Design of Nanostructures for Energy and Environmental Applications

A special issue of Coatings (ISSN 2079-6412). This special issue belongs to the section "Surface Engineering for Energy Harvesting, Conversion, and Storage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 June 2024 | Viewed by 7182

Special Issue Editors

School of Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, Xidian University, Xi’an 710126, China
Interests: flexible electronics; stretchable conductor; strain sensors
Academy of Advanced Interdisciplinary Research, School of Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, Xidian University, Xi'an 710126, China
Interests: 2D materials; spintronics materials; semiconductor devices; photocatalysis
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Guest Editor
School of Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, Xidian University, Xi’an 710126, China
Interests: energy storage materials; high temperature synthesis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nanomaterials have received a lot of attention for their special structures, properties and potential applications. Considering the increasingly serious environmental crisis, governments adopt strong policies to achieve carbon neutrality and develop new types of energy devices instead of typical fossil fuels. Nanomaterials possess a large surface-to-volume ratio and high surface-reactive reaction sites, resulting in improved optical and electrical properties which will lead to better performance in electronics and energy devices including capacitors, solar cells, lithium batteries, nanogenerators, etc.

This topic aims to report on recent advances in the application of various nanomaterials in energy and environmental applications. For the energy applications, the structure design of the energy devices is essential, including the deposition of electrodes and the process of electrolytes for batteries, the coating of friction materials for nanogenerators, and the dielectric layer for capacitors. For environmental applications, the design of nanostructures that are either recyclable or transient in circuit, or capable of serving as CO2 reduction catalysts, is highly welcome. During the design of these nanostructures, the interfaces between nanojunctions of each component are essential for their unique properties.

The topics of particular interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Synthesis, characterization and performance of 1D and 2D nanomaterials.
  • High-performance photocatalysts for hydrogen production and CO2 reduction.
  • Structures and recycling processes for transient electronics.
  • Design and sintering techniques of conductors for solar cells and capacitors.
  • Processing of solid-state electrolytes for lithium batteries.
  • Structure design and property measurement of nanogenerators.

Dr. Su Ding
Dr. Yong Wang
Dr. Ruiliu Wang
Guest Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Coatings 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 2600 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

  • CO2 reduction
  • transient electronic
  • nanogenerator
  • lithium battery
  • nanomaterials

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 182 KiB  
Editorial
Design of Nanostructures for Flexible Transparent Conductors
by Haixia Li, Zemin Li and Su Ding
Coatings 2023, 13(10), 1759; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings13101759 - 12 Oct 2023
Viewed by 873
Abstract
With the rapid development of technological evolution, flexible electronics have attracted enormous interest in recent decades due to their flexibility in various working conditions, especially in wearable and implanted devices [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design of Nanostructures for Energy and Environmental Applications)

Research

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12 pages, 7680 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Indoor Conversion Efficiency of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells by Optimizing Ball-Milling Process of TiO2 Paste
by Daniel Ursu, Cristian Casut, Daiana Albulescu, Melinda Vajda, Cristina Mosoarca and Marinela Miclau
Coatings 2024, 14(3), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings14030283 - 26 Feb 2024
Viewed by 695
Abstract
The rapid spread of the Internet of Things (IoT) along with the development of innovative low-power electronic devices has also driven the development of indoor photovoltaics. In this paper, we propose a simple and economically feasible solution that can improve the efficiency of [...] Read more.
The rapid spread of the Internet of Things (IoT) along with the development of innovative low-power electronic devices has also driven the development of indoor photovoltaics. In this paper, we propose a simple and economically feasible solution that can improve the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) under indoor light conditions by ~112%, without requiring a complex TiO2 photoanode architecture or the design of new dyes. The ball milling process of the TiO2 paste was optimized for indoor light conditions for the first time, both in terms of efficiency and production costs, by developing a rapid preparation method that can be used industrially for the application of DSSCs. A simple use of 12 mm diameter balls caused beneficial structural modifications, decreasing the size of the crystallites, and leading to a high OH generation on the TiO2 surface responsible for the improvement of energy conversion efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design of Nanostructures for Energy and Environmental Applications)
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19 pages, 6352 KiB  
Article
Investigation of a Solar-Powered Evaporative Cooling System under Tunisian Climate
by Karim Choubani, Mohammed A. Almeshaal, Moncef Balghouthi and Mohamed Ben Rabha
Coatings 2023, 13(11), 1901; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings13111901 - 6 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1136
Abstract
The demand for cooling continues to increase in line with environmental changes and a greater desire for human comfort. In north Africa and middle eastern countries, and particularly in Tunisia, cooling constitutes a big problem as it is recommended for human and animal [...] Read more.
The demand for cooling continues to increase in line with environmental changes and a greater desire for human comfort. In north Africa and middle eastern countries, and particularly in Tunisia, cooling constitutes a big problem as it is recommended for human and animal breeding. This study aimed to analyze the performance and suitability of an evaporative cooling system powered by solar energy and to assess the economic and environmental impact under Tunisian weather conditions. Numerical modeling and simulations were performed, revealing the effects of inlet air temperature and relative humidity on system performances. An experimental study based on the construction of an evaporative cooling prototype formed by environmentally friendly and locally available components was also performed. This study showed the dependence of the process performances on the humidity and temperature of the ambient air. The obtained results revealed that the efficiency of the evaporative cooler exceeds 90%, with maximum efficiency being reached at a high wet-bulb depression, while minimum efficiency was observed when the dry air has a high relative humidity and a low dry-bulb temperature. Experimental results showed that, for input temperatures ranges between 36 and 47 °C and relative air humidity between 15 and 50%, a direct humidifier produces air with a temperature range between 25 and 29 °C and humidity range between 55% and 85%. Thus, evaporative cooling is feasible and suitable under Tunisian climate conditions during the hot season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design of Nanostructures for Energy and Environmental Applications)
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11 pages, 3655 KiB  
Article
Tannic Acid/FeIII Complexes Coating PAN Nanofibrous Membrane for Highly Efficient Photocatalytic Degradation of Dyeing Wastewater
by Xuefei Chen, Lubing Zha, Fangmeng Zeng, Jie Meng, Tiandi Pan and Jindan Lv
Coatings 2023, 13(7), 1212; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings13071212 - 6 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1218
Abstract
Considering photocatalytic degradation technology has recently attracted great attention for dyeing wastewater treatment, the polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibrous membrane coated with the TA/FeIII complexes was proposed as a novel photocatalyst in this work. The successful self-assembly of TA/FeIII complexes on the PAN [...] Read more.
Considering photocatalytic degradation technology has recently attracted great attention for dyeing wastewater treatment, the polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibrous membrane coated with the TA/FeIII complexes was proposed as a novel photocatalyst in this work. The successful self-assembly of TA/FeIII complexes on the PAN nanofibrous membrane after layer-by-layer deposition of TA and FeIII was confirmed by the analyses of chemical structure, morphology, and hydrophilicity. With the number of coating cycles, more TA/FeIII complexes coated on the PAN nanofibrous membrane, which contributed to the excellent photocatalytic activity. Whereas, when the coating cycles reached seven, the photocatalytic performance of the modified PAN nanofibrous membrane deteriorated due to the serious aggregation of TA/FeIII complexes. Under optimum five coating cycles, owing to its great light absorbance capability, the modified PAN nanofibrous membrane achieved 98% degradation efficiency of RhB after 360 min illumination. This work would offer a promising high-performance photocatalyst for dyeing wastewater treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design of Nanostructures for Energy and Environmental Applications)
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Review

