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Advanced Materials for Solar Energy Utilization

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 July 2024 | Viewed by 5340

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China
Interests: photocatalysis; CO2 conversion; hydrogen; electrocatalyst
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China
Interests: heterogeneous catalysis; photocatalytic water splitting; photocatalytic CO2 reduction
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is our pleasure to welcome you to this new, ambitious, and inspiring interdisciplinary Topic entitled “Advanced Materials for Solar Energy Utilization”. Photochemical technology can directly convert solar energy into electricity and chemicals, and it can degrade a wide range of organic pollutants into easily degradable intermediates or less toxic small molecular substances. It is regarded as one of the most important ways to solve the global energy shortage and environmental pollution problem. In addition, photochemistry may play a key role in fields such as green chemistry, energy production, or nanomedicine.

Therefore, our aim in this Special Issue focuses on advanced solar-energy-utilization materials, including but not limited to photochemical materials for water splitting, CO2 reduction, ammonia synthesis, photovoltaic, H2O2 synthesis, pollutant degradation, organic synthesis, etc. We look forward to receiving your contributions (both original research papers and reviews) soon, so we can present your excellent findings to a broad audience via open access publication and provide the research community with new perspectives on advanced photochemical materials and their solar energy utilization.

Dr. Xingwang Zhu
Dr. Tongming Su
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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

  • photocatalysis
  • photocatalyst
  • water splitting
  • CO2 reduction
  • ammonia synthesis
  • H2O2 synthesis
  • photochemistry
  • pollutant degradation
  • organic synthesis
  • photovoltaic
  • new energy technology

