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Modern Materials in Energy Storage and Conversion

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 6412

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Key Laboratory of Spin Electron and Nanomaterials of Anhui Higher Education Institutes, Suzhou University, Suzhou 234000, China
Interests: 2D materials; nanomaterials; electrolytes; energy storage devices; supercapacitors; batteries

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Guest Editor
School of Science, Xi’an University of Posts and Telecommunications, Xi’an 710121, China
Interests: piezocatalysis; mechanocatalysis; pyrocatalysis; photocatalysis; energy harvesting
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Energy storage and conversion have always been areas of concern for scientists and engineers. In recent years, with the increasing demand for efficient, sustainable, and clean energy, as well as growing environmental issues, the application of new modern materials in energy storage and conversion has become particularly important.

The application of modern materials in energy storage and conversion mainly includes batteries, supercapacitors, solar cells, fuel cells, photocatalysis, electrocatalysis, etc. These materials include various types of organic, inorganic, hybrid, and nanomaterials, which possess excellent electrochemical properties, structural characteristics, and surface reactivity. The application of these materials can not only improve the efficiency and performance of energy storage and conversion but also reduce costs, enhance reliability, and prolong service life.

However, the application of modern materials in energy storage and conversion still faces many challenges, such as material synthesis, performance optimization, stability, and sustainability. Therefore, continuous research and innovation are required to further promote the development such an area. This Special Issue aims to present relevant papers on the application of modern materials in the field of energy storage and conversion.

Dr. Yuanyuan Zhu
Prof. Dr. Yanmin Jia
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • modern materials
  • batteries
  • supercapacitors
  • solar cells
  • catalysis

