Special Issue "Polymers for Energy Storage and Conversion"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Jung Kyu Kim
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Chemical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), Suwon, 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
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Due to the rapidly changing global climate and numerous environmental issues, the development of renewable energies and their storage with sustainability is highly desired. In recent years, polymers and their applications have recently received significant interest as a reliable approach for achieving sustainable energy storage and conversion. The use of polymers for the energy storage and conversion has been investigated intensely over the past few decades such as dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC), organic photovoltaics (OSC), perovskite solar cells (PSC), fuel cells, and secondary batteries.

This Special Issue “Polymers for Energy Storage and Conversion” covers the nanostructured polymers (or nano-polymers) and engineering of device architecture with an advanced polymer-based process for divergent energy storage and conversion applications with high sustainability involving solar energy systems, electrochemical cells, photocatalysts, artificial photosynthesis, fuel cells, supercapacitors, CO2 conversions, 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, and perovskite solar cells);
  • Solar fuel productions (i.e., artificial photosynthesis, photocatalysts, and photoelectrochemical cells);
  • Electrocatalysts for electrochemical water splitting, CO2 reduction, or ammonia (NH3) synthesis;
  • Electrode and membrane materials for fuel cells, capacitors, and secondary batteries;
  • Nano-sciences and technologies for energy storage and conversion devices;
  • The manufacturing process for energy storage and conversion devices;
  • The engineering of device architecture and structure design for efficient energy storage and conversion.

Particularly, this Special Issue calls for papers on advanced polymer materials, the modulation of polymers and device architectures promoting high capability of energy storage, and efficient energy conversion.

Prof. Dr. Jung Kyu Kim
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. Polymers 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 2200 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

  • Polymer-based solar cells
  • Polymers for energy storage devices
  • Polymers for photochemical conversions
  • Modulation of polymer materials
  • Polymer-based electrolytes
  • Optoelectronic characterization of polymers
  • Polymer-based nanostructures

Published Papers (11 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Promotion of Ionic Conductivity of PEO-Based Solid Electrolyte Using Ultrasonic Vibration
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 1889; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12091889 - 21 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 901
Abstract
All solid-state lithium-ion batteries based on polymer electrolytes have higher safety and energy density, but the low conductivity of lithium ion restricts its application. This study proposes a new method to promote the ionic conductivity of polyethylene oxide (PEO)-based solid electrolytes. In this [...] Read more.
All solid-state lithium-ion batteries based on polymer electrolytes have higher safety and energy density, but the low conductivity of lithium ion restricts its application. This study proposes a new method to promote the ionic conductivity of polyethylene oxide (PEO)-based solid electrolytes. In this method, the PEO-based solid electrolyte was first prepared by casting, and then power ultrasound was exerted on the electrolyte by a sandwich structure to modify the electrolyte structure. Through analysis of the performance and microstructure of the electrolyte, it was found that the ultrasonic treatment increased the ionic conductivity by 78%, improved tensile strength and plastic deformation ability, but did not affect the thermal stability and the chemical composition. The ultrasonic vibration, exerting high energy to the solid electrolyte through high-frequency vibration, broke PEO grains and melted them with the frictional heat at boundary. Due to the slight melting and fast solidifying produced by the pulsed ultrasonic treatment, the crystallization was suppressed. The crystallinity was thus reduced by 6.2%, which increased the migration channels of lithium ions and reduced the tortuosity effect. Furthermore, the ultrasonic vibration compressed the electrolyte to produce plastic flow of the material, which made the electrolyte structure more compact. The density of ethylene oxide (EO) units thus increased in the amorphous phase, providing multiple electron-donor coordination sites for the Li+. The hopping distance of the ion between donors decreased, which also facilitated the migration. In addition, the mechanical performance of the electrolyte membrane improved. This study provides a reference for the improvement of polymer based all-solid-state batteries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Energy Storage and Conversion)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Communication
Metal-Organic Decomposition-Mediated Nanoparticulate Vanadium Oxide Hole Transporting Buffer Layer for Polymer Bulk-Heterojunction Solar Cells
Polymers 2020, 12(8), 1791; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12081791 - 10 Aug 2020
Viewed by 925
Abstract
In this study, a solution-processable compact vanadium oxide (V2O5) film with a globular nanoparticulate structure is introduced to the hole transport layer (HTL) of polymer bulk-heterojunction based solar cells comprised of PTB7:PC70BM by using a facile metal-organic [...] Read more.
