVDF-based electrode. Moreover, the PEO-based electrode exhibits better cycling stability and rate performance, i.e., the capacity increases from 131.1 mAh/g to 147.3 mAh/g at 2 C with 20 wt% PEO addition. Electrochemical impedance measurements further indicate that the addition of the PEO binder can reduce the electrode resistance and protect the LiNi0.6Co0.2Mn0.2O2 cathode materials from the liquid electrolyte attack. This work offers a simple yet effective method to improve the cycling performance of the ternary cathode materials by adding an appropriate amount of PEO as a binder in the electrode fabrication process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in New Energy Materials and Devices)
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11 pages, 2924 KiB  
Article
Microstructure Dependence of Output Performance in Flexible PVDF Piezoelectric Nanogenerators
by Yijing Jiang, Yongju Deng and Hongyan Qi
Polymers 2021, 13(19), 3252; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13193252 - 24 Sep 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2845
Abstract
Flexible piezoelectric nanogenerators have attracted great attention due to their ability to convert ambient mechanical energy into electrical energy for low-power wearable electronic devices. Controlling the microstructure of the flexible piezoelectric materials is a potential strategy to enhance the electrical outputs of the [...] Read more.
Flexible piezoelectric nanogenerators have attracted great attention due to their ability to convert ambient mechanical energy into electrical energy for low-power wearable electronic devices. Controlling the microstructure of the flexible piezoelectric materials is a potential strategy to enhance the electrical outputs of the piezoelectric nanogenerator. Three types of flexible polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) piezoelectric nanogenerator were fabricated based on well-aligned nanofibers, random oriented nanofibers and thick films. The electrical output performance of PVDF nanogenerators is systematically investigated by the influence of microstructures. The aligned nanofiber arrays exhibit highly consistent orientation, uniform diameter, and a smooth surface, which possesses the highest fraction of the polar crystalline β phase compared with the random-oriented nanofibers and thick films. The highly aligned structure and the large fraction of the polar β phase enhanced the output performance of the well-aligned nanofiber nanogenerator. The highest output voltage of 14 V and a short-circuit current of 1.22 µA were achieved under tapping mode of 10 N at 2.5 Hz, showing the potential application in flexible electronic devices. These new results shed some light on the design of the flexible piezoelectric polymer-based nanogenerators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in New Energy Materials and Devices)
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