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 2167 KiB  
Article
Synthesis of Size-Adjustable CsPbBr3 Perovskite Quantum Dots for Potential Photoelectric Catalysis Applications
by Hang Li, Jiazhen He, Xiaoqian Wang, Qi Liu, Xuemin Luo, Mingwei Wang, Jinfeng Liu, Chengqi Liu and Yong Liu
Materials 2024, 17(7), 1607; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17071607 - 1 Apr 2024
Viewed by 762
Abstract
As a direct band gap semiconductor, perovskite has the advantages of high carrier mobility, long charge diffusion distance, high defect tolerance and low-cost solution preparation technology. Compared with traditional metal halide perovskites, which regulate energy band and luminescence by changing halogen, perovskite quantum [...] Read more.
As a direct band gap semiconductor, perovskite has the advantages of high carrier mobility, long charge diffusion distance, high defect tolerance and low-cost solution preparation technology. Compared with traditional metal halide perovskites, which regulate energy band and luminescence by changing halogen, perovskite quantum dots (QDs) have a surface effect and quantum confinement effect. Based on the LaMer nucleation growth theory, we have synthesized CsPbBr3 QDs with high dimensional homogeneity by creating an environment rich in Br ions based on the general thermal injection method. Moreover, the size of the quantum dots can be adjusted by simply changing the reaction temperature and the concentration of Br ions in the system, and the blue emission of strongly confined pure CsPbBr3 perovskite is realized. Finally, optical and electrochemical tests suggested that the synthesized quantum dots have the potential to be used in the field of photocatalysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Solar Energy Utilization)
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21 pages, 9057 KiB  
Article
Performance of Large Area n-TOPCon Solar Cells with Selective Poly-Si Based Passivating Contacts Prepared by PECVD Method
by Zhaobin Liu, Chunlin Guo, Ya Liu, Jianhua Wang, Xuping Su and Qinqin Wang
Materials 2024, 17(4), 849; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17040849 - 9 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1090
Abstract
Selective emitter (SE) technology significantly influences the passivation and contact properties of n-TOPCon solar cells. In this study, three mask layers (SiOx, SiNx, and SiOxNy) were employed to fabricate n-TOPCon solar cells with phosphorus (P)-SE [...] Read more.
Selective emitter (SE) technology significantly influences the passivation and contact properties of n-TOPCon solar cells. In this study, three mask layers (SiOx, SiNx, and SiOxNy) were employed to fabricate n-TOPCon solar cells with phosphorus (P)-SE structures on the rear side using a three-step method. Additionally, phosphosilicon glass (PSG) was used to prepare n-TOPCon solar cells with P-SE structure on the rear side using four-step method, and the comparative analysis of electrical properties were studied. The SiOx mask with a laser power of 20 W (O2 group) achieved the highest solar cell efficiency (Eff, 24.85%), The open-circuit voltage (Voc) is 2.4 mV higher than that of the H1 group, and the fill factor (FF) is 1.88% higher than that of the L1 group. Furthermore, the final Eff of solar cell is 0.17% higher than that of the L1 group and 0.20% higher than that of the H1 group. In contrast, using the four-step method and a laser power of 20 W (P2 group), a maximum Eff of 24.82% was achieved. Moreover, it exhibited an Voc, which is elevated by 3.2 mV compared to the H1 group, and FF increased by 1.49% compared to the L1 group. Furthermore, the overall Eff of the P2 group outperforms both the L1 and H1 groups by approximately 0.14% and 0.17%, respectively. In the four-step groups, the Eff of each laser condition group was improved compared with the L1 group and H1 group, The stability observed within the four-step method surpassed that of the three-step groups. However, in terms of full-scale electrical properties, the three-step method can achieve comparable results as those obtained from the four-step method. This research holds significant guiding implications for upgrading the n-TOPCon solar cell rear-side technology during mass production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Solar Energy Utilization)
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16 pages, 5647 KiB  
Article
The Design of PAN-Based Janus Membrane with Adjustable Asymmetric Wettability in Wastewater Purification
by Yuehui Wang, Jun Huang, Ye Zhang, Shiwen Zhang, Lili Li and Xuan Pang
Materials 2024, 17(2), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17020417 - 14 Jan 2024
Viewed by 927
Abstract
In this paper, an environmentally friendly polyacrylonitrile-based (PAN-based) composite membrane with a Janus structure for wastewater treatment was successfully fabricated. To achieve the optimum adsorption of PAN-based Janus composite membrane, the asymmetric wettability was regulated through electrospinning, resulting in TiO2 modifying PAN [...] Read more.
In this paper, an environmentally friendly polyacrylonitrile-based (PAN-based) composite membrane with a Janus structure for wastewater treatment was successfully fabricated. To achieve the optimum adsorption of PAN-based Janus composite membrane, the asymmetric wettability was regulated through electrospinning, resulting in TiO2 modifying PAN as the hydrophilic substrate layer, and PCL gaining a different thickness as the hydrophobic layer. The prepared Janus composite membrane (PAN/TiO2-PCL20) showed excellent oil/water separation performance for diverse surfactant-stabilized oil-in-water emulsions. For n-hexane-in-water emulsion, the permeate flux and separation efficiency reached 1344 L m−2 h−1 and 99.52%, respectively. Even after 20 cycles of separation, it still had outstanding reusability and the separation efficiency remained above 99.15%. Meanwhile, the PAN/TiO2-PCL20 also exhibited an excellent photocatalytic activity, and the removal rate for RhB reached 93.2%. In addition, the research revealed that PAN/TiO2-PCL20 possessed good mechanical property and unidirectional water transfer capability. All results indicated that PAN/TiO2-PCL20 with photocatalysis and oil/water separation performance could be used for practical complex wastewater purification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Solar Energy Utilization)
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11 pages, 1542 KiB  
Article
The Synergistic Effect of Phosphonic and Carboxyl Acid Groups for Efficient and Stable Perovskite Solar Cells
by Kaihuai Du, Aili Wang, Yue Li, Yibo Xu, Lvzhou Li, Ningyi Yuan and Jianning Ding
Materials 2023, 16(23), 7306; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16237306 - 24 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1402
Abstract
Reducing the interfacial defects between the perovskite/electron transport layer (ETL) is the key point to improving the efficient and stable performance of perovskite solar cells (PSCs). In this study, two self-assembled molecules ((aminomethyl)phosphonic acid and glycine) with different functional groups (phosphonic acid (-H [...] Read more.
Reducing the interfacial defects between the perovskite/electron transport layer (ETL) is the key point to improving the efficient and stable performance of perovskite solar cells (PSCs). In this study, two self-assembled molecules ((aminomethyl)phosphonic acid and glycine) with different functional groups (phosphonic acid (-H2PO3) and carboxylic acid (-COOH)) were mixed to form the buried bottom interface of PSCs. The synergistic effect of -H2PO3 with its higher anchoring ability and -COOH with its fast carrier transport improved the performance of PSCs. Additionally, the SnO2 modified by mixed self-assembly molecules (M-SAM) showed a more appropriate energy level alignment, favoring charge transport and minimizing energy loss. In addition, the amine group (-NH2) on the two small molecules effectively interacted with uncoordinated Pb2+ in perovskite and improved the quality of the perovskite films. Consequently, the (FAPbI3)0.992(MAPbBr3)0.008 PSCs with M-SAM reached a PCE of 24.69% (0.08 cm2) and the perovskite modules achieved a champion efficiency of 18.57% (12.25 cm2 aperture area). Meanwhile, it still maintained more than 91% of its initial PCE after being placed in nitrogen atmosphere at 25 °C for 1500 h, which is better than that of the single-SAM and control devices. Further reference is provided for the future commercialization of perovskite with efficient and stable characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Solar Energy Utilization)
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15 pages, 5695 KiB  
Article
Flat-Band Potential Determination and Catalytical Properties of Sn3O4/SnO2 Heterostructures in the Photo-Electrooxidation of Small Organic Molecules under Ultraviolet (370 nm) and Blue (450 nm) Light
by Evgeny Gribov, Evgeny Koshevoy, Aleksey Kuznetsov, Maxim Mikhnenko, Evgeniy Losev and Mikhail Lyulyukin
Materials 2023, 16(23), 7300; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16237300 - 23 Nov 2023
Viewed by 746
Abstract
Sn3O4 are promising semiconductor materials due to their visible light absorption ability. In this work, a series of materials, such as SnO2, Sn3O4 and Sn3O4/SnO2 heterostructures, with different phase ratios [...] Read more.
Sn3O4 are promising semiconductor materials due to their visible light absorption ability. In this work, a series of materials, such as SnO2, Sn3O4 and Sn3O4/SnO2 heterostructures, with different phase ratios were prepared using hydrothermal synthesis. The materials were characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), nitrogen adsorption (BET). Flat-band potentials (EFB) of the samples were determined using the photocurrent onset potential (POP) method. It was shown that the potentials obtained with open circuit potential measurements versus illumination intensity (OCP) likely corresponded to the EFB of SnO2 nanoparticles in heterostructures due to interfacial electron transfer from the conducting band of Sn3O4 to that of SnO2. The photo-electrooxidation processes of a series of organic substrates were studied in the potential range of 0.6–1.4 V vs. RHE under irradiation with ultraviolet (λ = 370 nm) and visible (λ = 450 nm) light. The Sn3O4 sample showed high activity in the photo-electrooxidation of acetone and formic acid in visible light. The Sn3O4/SnO2 samples exhibited noticeable activity only in the oxidation of formic acid. The presence of the SnO2 phase in the Sn3O4/SnO2 samples increased the photocurrent values under ultraviolet illumination, but significantly reduced the oxidation efficiency in visible light. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials for Solar Energy Utilization)
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