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22 pages, 2216 KiB  
Review
Hydrogen Production Using Modern Photocatalysts
by Agata Wawrzyńczak and Agnieszka Feliczak-Guzik
Coatings 2024, 14(3), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings14030366 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 917
Abstract
Fossil fuels play a powerful role in the global economy and are therefore referred to as strategic raw materials. However, their massive use around the world is associated with concerns about the sufficiency of energy sources for future generations. Currently, fossil fuel resources [...] Read more.
Fossil fuels play a powerful role in the global economy and are therefore referred to as strategic raw materials. However, their massive use around the world is associated with concerns about the sufficiency of energy sources for future generations. Currently, fossil fuel resources are heavily depleted, with limited supplies. According to forecasts, the demand for energy will constantly increase, so it is necessary to find a solution that reconciles the ever-increasing demand for energy with the need to protect the environment. The main solution to this problem is to acquire energy from renewable resources, especially in the direction of obtaining alternative substitutes for transportation fuels. One of the main alternative fuels that can replace existing fossil fuels is hydrogen. An efficient way to obtain this compound is through the use of modern photocatalysts. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to review the recent literature on the effective use of catalysts in photocatalytic processes (e.g., glycerol conversion) that enable the synthesis of hydrogen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design of Nanostructures for Energy and Environmental Applications)
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13 pages, 3589 KiB  
Review
Review of the Versatile Patterning Methods of Ag Nanowire Electrodes
by Byungil Hwang and Paolo Matteini
Coatings 2023, 13(3), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings13030617 - 14 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1866
Abstract
To use Ag nanowires for various industries, it is crucial to develop an appropriate patterning method. There are various types of patterning methods, but there has been no comprehensive review discussing and summarizing them. This review paper provides an overview of the various [...] Read more.
To use Ag nanowires for various industries, it is crucial to develop an appropriate patterning method. There are various types of patterning methods, but there has been no comprehensive review discussing and summarizing them. This review paper provides an overview of the various patterning techniques of Ag nanowire electrodes, including photolithography, nanoimprint lithography, inkjet printing, electrohydrodynamic jet printing, and other emerging methods. These transparent electrodes have received significant attention due to their high transparency, low sheet resistance, and flexibility, making them ideal for applications such as flexible electronics, touch screens, and solar cells. Each patterning technique has its benefits and limitations, and its suitability depends on specific application requirements. Photolithography is a well-established technique that can achieve high-resolution patterns, while nanoimprint lithography is a low-cost and versatile method for large-area patterning. Inkjet printing and E-jet printing provide the advantages of high throughput, precise control, and the ability to print on different substrates. Stencil printing, laser direct writing, and electrospinning are emerging techniques that showing high potential for patterning Ag nanowire electrodes. The choice of patterning technique ultimately depends on various factors, such as resolution requirements, cost, substrate compatibility, and throughput. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design of Nanostructures for Energy and Environmental Applications)
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