In this study, a solution-processable compact vanadium oxide (V2O5) film with a globular nanoparticulate structure is introduced to the hole transport layer (HTL) of polymer bulk-heterojunction based solar cells comprised of PTB7:PC70BM by using a facile metal-organic decomposition method to replace the conventionally utilized poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene): poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS). For this, a biocompatible structure-determining agent, polyethylene glycol (PEG, Mn 300), is used as an additive in the precursor to form the nanoparticulate compact V2O5 (hereafter referred to as NP-V2O5) film, which possesses an outstandingly smooth surface morphology. The introduction of NP-V2O5 HTL via the solution process with a neutral pH condition successfully improved the stability by preventing the decomposition of indium tin oxide (ITO) glass and the penetration of heavy-metal components and moisture, which are considered as the crucial drawbacks of using PEDOT:PSS. Over 1440 h (60 days) of the stability test, an organic solar cell (OSC) with NP-V2O5 showed a significant durability, maintaining 82% of its initial power conversion efficiency (PCE), whereas an OSC with PEDOT:PSS maintained 51% of its initial PCE. Furthermore, due to the positive effects of the modified surface properties of NP-V2O5, the PCE was slightly enhanced from 7.47% to 7.89% with a significant improvement in the short-circuit current density and fill factor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Energy Storage and Conversion)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Glycerolized Li+ Ion Conducting Chitosan-Based Polymer Electrolyte for Energy Storage EDLC Device Applications with Relatively High Energy Density
Polymers 2020, 12(6), 1433; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12061433 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 1322
Abstract
In this study, the solution casting method was employed to prepare plasticized polymer electrolytes of chitosan (CS):LiCO2CH3:Glycerol with electrochemical stability (1.8 V). The electrolyte studied in this current work could be established as new materials in the fabrication of [...] Read more.
In this study, the solution casting method was employed to prepare plasticized polymer electrolytes of chitosan (CS):LiCO2CH3:Glycerol with electrochemical stability (1.8 V). The electrolyte studied in this current work could be established as new materials in the fabrication of EDLC with high specific capacitance and energy density. The system with high dielectric constant was also associated with high DC conductivity (5.19 × 10−4 S/cm). The increase of the amorphous phase upon the addition of glycerol was observed from XRD results. The main charge carrier in the polymer electrolyte was ion as tel (0.044) < tion (0.956). Cyclic voltammetry presented an almost rectangular plot with the absence of a Faradaic peak. Specific capacitance was found to be dependent on the scan rate used. The efficiency of the EDLC was observed to remain constant at 98.8% to 99.5% up to 700 cycles, portraying an excellent cyclability. High values of specific capacitance, energy density, and power density were achieved, such as 132.8 F/g, 18.4 Wh/kg, and 2591 W/kg, respectively. The low equivalent series resistance (ESR) indicated that the EDLC possessed good electrolyte/electrode contact. It was discovered that the power density of the EDLC was affected by ESR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Energy Storage and Conversion)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Biopolymer-Inspired N-Doped Nanocarbon Using Carbonized Polydopamine: A High-Performance Electrocatalyst for Hydrogen-Evolution Reaction
Polymers 2020, 12(4), 912; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12040912 - 15 Apr 2020
Viewed by 1309
Abstract
Hydrogen-evolution reaction (HER) is a promising technology for renewable energy conversion and storage. Electrochemical HER can provide a cost-effective method for the clean production of hydrogen. In this study, a biomimetic eco-friendly approach to fabricate nitrogen-doped carbon nanosheets, exhibiting a high HER performance, [...] Read more.
