Nanomaterials for Sustainable Energy Applications

Dear Colleagues,

The population growth and the ever-increasing global energy demand has pushed the attention to the sustainability of the humankind evolution model, with particular worries about the exploitation and depletion of world resources. In this scenario, the development of novel materials for next generation energy devices is of utmost importance, with great potential coming from the development of nanostructured materials. To make the difference in real applications, these materials should be identified not only for their efficiency and performance, but also satisfying low-cost and low-environmental impact constraints, allowing a green transition to a sustainable circular-economy model.

Therefore, the present topic will welcome not only papers on the broad and multidisciplinary field of nanomaterials for energy applications, but also studies and notes about their sustainability. We invite submissions from Applied Sciences, Applied Nano, Nanomaterials, Nanoenergy Advances and Sustainability.

Specifically, this topic will provide the most recent advances and perspectives on novel materials, architectures and strategies, considering but not limited to the fields of:

materials and nanomaterials for third generation photovoltaics;

optical structures to improve the efficiency of solar cells like texturing and plasmonics;

spectral up- and down-converting layers for solar cells;

nanostructured materials for applications in photocatalysis;

thermoelectric materials and applications;

advanced materials and strategies for energy storage;

new phosphors, nanophosphors and novel architectures for lighting;

sustainability and environmental impact of materials and technologies for energy…

Deadline for abstract submissions: 30 November 2022.
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2023.

Topic Board

Dr. Francesco Enrichi
E-Mail Website
Topic Editor-in-Chief
CNR-ISP National Research Council - Institute of Polar Sciences & Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, 30172 Venice, Italy
Interests: nanostructured materials; rare-earth ions; luminescent materials; optical films and coatings; materials for energy applications; solar cells; lighting
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Alberto Vomiero
E-Mail Website
Topic Associate Editor-in-Chief
Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Luleå University of Technology, 97187 Luleå, Sweden
Interests: composite nanomaterials for energy and environment; solar cells; metal oxide nanostructures; quantum dots
Prof. Elti Cattaruzza
E-Mail Website
Topic Associate Editor-in-Chief
Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, via Torino 155, 30172 Venezia-Mestre, Italy
Interests: physical vapour deposition; RF sputtering; coatings; ion-exchange; luminescent materials; metal nano-particles; plasmonics; optical films; glasses; solar cells
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Keywords

energy; nanomaterials; photovoltaics; solar cells; spectral conversion; plasmonics; photocatalysis; energy storage; phosphors; lighting; sustainability

Relevant Journals List

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Applied Sciences
applsci
2.679 3.0 2011 13.8 Days 2000 CHF Submit
Sustainability
sustainability
3.251 3.9 2009 15.35 Days 1900 CHF Submit
Catalysts
catalysts
4.146 4.5 2011 11.41 Days 2000 CHF Submit
Molecules
molecules
4.411 4.7 1996 13.3 Days 2000 CHF Submit
Materials
materials
3.623 4.2 2008 13.56 Days 2000 CHF Submit