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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21 pages, 10887 KiB  
Article
Design of Na3MnZr(PO4)3/Carbon Nanofiber Free-Standing Cathodes for Sodium-Ion Batteries with Enhanced Electrochemical Performances through Different Electrospinning Approaches
by Debora Maria Conti, Claudia Urru, Giovanna Bruni, Pietro Galinetto, Benedetta Albini, Chiara Milanese, Silvia Pisani, Vittorio Berbenni and Doretta Capsoni
Molecules 2024, 29(8), 1885; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29081885 - 20 Apr 2024
Viewed by 321
Abstract
The NASICON-structured Na3MnZr(PO4)3 compound is a promising high-voltage cathode material for sodium-ion batteries (SIBs). In this study, an easy and scalable electrospinning approach was used to synthesize self-standing cathodes based on Na3MnZr(PO4)3 loaded [...] Read more.
The NASICON-structured Na3MnZr(PO4)3 compound is a promising high-voltage cathode material for sodium-ion batteries (SIBs). In this study, an easy and scalable electrospinning approach was used to synthesize self-standing cathodes based on Na3MnZr(PO4)3 loaded into carbon nanofibers (CNFs). Different strategies were applied to load the active material. All the employed characterization techniques (X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), and Raman spectroscopy) confirmed the successful loading. Compared to an appositely prepared tape-cast electrode, Na3MnZr(PO4)3/CNF self-standing cathodes demonstrated an enhanced specific capacity, especially at high C-rates, thanks to the porous conducive carbon nanofiber matrix. Among the strategies applied to load Na3MnZr(PO4)3 into the CNFs, the electrospinning (vertical setting) of the polymeric solution containing pre-synthesized Na3MnZr(PO4)3 powders resulted effective in obtaining the quantitative loading of the active material and a homogeneous distribution through the sheet thickness. Notably, Na3MnZr(PO4)3 aggregates connected to the CNFs, covered their surface, and were also embedded, as demonstrated by TEM and EDS. Compared to the self-standing cathodes prepared with the horizontal setting or dip–drop coating methods, the vertical binder-free electrode exhibited the highest capacity values of 78.2, 55.7, 38.8, 22.2, 16.2, 12.8, 10.3, 9.0, and 8.5 mAh/g at C-rates of 0.05C, 0.1C, 0.2C, 0.5C, 1C, 2C, 5C, 10C, and 20C, respectively, with complete capacity retention at the end of the measurements. It also exhibited a good cycling life, compared to its tape-cast counterpart: it displayed higher capacity retention at 0.2C and 1C, and, after cycling 1000 cycles at 1C, it could be further cycled at 5C, 10C, and 20C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Materials in Energy Storage and Conversion)
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13 pages, 3188 KiB  
Article
Facilely Fabricating F-Doped Fe3N Nanoellipsoids Grown on 3D N-Doped Porous Carbon Framework as a Preeminent Negative Material
by Dan Zhang, Chunyan Zhang, Huishi Xu, Zhe Huo, Xinyu Shi, Xiaodi Liu, Guangyin Liu and Chuang Yu
Molecules 2024, 29(5), 959; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29050959 - 22 Feb 2024
Viewed by 452
Abstract
Transition metal nitride negative electrode materials with a high capacity and electronic conduction are still troubled by the large volume change in the discharging procedure and the low lithium ion diffusion rate. Synthesizing the composite material of F-doped Fe3N and an [...] Read more.
Transition metal nitride negative electrode materials with a high capacity and electronic conduction are still troubled by the large volume change in the discharging procedure and the low lithium ion diffusion rate. Synthesizing the composite material of F-doped Fe3N and an N-doped porous carbon framework will overcome the foregoing troubles and effectuate a preeminent electrochemical performance. In this study, we created a simple route to obtain the composite of F-doped Fe3N nanoellipsoids and a 3D N-doped porous carbon framework under non-ammonia atmosphere conditions. Integrating the F-doped Fe3N nanoellipsoids with an N-doped porous carbon framework can immensely repress the problem of volume expansion but also substantially elevate the lithium ion diffusion rate. When utilized as a negative electrode for lithium-ion batteries, this composite bespeaks a stellar operational life and rate capability, releasing a tempting capacity of 574 mAh g–1 after 550 cycles at 1.0 A g–1. The results of this study will profoundly promote the evolution and application of transition metal nitrides in batteries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Materials in Energy Storage and Conversion)
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13 pages, 6713 KiB  
Article
Mild and Efficient One-Step Synthesis of Nitrogen-Doped Multistage Porous Carbon for High-Performance Supercapacitors
by Tianliang Zhang and Jun Li
Molecules 2023, 28(24), 8136; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28248136 - 17 Dec 2023
Viewed by 839
Abstract
Biomass-derived carbon materials have broad application prospects in energy storage, but still face problems such as complex synthesis paths and the massive use of corrosive activators. In this study, we proposed a mild and efficient pathway to prepare nitrogen-doped porous carbon material (N-YAC) [...] Read more.
Biomass-derived carbon materials have broad application prospects in energy storage, but still face problems such as complex synthesis paths and the massive use of corrosive activators. In this study, we proposed a mild and efficient pathway to prepare nitrogen-doped porous carbon material (N-YAC) using one-step pyrolysis with solid K2CO3, tobacco straw, and melamine. The optimized material (N-YAC0.5) was not only enriched with nitrogen, but also exhibited a high specific surface area (2367 m2/g) and a reasonable pore size distribution (46.49% mesopores). When utilized in electrodes, N-YAC0.5 exhibited an excellent capacitance performance (338 F/g at 1 A/g) in the three-electrode system, and benefitted from a high mesopore distribution that maintained a capacitance of 85.2% (288 F/g) at high current densities (20 A/g). Furthermore, the composed symmetric capacitor achieved an energy density of 14.78 Wh/kg at a power density of 400 W/kg. In summary, our work provides a novel and eco-friendly approach for converting biomass into high-performance energy-storage materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Materials in Energy Storage and Conversion)
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12 pages, 6605 KiB  
Article
Optimizing Thermoelectric Performance of Tellurium via Doping with Antimony and Selenium
by Manman Yang, Mengxiang Yang, Yimin Li, Yuqi Chen, Yuling Song, Jin Jia and Taichao Su
Molecules 2023, 28(21), 7287; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28217287 - 26 Oct 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 935
Abstract
Forming solid solutions is one of the most effective strategies to suppress the thermal conductivity of thermoelectric materials. However, the accompanying increase in impurity ion scattering usually results in an undesirable loss in hall mobility, negatively impacting the electrical transport properties. In this [...] Read more.
Forming solid solutions is one of the most effective strategies to suppress the thermal conductivity of thermoelectric materials. However, the accompanying increase in impurity ion scattering usually results in an undesirable loss in hall mobility, negatively impacting the electrical transport properties. In this work, a tellurium–selenium (Te-Se) solid solution with trace antimony (Sb) doping was synthesized via the high pressure and high temperature method. It was found that slight Se doping into the Te sites not only had no impact on the hall mobility and carrier concentration, but also enhanced the density-of-state effective mass of Sb0.003Te0.997, leading to an enhanced power factor near room temperature. Additionally, the presence of Se doping caused a significant reduction in the phonon thermal conductivity of Te due to fluctuations in the mass and strain field. The lowest phonon thermal conductivity was as low as ~0.42 Wm−1K−1 at 600 K for Sb0.003Se0.025Te0.972, which approached the theoretical minimum value of Te (~0.28 Wm−1K−1). The effects of Se doping suppressed thermal conductivity, while Sb doping enhanced the power factor, resulting in a larger ZT of ~0.94 at 600 K. Moreover, these findings demonstrate that Sb and Se doping can effectively modulate the electrical and thermal transport properties of Te in a synergistic manner, leading to a significant increase in the average ZT across a wide temperature range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Materials in Energy Storage and Conversion)
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14 pages, 6451 KiB  
Article
Hierarchical Porous Activated Carbon Derived from Coconut Shell for Ultrahigh-Performance Supercapacitors
by Yawei Wang, Yuhui Duan, Xia Liang, Liang Tang, Lei Sun, Ruirui Wang, Shunhang Wei, Huanan Huang, Pinghua Yang and Huanan Hu
Molecules 2023, 28(20), 7187; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28207187 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1155
Abstract
In this research, we successfully produced hierarchical porous activated carbon from biowaste employing one-step KOH activation and applied as ultrahigh-performance supercapacitor electrode materials. The coconut shell-derived activated carbon (CSAC) features a hierarchical porous structure in a honeycomb-like morphology, leading to a high specific [...] Read more.
In this research, we successfully produced hierarchical porous activated carbon from biowaste employing one-step KOH activation and applied as ultrahigh-performance supercapacitor electrode materials. The coconut shell-derived activated carbon (CSAC) features a hierarchical porous structure in a honeycomb-like morphology, leading to a high specific surface area (2228 m2 g−1) as well as a significant pore volume (1.07 cm3 g−1). The initial test with the CSAC electrode, conducted in a 6 M KOH loaded symmetric supercapacitor, demonstrated an ultrahigh capacitance of 367 F g−1 at a current density of 0.2 A g−1 together with 92.09% retention after 10,000 cycles at 10 A g−1. More impressively, the zinc–ion hybrid supercapacitor using CSAC as a cathode achieves a high-rate capability (153 mAh g−1 at 0.2 A g−1 and 75 mAh g−1 at 10 A g−1), high energy density (134.9 Wh kg−1 at 175 W kg−1), as well as exceptional cycling stability (93.81% capacity retention after 10,000 cycles at 10 A g−1). Such work thus illuminates a new pathway for converting biowaste-derived carbons into materials for ultrahigh-performance energy storge applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Materials in Energy Storage and Conversion)
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12 pages, 5695 KiB  
Article
Heterointerface Engineered Core-Shell Fe2O3@TiO2 for High-Performance Lithium-Ion Storage
by Zeqing Miao, Kesheng Gao, Dazhi Li, Ziwei Gao, Wenxin Zhao, Zeyang Li, Wei Sun, Xiaoguang Wang, Haihang Zhang, Xinyu Wang, Changlong Sun, Yuanyuan Zhu and Zhenjiang Li
Molecules 2023, 28(19), 6903; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28196903 - 01 Oct 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1056
Abstract
The rational design of the heterogeneous interfaces enables precise adjustment of the electronic structure and optimization of the kinetics for electron/ion migration in energy storage materials. In this work, the built-in electric field is introduced to the iron-based anode material (Fe2O [...] Read more.
The rational design of the heterogeneous interfaces enables precise adjustment of the electronic structure and optimization of the kinetics for electron/ion migration in energy storage materials. In this work, the built-in electric field is introduced to the iron-based anode material (Fe2O3@TiO2) through the well-designed heterostructure. This model serves as an ideal platform for comprehending the atomic-level optimization of electron transfer in advanced lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). As a result, the core-shell Fe2O3@TiO2 delivers a remarkable discharge capacity of 1342 mAh g−1 and an extraordinary capacity retention of 82.7% at 0.1 A g−1 after 300 cycles. Fe2O3@TiO2 shows an excellent rate performance from 0.1 A g−1 to 4.0 A g−1. Further, the discharge capacity of Fe2O3@TiO2 reached 736 mAh g−1 at 1.0 A g−1 after 2000 cycles, and the corresponding capacity retention is 83.62%. The heterostructure forms a conventional p-n junction, successfully constructing the built-in electric field and lithium-ion reservoir. The kinetic analysis demonstrates that Fe2O3@TiO2 displays high pseudocapacitance behavior (77.8%) and fast lithium-ion reaction kinetics. The capability of heterointerface engineering to optimize electrochemical reaction kinetics offers novel insights for constructing high-performance iron-based anodes for LIBs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Materials in Energy Storage and Conversion)
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Review

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16 pages, 6290 KiB  
Review
Conductive Polymer-Based Interlayers in Restraining the Polysulfide Shuttle of Lithium–Sulfur Batteries
by Xincheng Hu, Xiaoshuang Zhu, Zhongshuai Ran, Shenghao Liu, Yongya Zhang, Hua Wang and Wei Wei
Molecules 2024, 29(5), 1164; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29051164 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 568
Abstract
Lithium–sulfur batteries (LSBs) are considered a promising candidate for next-generation energy storage devices due to the advantages of high theoretical specific capacity, abundant resources and being environmentally friendly. However, the severe shuttle effect of polysulfides causes the low utilization of active substances and [...] Read more.
Lithium–sulfur batteries (LSBs) are considered a promising candidate for next-generation energy storage devices due to the advantages of high theoretical specific capacity, abundant resources and being environmentally friendly. However, the severe shuttle effect of polysulfides causes the low utilization of active substances and rapid capacity fading, thus seriously limiting their practical application. The introduction of conductive polymer-based interlayers between cathodes and separators is considered to be an effective method to solve this problem because they can largely confine, anchor and convert the soluble polysulfides. In this review, the recent progress of conductive polymer-based interlayers used in LSBs is summarized, including free-standing conductive polymer-based interlayers, conductive polymer-based interlayer modified separators and conductive polymer-based interlayer modified sulfur electrodes. Furthermore, some suggestions on rational design and preparation of conductive polymer-based interlayers are put forward to highlight the future development of LSBs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Materials in Energy Storage and Conversion)
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