Hydrogen-evolution reaction (HER) is a promising technology for renewable energy conversion and storage. Electrochemical HER can provide a cost-effective method for the clean production of hydrogen. In this study, a biomimetic eco-friendly approach to fabricate nitrogen-doped carbon nanosheets, exhibiting a high HER performance, and using a carbonized polydopamine (C-PDA), is described. As a biopolymer, polydopamine (PDA) exhibits high biocompatibility and can be easily obtained by an environmentally benign green synthesis with dopamine. Inspired by the polymerization of dopamine, we have devised the facile synthesis of nitrogen-doped nanocarbons using a carbonized polydopamine for the HER in acidic media. The N-doped nanocarbons exhibit excellent performance for H2 generation. The required overpotential at 5 mA/cm2 is 130 mV, and the Tafel slope is 45 mV/decade. Experimental characterizations confirm that the excellent performance of the N-doped nanocarbons can be attributed to the multisite nitrogen doping, while theoretical computations indicate the promotion effect of tertiary/aromatic nitrogen doping in enhancing the spin density of the doped samples and consequently in forming highly electroactive sites for HER applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Energy Storage and Conversion)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
High-Conductivity, Flexible and Transparent PEDOT:PSS Electrodes for High Performance Semi-Transparent Supercapacitors
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12020450 - 14 Feb 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 1269
Abstract
Herein, we report a flexible high-conductivity transparent electrode (denoted as S-PH1000), based on conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS), and itsapplication to flexible semi-transparentsupercapacitors. A high conductivity of 2673 S/cm was achieved for the S-PH1000 electrode on flexible plastic substrates via a H2 [...] Read more.
Herein, we report a flexible high-conductivity transparent electrode (denoted as S-PH1000), based on conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS), and itsapplication to flexible semi-transparentsupercapacitors. A high conductivity of 2673 S/cm was achieved for the S-PH1000 electrode on flexible plastic substrates via a H2SO4 treatment with an optimized concentration of 80 wt.%. This is among the top electrical conductivities of PEDOT:PSS films processed on flexible substrates. As for the electrochemical properties,a high specific capacitance of 161F/g was obtained from the S-PH1000 electrode at a current density of 1 A/g. Excitingly, a specific capacitance of 121 F/g was retained even when the current density increased to 100 A/g, which demonstrates the high-rate property of this electrode. Flexible semi-transparent supercapacitors based on these electrodes demonstrate high transparency, over 60%, at 550 nm. A high power density value, over 19,200 W/kg,and energy density, over 3.40 Wh/kg, was achieved. The semi-transparent flexible supercapacitor was successfully applied topower a light-emitting diode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Energy Storage and Conversion)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Effect of PVP-Capped ZnO Nanoparticles with Enhanced Charge Transport on the Performance of P3HT/PCBM Polymer Solar Cells
Polymers 2019, 11(11), 1818; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11111818 - 05 Nov 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1092
Abstract
We attempted surface modification in ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) synthesized by the sol–gel process with polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) applied to bulk-heterojunction polymer solar cells (PSCs) as an electron transport layer (ETL). In general, ZnO NPs have trap sites due to oxygen vacancies which capture [...] Read more.
We attempted surface modification in ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) synthesized by the sol–gel process with polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) applied to bulk-heterojunction polymer solar cells (PSCs) as an electron transport layer (ETL). In general, ZnO NPs have trap sites due to oxygen vacancies which capture electrons and degrade the performance of the PSCs. Devices with six different PVP:Zn ratios (0.615 g, 1.230 g, 1.846 g, 2.460 g, 3.075 g, and 3.690 g) were fabricated for surface modification, and the optimized PVP:Zn ratio (2.460 g) was found for PSCs based on P3HT/PCBM. The power conversion efficiency (PCE) of the fabricated PSCs with PVP-capped ZnO exhibited a significant increase of approximately 21% in PCE and excellent air-stability as compared with the uncapped ZnO-based PSCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Energy Storage and Conversion)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Structural Parameters Affecting Electrothermal Properties of Woolen Knitted Fabrics Integrated with Silver-Coated Yarns
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1709; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101709 - 18 Oct 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 954
Abstract
Recently, more and more researchers have focused on electrical textiles that can provide or convert energy to facilitate people’s lives. Knitting conductive yarns into ordinary fabrics is a common way for electrical textiles to transmit heat or electrical signals to humans. This paper [...] Read more.
Recently, more and more researchers have focused on electrical textiles that can provide or convert energy to facilitate people’s lives. Knitting conductive yarns into ordinary fabrics is a common way for electrical textiles to transmit heat or electrical signals to humans. This paper is aimed at studying the resistance values and temperatures of electrothermal knitted conductive fabric (EKCF) subjected to certain voltages over time. Six types of EKCFs with structural differences were fabricated using a computerized flat knitting machine with intarsia technology. Uniform samples 10 × 10 cm in size were made from wool, as were two different specifications of silver-coated conductive yarns. The wool yarn and one silver-coated yarn were mixed to knit a resistance area 2 × 2 cm in size in the center of the EKCF to observe heating behaviors. The experiment results showed that when the EKCFs were subjected to certain voltages over time, the resistance values of the resistance area increased over a short time and then gradually decreased, and the temperature gradually increased in the first 1000 s and tended toward stability after a certain period of time. The structural coefficient κ between different knitted structures (which predicted the thermal properties of different EKCFs subjected to different voltages) was analyzed. These results are of great significance for predicting the electrothermal performance of EKCFs with different knitted structures. On the basis of these results, an optimized knitted structure was selected as the best EKCF for wearable textiles, and the findings contribute to the field of technological and intelligent electrothermal garments and related products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Energy Storage and Conversion)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Fabrication of Eco-Friendly Solid-State Symmetric Ultracapacitor Device Based on Co-Doped PANI/GO Composite
Polymers 2019, 11(8), 1315; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11081315 - 06 Aug 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1368
Abstract
An eco-friendly solid-state symmetric ultracapacitor (Uc) device was fabricated using a polyaniline graphene oxide composite co-doped with sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and dodecyl benzene sulfonic acid (DBSA) or camphor sulfonic acid (CSA), as electrode material utilizing gold sheets as current [...] Read more.
An eco-friendly solid-state symmetric ultracapacitor (Uc) device was fabricated using a polyaniline graphene oxide composite co-doped with sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and dodecyl benzene sulfonic acid (DBSA) or camphor sulfonic acid (CSA), as electrode material utilizing gold sheets as current collectors. The device showed specific capacitance value of 150 F/g at 1 A/g current density, with a capacitance retention value of 93.33% at higher current density (10 A/g), indicating a high rate capability. An energy density of 15.30 Whkg−1 with a power density of 1716 Wkg−1 was obtained at the current density of 1 A/g. The values of areal capacitance, power density, and energy density, achieved at the current density of 5 mAcm−2, were 97.38 mFcm−2, 9.93 mWhcm−2, and 1.1 Wcm−2, respectively. Additionally, the device showed very low solution and charge transfer resistance (0.885 Ω and 0.475 Ω, respectively). A device was also fabricated utilizing copper as current collector; however, a lower value of specific capacitance (82 F/g) was observed in this case. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Energy Storage and Conversion)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
A Multilayer Emitter Close to Ideal Solar Reflectance for Efficient Daytime Radiative Cooling
Polymers 2019, 11(7), 1203; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11071203 - 18 Jul 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1551
Abstract
A passive radiative cooling method has a significant influence on thermal management applications because it can cool without any energy input. This work both experimentally and theoretically demonstrates a multilayer thin film structure with high solar reflectance, which can be applied to passive [...] Read more.