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Article
Synthesis and Properties of Electrically Conductive/Nitrogen Grain Boundaries Incorporated Ultrananocrystalline Diamond (N-UNCD) Thin Films Grown by Microwave Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition (MPCVD)
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(18), 8443; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app11188443 - 11 Sep 2021
Abstract
Research and development have been performed to investigate the effect of total pressure and microwave power on the electrical conductivity of nitrogen (N) atoms’ grain boundaries incorporated ultrananocrystalline diamond (N-UNCD) films grown by microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition (MPCVD). Insertion of N atoms [...] Read more.
Research and development have been performed to investigate the effect of total pressure and microwave power on the electrical conductivity of nitrogen (N) atoms’ grain boundaries incorporated ultrananocrystalline diamond (N-UNCD) films grown by microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition (MPCVD). Insertion of N atoms into the UNCD film’s grain boundaries induces N atoms chemical reaction with C-atoms dangling bonds, resulting in release of electrons, which induce electrical conductivity. Four-point probe electrical measurements show that the highest electrically conductive N-UNCD films, produced until now, exhibit electrical resistivity of ~1 Ohm.cm, which is orders of magnitude lower than the ≥106 Ohm.cm for undoped ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) films. X-ray diffraction analysis and Raman spectroscopy revealed that the growth of the N-UNCD films by MPCVD do not produce graphite phase but only crystalline nanodiamond grains. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis confirmed the presence of nitrogen (N) in the N-UNCD films and the high conductivity (no electrical charging is observed during XPS analysis) shown in electrical measurements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nanomaterials for Sustainable Energy Applications)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Comparison Study of Metal Oxides (CeO2, CuO, SnO2, CdO, ZnO and TiO2) Decked Few Layered Graphene Nanocomposites for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7685; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13147685 - 09 Jul 2021
Abstract
Recent research is focused on few layered graphene (FLG) with various metal oxides (MOs) as (MOs; CeO2, CuO, SnO2, CdO, ZnO, and TiO2) nanocomposite materials are alternatives to critically important in the fabrication of solar cell devices. [...] Read more.
Recent research is focused on few layered graphene (FLG) with various metal oxides (MOs) as (MOs; CeO2, CuO, SnO2, CdO, ZnO, and TiO2) nanocomposite materials are alternatives to critically important in the fabrication of solar cell devices. In this work, FLG with different MOs nanocomposites were prepared by a novel eco-friendly viable ultrasonic assisted route (UAR). The prepared FLG/MO nanocomposites were performed with various characterization techniques. The crystal and phase compositional were carried out through using X-ray diffraction technique. Surface morphological studies by field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM). Spectroscopic methods were done by Raman and UV-Vis Diffuse reflectance spectra (UV-DRS). The prepared FLG/MO nanocomposites materials were used as a photoanode, in the fabrication of dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Compared to TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) and other FLG/MO nanocomposites, FLG/TiO2 nanocomposites exhibited superior photovoltaic properties. The obtained results indicate that FLG/TiO2 nanocomposites significantly improved the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of DSSCs. The photovoltaic analyses were performed in a solar simulator with an air mass (AM) of 1.5 G, power density of 100 m W/m2, and current density-voltage (J-V) was investigated using N719 dye. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nanomaterials for Sustainable Energy Applications)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Catalytic Effects of Temperature and Silicon Dioxide Nanoparticles on the Acceleration of Production from Carbonate Rocks
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(7), 1642; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nano11071642 - 23 Jun 2021
Abstract
The use of engineered water (EW) nanofluid flooding in carbonates is a new enhanced oil recovery (EOR) hybrid technique that has yet to be extensively investigated. In this research, we investigated the combined effects of EW and nanofluid flooding on oil-brine-rock interactions and [...] Read more.
The use of engineered water (EW) nanofluid flooding in carbonates is a new enhanced oil recovery (EOR) hybrid technique that has yet to be extensively investigated. In this research, we investigated the combined effects of EW and nanofluid flooding on oil-brine-rock interactions and recovery from carbonate reservoirs at different temperatures. EW was used as dispersant for SiO2 nanoparticles (NPs), and a series of characterisation experiments were performed to determine the optimum formulations of EW and NP for injection into the porous media. The EW reduced the contact angle and changed the rock wettability from the oil-wet condition to an intermediate state at ambient temperature. However, in the presence of NPs, the contact angle was reduced further, to very low values. When the effects of temperature were considered, the wettability changed more rapidly from a hydrophobic state to a hydrophilic one. Oil displacement was studied by injection of the optimised EW, followed by an EW-nanofluid mixture. An additional recovery of 20% of the original oil in place was achieved. The temperature effects mean that these mechanisms are catalytic, and the process involves the initiation and activation of multiple mechanisms that are not activated at lower temperatures and in each standalone technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nanomaterials for Sustainable Energy Applications)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
pH-Responsive Nanoemulsions Based on a Dynamic Covalent Surfactant
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(6), 1390; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nano11061390 - 25 May 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Developing solid-free nanoemulsions with pH responsiveness is desirable in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) applications. Here, we report the synthesis of an interfacial activity controllable surfactant (T−DBA) through dynamic imine bonding between taurine (T) and p-decyloxybenzaldehyde (DBA). Instead of macroemulsions, nanoemulsions can be prepared [...] Read more.
