Functional Nanomaterials for Sustainable Energy Technologies

Jun Chen, Guang Zhu, Weiqing Yang, Jin Yang, Long Lin, Yaqing Bie
2016 Journal of Nanomaterials  
As we are facing increasing challenges of diminishing fossil fuel and global warming in the new century, in the past decades, increasing research efforts have been committed to seek for clean and renewable energy sources as well as develop renewable energy technologies. Searching for renewable energy with reduced carbon emissions is mandatory for the sustainable development human civilization. Functional nanomaterials are advanced nanotechnology materials with internal or external dimensions on
more » ... ernal dimensions on the order of nanometers. These extremely small dimensions make them unique in energy harvesting, conversion, and storage. This special issue contributed original research articles as well as review articles that will stimulate the continuing efforts to explore the functional materials for energy applications, especially to develop new types of nanomaterials based energy technologies for clean and renewable energy harvesting/conversion/storage. Relying on the coupling between triboelectrification and electrostatic induction, the newly developed triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) have been proven to be a costeffective, simple, and robust approach for ambient mechanical energy harvesting. Z. Lin et al. presented a comprehensive review of the recent progress in triboelectric nanogenerator as a renewable and sustainable power source. Four working modes of TENGs, vertical contact-separation mode, inplane sliding mode, single-electrode mode, and free-standing triboelectric-layer mode, are, respectively, introduced. And the capability of TENGs for harvesting various kinds of mechanical energies such as vibration, rotation, wind, human motion, and even large-scale water wave energy is systematically demonstrated. This review article will facilitate the advancement of the field of triboelectric nanogenerators for ambient mechanical energy harvesting. S.-H. Cha also delivered a comprehensive review to this special issue on the recent development of nanocomposite membranes for vanadium redox flow batteries. They have received considerable attentions owning to their long cycle life, flexible design, fast response time, deep-discharge capability, and low pollution emissions in large-scale energy storage. This review article systematically summarized the recent progress in developing nanocomposite membranes with reduced vanadium ion permeability and improved proton conductivity in order to achieve high performance and long life of vanadium redox flow battery systems. Quantum dot (QD) sensitized hybrid solar cells were also discussed in this special issue. A. Jamshidi et al. presented a colloidal synthesis of a novel type II Mn-doped ZnSe/CdS core/shell QD system as sensitizer with different Mn concentration (0-3%) and test its utilization in quantum dot sensitized solar cells. To the best of their knowledge, this was the first time that Mn-doped ZnSe/CdS core/shell QDs are successfully synthesized by the method of hot injection and used as a strategy to boost solar cell efficiency. The experimental results suggest that band structure manipulation in type II core/shell nanostructure offers an effective way to improve light harvesting and control of charge transfer via efficient charge separation in sensitized solar cells and that Mn-doping opens a new window to increase device efficiency. X. Ji et al. also contributed another story about dyesensitized solar cell (DSSC) to this special issue. In the work, a simple two-step process was used to synthesize ZnO@TiO 2 core-shell nanorod thin films, which was demonstrated to
doi:10.1155/2016/2606459 fatcat:mvvm2deznjexdj6iie555bktnm