A passive radiative cooling method has a significant influence on thermal management applications because it can cool without any energy input. This work both experimentally and theoretically demonstrates a multilayer thin film structure with high solar reflectance, which can be applied to passive daytime radiative cooling. The combination of physical vapor deposition and spin-coating prepared the samples, which were also characterized experimentally by spectrometers. On-site measured results show that the emitter can effectively achieve daytime radiative cooling, and the cooling performance can be further improved with the increase of the ambient air temperature. When the emitter is exposed to direct solar radiation (AM1.5) of about 880 W/m2 on a rooftop under dry air conditions, it can achieve an average temperature reduction of about 12.6 °C from the ambient air temperature with nonradiative heat transfer (11 a.m.–1 p.m.). Theoretical simulations reveal that the emitter can still have a certain cooling performance in the presence of significant nonradiative heat exchange and nonideal atmospheric conditions. The influence of ambient air temperature on the cooling performance of the emitter is also theoretically analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Energy Storage and Conversion)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effect of Triblock Copolymer on Carbon-Based Boron Nitride Whiskers for Efficient CO2 Adsorption
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 913; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050913 - 21 May 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1890
Abstract
Herein, we investigated novel carbon-containing P123 copolymer-activated boron nitride whiskers (P123-CBNW) fabricated via a structure directing approach followed by a single-step heat treatment under N2. The resulting materials were found to be highly micro- and mesoporous. The influence of the activating [...] Read more.
Herein, we investigated novel carbon-containing P123 copolymer-activated boron nitride whiskers (P123-CBNW) fabricated via a structure directing approach followed by a single-step heat treatment under N2. The resulting materials were found to be highly micro- and mesoporous. The influence of the activating agent (P123 copolymer) on the CO2 adsorption efficiency was determined. The prepared samples possessed high specific surface areas (594–1732 m2/g) and micropore volumes (0.258–0.672 cm3/g). The maximum CO2 uptakes of the prepared adsorbents were in the range 136–308 mg/g (3.09–7.01 mmol/g) at 273 K and 1 bar and 97–114 mg/g (2.22–4.62 mmol/g) in the following order: CBNW < P123-CBNW3 < P123-CBNW2 < P123-CBNW1 < P123-CBNW0.5. The isosteric heat of adsorption values (∆Qst) were found to be 33.7–43.7 kJ/mol, demonstrating the physisorption nature of the CO2 adsorption. Extensive analysis revealed that the presence of carbon, the high specific surface area, the high microporosity, and the chemical structural defects within the adsorbents are responsible for raising the CO2 adsorption ability and the selectivity over N2 gas. The fabricated adsorbents show excellent regeneration ability after several repeated adsorption cycles, making the prepared adsorbents promising candidates for gas storage applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Energy Storage and Conversion)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Application Progress of Polyaniline, Polypyrrole and Polythiophene in Lithium-Sulfur Batteries
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12020331 - 05 Feb 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 1646
Abstract
With the urgent requirement for high-performance rechargeable Li-S batteries, besides various carbon materials and metal compounds, lots of conducting polymers have been developed and used as components in Li-S batteries. In this review, the synthesis of polyaniline (PANI), polypyrrole (PPy) and polythiophene (PTh) [...] Read more.
With the urgent requirement for high-performance rechargeable Li-S batteries, besides various carbon materials and metal compounds, lots of conducting polymers have been developed and used as components in Li-S batteries. In this review, the synthesis of polyaniline (PANI), polypyrrole (PPy) and polythiophene (PTh) is introduced briefly. Then, the application progress of the three conducting polymers is summarized according to the function in Li-S batteries, including coating layers, conductive hosts, sulfur-containing compounds, separator modifier/functional interlayer, binder and current collector. Finally, according to the current problems of conducting polymers, some practical strategies and potential research directions are put forward. We expect that this review will provide novel design ideas to develop conducting polymer-containing high-performance Li-S batteries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Energy Storage and Conversion)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Back to TopTop