Developing solid-free nanoemulsions with pH responsiveness is desirable in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) applications. Here, we report the synthesis of an interfacial activity controllable surfactant (T−DBA) through dynamic imine bonding between taurine (T) and p-decyloxybenzaldehyde (DBA). Instead of macroemulsions, nanoemulsions can be prepared by using T−DBA as an emulsifier. The dynamic imine bond of T−DBA enables switching between the active and inactive states in response to pH. This switching of interfacial activity was used to gate the stability of nanoemulsions, thus enabling us to turn the nanoemulsions off and on. Using such dynamic imine bonds to govern nanoemulsion stability could enable intelligent control of many processes such as heavy oil recovery and interfacial reactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nanomaterials for Sustainable Energy Applications)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Soiling Comparison of Mirror Film and Glass Concentrating Solar Power Reflectors in Southwest Louisiana
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5727; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105727 - 20 May 2021
Abstract
Soiling effects influence the output of solar thermal plants, significantly causing unwanted transmittance, reflectance, and absorbance losses. Research is needed to identify what type of reflective surfaces are best suited for semitropical climates, such as the southeastern United States. This paper initially presents [...] Read more.
Soiling effects influence the output of solar thermal plants, significantly causing unwanted transmittance, reflectance, and absorbance losses. Research is needed to identify what type of reflective surfaces are best suited for semitropical climates, such as the southeastern United States. This paper initially presents a review of several concentrating solar power (CSP) reflector testbeds used to analyze the soiling effects of various reflective materials. A soiling testbed is developed for this study that comprised six sets of reflective surfaces mounted at a fixed tilt of 30 degrees: three sets of thin-film surfaces and three sets of glass types. Two generations of 3M solar mirror film (SMF), 3M SMF 1100 and 3M SMF 2020, were used along with Konica Minolta SMF, silvered Corning Willow Glass, a dichroic cold mirror, and a standard mirror. Results show that the 3M SMF 2020 and Konica Minolta SMF performed the best during regular cleaning intervals, whereas the silvered Corning Willow Glass gave the best performance if only cleaned naturally. The other glass types showed the least average loss due to soiling throughout this study but gave the lowest performance for specular reflection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nanomaterials for Sustainable Energy Applications)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Dimethylglyoxime Clathrate as Ligand Derived Nitrogen-Doped Carbon-Supported Nano-Metal Particles as Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(5), 1329; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nano11051329 - 18 May 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Nitrogen-doped carbon-supported metal nano-particles show great promise as high-performance catalysts for novel energies, organic synthesis, environmental protection, and other fields. The synergistic effect between nitrogen-doped carbon and metal nano-particles enhances the catalytic properties. Thus, how to effectively combine nitrogen-doped carbon with metal nano-particles [...] Read more.
Nitrogen-doped carbon-supported metal nano-particles show great promise as high-performance catalysts for novel energies, organic synthesis, environmental protection, and other fields. The synergistic effect between nitrogen-doped carbon and metal nano-particles enhances the catalytic properties. Thus, how to effectively combine nitrogen-doped carbon with metal nano-particles is a crucial factor for the synthesis of novel catalysts. In this paper, we report on a facile method to prepare nitrogen-doped carbon-supported metal nano-particles by using dimethylgly-oxime as ligand. The nano-particles of Pd, Ni, Cu, and Fe were successfully prepared by the pyrolysis of the corresponding clathrate of ions and dimethylglyoxime. The ligand of dimethylglyoxime is adopted as the source for the nitrogen-doped carbon. The nano-structure of the prepared Pd, Ni, Cu, and Fe particles are confirmed by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and trans-mission electron microscopy tests. The catalytic performances of the obtained metal nano-particles for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) are investigated by cyclic voltammetry, Tafel, linear sweeping voltammetry, rotating disc electrode, rotating ring disc electrode, and other technologies. Results show that the nitrogen-doped carbon-supported metal nano-particles can be highly efficient catalysts for ORR. The results of the paper exhibit a facile methodology to prepare nitrogen-doped carbon-supported metal nano-particles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nanomaterials for Sustainable Energy Applications)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Cu&Si Core–Shell Nanowire Thin Film as High-Performance Anode Materials for Lithium Ion Batteries
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 4521; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app11104521 - 15 May 2021
Abstract
[email protected] core–shell nanowire thin films with a Cu3Si interface between the Cu and Si were synthesized by slurry casting and subsequent magnetron sputtering and investigated as anode materials for lithium ion batteries. In this constructed core–shell architecture, the Cu nanowires were [...] Read more.
[email protected] core–shell nanowire thin films with a Cu3Si interface between the Cu and Si were synthesized by slurry casting and subsequent magnetron sputtering and investigated as anode materials for lithium ion batteries. In this constructed core–shell architecture, the Cu nanowires were connected to each other or to the Cu foil, forming a three-dimensional electron-conductive network and as mechanical support for the Si during cycling. Meanwhile, the Cu3Si layer can enhance the interface adhesion strength of the Cu core and Si shell; a large amount of void spaces between the [email protected] nanowires could accommodate the lithiation-induced volume expansion and facilitate electrolyte impregnation. As a consequence, this electrode exhibits impressive electrochemical properties: the initial discharge capacity and initial coulombic efficiency is 3193 mAh/g and 87%, respectively. After 500 cycles, the discharge capacity is about 948 mAh/g, three times that of graphite, corresponding to an average capacity fading rate of 0.2% per cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nanomaterials for Sustainable Energy Applications)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop