Ceramics and Nanostructures for Energy Harvesting and Storage

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy and Catalysis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 May 2023) | Viewed by 15337

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Materials and Ceramics Engineering, CICECO–Aveiro Institute of Materials, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: high-k dielectrics; ferroelectrics; magnetoelectrics; oxide thermoelectrics; electroceramics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, TEMA-Center for Mechanical Technology and Automation, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: material science and engineering; nanotechnology; microelectronic applications; thin films and ceramics; ferroelectrics; multiferroics; superconductors; hydrogen storage; solar cells; carbon-based materials; graphene; nanostructure-structure-property-processing interrelationships
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the last few years, worldwide research has been focused on clean and sustainable energy conversion and storage that can respond to the rising energy demands of mankind. To enable the transformation from a fossil fuels to a low-carbon socio-economical epoch, the development of new materials with refined characteristics is necessary. These characteristics include, for example, enhancement of harvesting and conversion efficiencies and improvement of energy storage properties, as well as advanced processes for faster or simpler novel device manufacturing.

This Special Issue aims to collect state-of-the-art contributions in a broad range of subjects related to preparation approaches and characterization techniques of (multi)functional ceramics and nanostructures in the field of energy harvesting and storage. Examples include, but are not limited to, oxide-based materials for capacitors, supercapacitors, thermoelectric generators, and piezoelectric energy harvesters.

Dr. Oleksandr Tkach
Dr. Olena Okhay
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Dielectrics
  • Piezoelectrics
  • Thermoelectrics
  • Magnetoelectrics
  • Multifunctional materials
  • Oxides
  • Composites
  • Advanced synthesis
  • Processing methods
  • Microstructure engineering
  • Sustainable technologies.

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Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 4769 KiB  
Article
Synthesis and Spectroelectrochemical Investigation of Anodic Black TiOx Nanotubes
by Sebastian Kotarba, Grzegorz D. Sulka and Karolina Syrek
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(5), 931; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13050931 - 03 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1162
Abstract
Anodic TiO2 nanotubes were transformed into anatase at 400 °C for 2 h in air and subjected to electrochemical reduction at different conditions. It revealed that the reduced black TiOx nanotubes were not stable in contact with air; however, their lifetime [...] Read more.
Anodic TiO2 nanotubes were transformed into anatase at 400 °C for 2 h in air and subjected to electrochemical reduction at different conditions. It revealed that the reduced black TiOx nanotubes were not stable in contact with air; however, their lifetime was considerably extended to even a few hours when isolated from the influence of atmospheric oxygen. The order of polarization-induced reduction and spontaneous reverse oxidation reactions were determined. Upon irradiation with simulated sunlight, the reduced black TiOx nanotubes generated lower photocurrents than non-reduced TiO2, but a lower rate of electron-hole recombination and better charge separation were observed. In addition, the conduction band edge and energy level (Fermi level), responsible for trapping electrons from the valence band during the reduction of TiO2 nanotubes, were determined. The methods presented in this paper can be used for determination of the spectroelectrochemical and photoelectrochemical properties of electrochromic materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ceramics and Nanostructures for Energy Harvesting and Storage)
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14 pages, 2696 KiB  
Article
Atmosphere-Assisted FLASH Sintering of Nanometric Potassium Sodium Niobate
by Ricardo Serrazina, Luis Pereira, Paula M. Vilarinho and Ana M. Senos
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(19), 3415; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12193415 - 29 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1306
Abstract
The request for extremely low-temperature and short-time sintering techniques has guided the development of alternative ceramic processing. Atmosphere-assisted FLASH sintering (AAFS) combines the direct use of electric power to packed powders with the engineering of operating atmosphere to allow low-temperature conduction. The AAFS [...] Read more.
The request for extremely low-temperature and short-time sintering techniques has guided the development of alternative ceramic processing. Atmosphere-assisted FLASH sintering (AAFS) combines the direct use of electric power to packed powders with the engineering of operating atmosphere to allow low-temperature conduction. The AAFS of nanometric Potassium Sodium Niobate, K0.5Na0.5NbO3, a lead-free piezoelectric, is of great interest to electronics technology to produce efficient, low-thermal-budget sensors, actuators and piezo harvesters, among others. Not previously studied, the role of different atmospheres for the decrease in FLASH temperature (TF) of KNN is presented in this work. Additionally, the effect of the humidity presence on the operating atmosphere and the role of the compact morphology undergoing FLASH are investigated. While the low partial pressure of oxygen (reducing atmospheres) allows the decrease of TF, limited densification is observed. It is shown that AAFS is responsible for a dramatic decrease in the operating temperature (T < 320 °C), while water is essential to allow appreciable densification. In addition, the particles/pores morphology on the green compact impacts the uniformity of AAFS densification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ceramics and Nanostructures for Energy Harvesting and Storage)
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Review

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29 pages, 17789 KiB  
Review
Current Achievements in Flexible Piezoelectric Nanogenerators Based on Barium Titanate
by Olena Okhay and Alexander Tkach
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(6), 988; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13060988 - 09 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1825
Abstract
Harvesting ambient mechanical energy at the nanometric scale holds great promise for powering small electronics and achieving self-powered electronic devices. The current review is focused on kinetic energy harvesters, particularly on flexible piezoelectric nanogenerators (p-NGs) based on barium titanate (BaTiO3) nanomaterials. [...] Read more.
Harvesting ambient mechanical energy at the nanometric scale holds great promise for powering small electronics and achieving self-powered electronic devices. The current review is focused on kinetic energy harvesters, particularly on flexible piezoelectric nanogenerators (p-NGs) based on barium titanate (BaTiO3) nanomaterials. p-NGs based on nanotubes, nanowires, nanofibres, nanoplatelets, nanocubes or nanoparticles of BaTiO3 fabricated in vertical or lateral orientation, as well as mixed composite structures, are overviewed here. The achievable power output level is shown to depend on the fabrication method, processing parameters and potential application conditions. Therefore, the most widely studied aspects, such as influence of geometry/orientation, BaTiO3 content, poling process and other factors in the output performance of p-NGs, are discussed. The current standing of BaTiO3-based p-NGs as possible candidates for various applications is summarized, and the issues that need to be addressed for realization of practical piezoelectric energy harvesting devices are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ceramics and Nanostructures for Energy Harvesting and Storage)
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31 pages, 5092 KiB  
Review
Synergetic Effect of Polyaniline and Graphene in Their Composite Supercapacitor Electrodes: Impact of Components and Parameters of Chemical Oxidative Polymerization
by Olena Okhay and Alexander Tkach
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(15), 2531; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12152531 - 23 Jul 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2108
Abstract
The current development of clean and high efficiency energy sources such as solar or wind energy sources has to be supported by the design and fabrication of energy storage systems. Electrochemical capacitors (or supercapacitors (SCs)) are promising devices for energy storage thanks to [...] Read more.
The current development of clean and high efficiency energy sources such as solar or wind energy sources has to be supported by the design and fabrication of energy storage systems. Electrochemical capacitors (or supercapacitors (SCs)) are promising devices for energy storage thanks to their highly efficient power management and possible small size. However, in comparison to commercial batteries, SCs do not have very high energy densities that significantly limit their applications. The value of energy density directly depends on the capacitance of full SCs and their cell voltage. Thus, an increase of SCs electrode specific capacitance together with the use of the wide potential window electrolyte can result in high performance SCs. Conductive polymer polyaniline (PANI) as well as carbonaceous materials graphene (G) or reduced graphene oxide (RGO) have been widely studied for usage in electrodes of SCs. Although pristine PANI electrodes have shown low cycling stability and graphene sheets can have low specific capacitance due to agglomeration during their preparation without a spacer, their synergetic effect can lead to high electrochemical properties of G/PANI composites. This review points out the best results for G/PANI composite in comparison to that of pristine PANI or graphene (or RGO). Various factors, such as the ratio between graphene and PANI, oxidants, time, and the temperature of chemical oxidative polymerization, which have been determined to influence the morphology, capacitance, cycling stability, etc. of the composite electrode materials measured in three-electrode system are discussed. Consequently, we provide an in-depth summary on diverse promising approaches of significant breakthroughs in recent years and provide strategies to choose suitable electrodes based on PANI and graphene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ceramics and Nanostructures for Energy Harvesting and Storage)
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24 pages, 10586 KiB  
Review
Nanostructured ZnFe2O4: An Exotic Energy Material
by Murtaza Bohra, Vidya Alman and Rémi Arras
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(5), 1286; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11051286 - 13 May 2021
Cited by 40 | Viewed by 4665
Abstract
More people, more cities; the energy demand increases in consequence and much of that will rely on next-generation smart materials. Zn-ferrites (ZnFe2O4) are nonconventional ceramic materials on account of their unique properties, such as chemical and thermal stability and [...] Read more.
More people, more cities; the energy demand increases in consequence and much of that will rely on next-generation smart materials. Zn-ferrites (ZnFe2O4) are nonconventional ceramic materials on account of their unique properties, such as chemical and thermal stability and the reduced toxicity of Zn over other metals. Furthermore, the remarkable cation inversion behavior in nanostructured ZnFe2O4 extensively cast-off in the high-density magnetic data storage, 5G mobile communication, energy storage devices like Li-ion batteries, supercapacitors, and water splitting for hydrogen production, among others. Here, we review how aforesaid properties can be easily tuned in various ZnFe2O4 nanostructures depending on the choice, amount, and oxidation state of metal ions, the specific features of cation arrangement in the crystal lattice and the processing route used for the fabrication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ceramics and Nanostructures for Energy Harvesting and Storage)
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30 pages, 12212 KiB  
Review
Graphene/Reduced Graphene Oxide-Carbon Nanotubes Composite Electrodes: From Capacitive to Battery-Type Behaviour
by Olena Okhay and Alexander Tkach
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(5), 1240; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11051240 - 08 May 2021
Cited by 61 | Viewed by 7048
Abstract
Thanks to the advanced technologies for energy generation such as solar cells and thermo- or piezo-generators the amount of electricity transformed from light, heat or mechanical pressure sources can be significantly enhanced. However, there is still a demand for effective storage devices to [...] Read more.
Thanks to the advanced technologies for energy generation such as solar cells and thermo- or piezo-generators the amount of electricity transformed from light, heat or mechanical pressure sources can be significantly enhanced. However, there is still a demand for effective storage devices to conserve electrical energy which addresses the wide range of large stationary applications from electric vehicles to small portable devices. Among the large variety of energy-storage systems available today, electrochemical energy sources and, in particular, supercapacitors (SC), are rather promising in terms of cost, scaling, power management, life cycle and safety. Therefore, this review surveys recent achievements in the development of SC based on composites of such carbon-derived materials as graphene (G) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) with carbon nanotubes (CNT). Various factors influencing the specific capacitance are discussed, while specific energy and power as well as cycling stability of SC with G/rGO-CNT composite electrode materials are overviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ceramics and Nanostructures for Energy Harvesting and Storage)
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