Next-Generation Energy Nanomaterials

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 December 2024 | Viewed by 9723

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Materials Science, Kaunas University of Technology, 44249 Kaunas, Lithuania
Interests: 1D nanomaterial synthesis; 1D growth mechanism investigation; ZnO nanowires for chemosensors
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, 1201 W Univ Dr., Edinburg, TX 78539, USA
Interests: green energy; nanotechnology; surface science; photocatalysis; catalysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The production and consumption of more traditional energy resources have so far remarkably impacted global warming, climate change, air/water pollution, and solid waste disposals. The reduction of fossil fuels and the increasing energy demand require the green energy generation and the development of high-performance energy technologies for the next decades, as prospecting in a path to zero emissions.

Such technologies should be based on recyclable and earth-abundant materials, and on the life-cycle impact assessment (LCIA) models and indicators.

As far as materials are concerned, the traditional materials have shown a series of limitations resulting from their limited efficiency, performance, durability, and availability, together with environmental impact issues and high costs. In the coming years, the concept of sustainable materials and technologies will become increasingly important for a reduced impact on the environment.

We are pleased to invite you to submit your research outputs to our Special Issue of Nanomaterials entitled “Next-Generation Energy Nanomaterials”

This Special Issue aims to cover the latest studies in the field of nanomaterials for energy applications. Topics for this Special Issue include, but are not limited to, synthesis and characterization methods and the properties and applications of energy. Therefore, solutions offered by new nanomaterials, and possible energy improvements, obtained from the rational use of alternative materials at small-length scales, will be highlighted.

Prof. Dr. Federico Cesano
Dr. Simas Rackauskas
Dr. Mohammed Jasim Uddin
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. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2900 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

  • batteries and supercapacitors
  • electrode materials
  • energy-harvesting materials
  • energy-storage materials
  • fuel production and storage
  • piezoelectric materials
  • solar energy harvesting
  • thermal energy storage
  • thermoelectric materials
  • triboelectric materials

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 4719 KiB  
Article
Hydrogen Evolution Reaction on Ultra-Smooth Sputtered Nanocrystalline Ni Thin Films in Alkaline Media—From Intrinsic Activity to the Effects of Surface Oxidation
by Daniela Neumüller, Lidija D. Rafailović, Aleksandar Z. Jovanović, Natalia V. Skorodumova, Igor A. Pašti, Alice Lassnig, Thomas Griesser, Christoph Gammer and Jürgen Eckert
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(14), 2085; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13142085 - 17 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1099
Abstract
Highly effective yet affordable non-noble metal catalysts are a key component for advances in hydrogen generation via electrolysis. The synthesis of catalytic heterostructures containing established Ni in combination with surface NiO, Ni(OH)2, and NiOOH domains gives rise to a synergistic effect [...] Read more.
Highly effective yet affordable non-noble metal catalysts are a key component for advances in hydrogen generation via electrolysis. The synthesis of catalytic heterostructures containing established Ni in combination with surface NiO, Ni(OH)2, and NiOOH domains gives rise to a synergistic effect between the surface components and is highly beneficial for water splitting and the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). Herein, the intrinsic catalytic activity of pure Ni and the effect of partial electrochemical oxidation of ultra-smooth magnetron sputter-deposited Ni surfaces are analyzed by combining electrochemical measurements with transmission electron microscopy, selected area electron diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy. The experimental investigations are supplemented by Density Functional Theory and Kinetic Monte Carlo simulations. Kinetic parameters for the HER are evaluated while surface roughening is carefully monitored during different Ni film treatment and operation stages. Surface oxidation results in the dominant formation of Ni(OH)2, practically negligible surface roughening, and 3–5 times increased HER exchange current densities. Higher levels of surface roughening are observed during prolonged cycling to deep negative potentials, while surface oxidation slows down the HER activity losses compared to as-deposited films. Thus, surface oxidation increases the intrinsic HER activity of nickel and is also a viable strategy to improve catalyst durability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next-Generation Energy Nanomaterials)
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11 pages, 2937 KiB  
Article
Influence of Thermal and Flash-Lamp Annealing on the Thermoelectrical Properties of Cu2ZnSnS4 Nanocrystals Obtained by “Green” Colloidal Synthesis
by Yevhenii Havryliuk, Volodymyr Dzhagan, Anatolii Karnaukhov, Oleksandr Selyshchev, Julia Hann and Dietrich R. T. Zahn
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(11), 1775; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13111775 - 31 May 2023
Viewed by 936
Abstract
The problem with waste heat in solar panels has stimulated research on materials suitable for hybrid solar cells, which combine photovoltaic and thermoelectric properties. One such potential material is Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS). Here, we investigated thin films formed from CZTS nanocrystals [...] Read more.
The problem with waste heat in solar panels has stimulated research on materials suitable for hybrid solar cells, which combine photovoltaic and thermoelectric properties. One such potential material is Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS). Here, we investigated thin films formed from CZTS nanocrystals obtained by “green” colloidal synthesis. The films were subjected to thermal annealing at temperatures up to 350 °C or flash-lamp annealing (FLA) at light-pulse power densities up to 12 J/cm2. The range of 250–300 °C was found to be optimal for obtaining conductive nanocrystalline films, for which the thermoelectric parameters could also be determined reliably. From phonon Raman spectra, we conclude that in this temperature range, a structural transition occurs in CZTS, accompanied by the formation of the minor CuxS phase. The latter is assumed to be a determinant for both the electrical and thermoelectrical properties of CZTS films obtained in this way. For the FLA-treated samples, the film conductivity achieved was too low to measure the thermoelectric parameters reliably, although the partial improvement of the CZTS crystallinity is observed in the Raman spectra. However, the absence of the CuxS phase supports the assumption of its importance with respect to the thermoelectric properties of such CZTS thin films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next-Generation Energy Nanomaterials)
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17 pages, 5231 KiB  
Article
Functional Piezoresistive Polymer Composites Based on CO2 Laser-Irradiated Graphene Oxide-Loaded Polyurethane: Morphology, Structure, Electrical and Piezoresistive Properties
by Chiara Mastropasqua, Antonino Veca, Alessandro Damin, Valentina Brunella and Federico Cesano
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(1), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13010168 - 30 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1522
Abstract
Nanocomposite materials have recently attracted great attention for their wide range of applications, such as in smart materials, flexible electronics, and deformation sensing applications. Such materials make it possible to combine a polymer with functional fillers. In this study, flexible artificial leathers, exhibiting [...] Read more.
Nanocomposite materials have recently attracted great attention for their wide range of applications, such as in smart materials, flexible electronics, and deformation sensing applications. Such materials make it possible to combine a polymer with functional fillers. In this study, flexible artificial leathers, exhibiting insulating properties and containing 1.5 or 2wt.% of graphene oxide (GO) in the polyurethane (PU) layer, were electrically activated via CO2 laser irradiation to obtain conductive paths at the surface exposed to the laser beam. As the material retained its insulating properties out of the irradiation areas, the laser scribing method allowed, at least in principle, a printed circuit to be easily and quickly fabricated. Combining a variety of investigation methods, including scanning electron microscopy (SEM), optical profilometry, IR and Raman spectroscopies, and direct current (DC) and alternate current (AC) electrical measurements, the effects of the laser irradiation were investigated, and the so-obtained electrical properties of laser-activated GO/PU regions were elucidated to unveil their potential use in both static and dynamic mechanical conditions. In more detail, it was shown that under appropriate CO2 laser irradiation, GO sheets into the GO/PU layer were locally photoreduced to form reduced-GO (RGO) sheets. It was verified that the RGO sheets were entangled, forming an accumulation path on the surface directly exposed to the laser beam. As the laser process was performed along regular paths, these RGO sheets formed electrically conductive wires, which exhibited piezoresistive properties when exposed to mechanical deformations. It was also verified that such piezoresistive paths showed good reproducibility when subjected to small flexural stresses during cyclic testing conditions. In brief, laser-activated GO/PU artificial leathers may represent a new generation of metal-free materials for electrical transport applications of low-current signals and embedded deformation sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next-Generation Energy Nanomaterials)
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7 pages, 1262 KiB  
Article
Hollow Bioelectrodes Based on Buckypaper Assembly. Application to the Electroenzymatic Reduction of O2
by Paulo Henrique M. Buzzetti, Anastasiia Berezovska, Yannig Nedellec and Serge Cosnier
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(14), 2399; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12142399 - 14 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1301
Abstract
A new concept of hollow electrode based on the assembly of two buckypapers creating a microcavity which contains a biocatalyst is described. To illustrate this innovative concept, hollow bioelectrodes containing 0.16–4 mg bilirubin oxidase in a microcavity were fabricated and applied to electroenzymatic [...] Read more.
A new concept of hollow electrode based on the assembly of two buckypapers creating a microcavity which contains a biocatalyst is described. To illustrate this innovative concept, hollow bioelectrodes containing 0.16–4 mg bilirubin oxidase in a microcavity were fabricated and applied to electroenzymatic reduction of O2 in aqueous solution. For hemin-modified buckypaper, the bioelectrode shows a direct electron transfer between multi-walled carbon nanotubes and bilirubin oxidase with an onset potential of 0.77 V vs. RHE. The hollow bioelectrodes showed good storage stability in solution with an electroenzymatic activity of 30 and 11% of its initial activity after 3 and 6 months, respectively. The co-entrapment of bilirubin oxidase and 2,2-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) in the microcavity leads to a bioelectrode exhibiting mediated electron transfer. After 23 h of intermittent operation, 5.66 × 10−4 mol of O2 were electroreduced (turnover number of 19,245), the loss of catalytic current being only 54% after 7 days. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next-Generation Energy Nanomaterials)
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Review

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39 pages, 27704 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in Two-Dimensional MXene for Supercapacitor Applications: Progress, Challenges, and Perspectives
by Zambaga Otgonbayar, Sunhye Yang, Ick-Jun Kim and Won-Chun Oh
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(5), 919; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13050919 - 01 Mar 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4159
Abstract
MXene is a type of two-dimensional (2D) transition metal carbide and nitride, and its promising energy storage materials highlight its characteristics of high density, high metal-like conductivity, tunable terminals, and charge storage mechanisms known as pseudo-alternative capacitance. MXenes are a class of 2D [...] Read more.
MXene is a type of two-dimensional (2D) transition metal carbide and nitride, and its promising energy storage materials highlight its characteristics of high density, high metal-like conductivity, tunable terminals, and charge storage mechanisms known as pseudo-alternative capacitance. MXenes are a class of 2D materials synthesized by chemical etching of the A element in MAX phases. Since they were first discovered more than 10 years ago, the number of distinct MXenes has grown substantially to include numerous MnXn−1 (n = 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5), solid solutions (ordered and disordered), and vacancy solids. To date, MXenes used in energy storage system applications have been broadly synthesized, and this paper summarizes the current developments, successes, and challenges of using MXenes in supercapacitors. This paper also reports the synthesis approaches, various compositional issues, material and electrode topology, chemistry, and hybridization of MXene with other active materials. The present study also summarizes MXene’s electrochemical properties, applicability in pliant-structured electrodes, and energy storage capabilities when using aqueous/non-aqueous electrolytes. Finally, we conclude by discussing how to reshape the face of the latest MXene and what to consider when designing the next generation of MXene-based capacitors and supercapacitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next-Generation Energy Nanomaterials)
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