Additives work wonders
Zheng et al.

Additives work wonders

Latest Research

  • Article |

    Nanostructured black silicon can be used as a photoelectrode for solar-driven water splitting, but its high surface area can increase charge recombination and accelerate corrosion. Here the authors show that a thin, conformal film of TiO2 can increase both the photocurrent and the stability of black silicon.

    • Yanhao Yu
    • , Zheng Zhang
    • , Xin Yin
    • , Alexander Kvit
    • , Qingliang Liao
    • , Zhuo Kang
    • , Xiaoqin Yan
    • , Yue Zhang
    •  & Xudong Wang
  • Article |

    Photoelectrochemical devices based on III–V semiconductors have high performance potential but their cost and stability inhibit their wide application. Kang et al. make printed assemblies of GaAs-based photoelectrodes with separate optical and reactive interfaces, demonstrating water-splitting efficiency up to 13.1%.

    • Dongseok Kang
    • , James L. Young
    • , Haneol Lim
    • , Walter E. Klein
    • , Huandong Chen
    • , Yuzhou Xi
    • , Boju Gai
    • , Todd G. Deutsch
    •  & Jongseung Yoon
  • Article |

    Thin-film photovoltaic devices are often based on toxic or rare materials. Here, Wang et al. grow oriented Sb2Se3 thin film on a ZnO buffer layer, and fabricate solar cells with a certified 5.9% conversion efficiency and which pass harsh stability tests under humidity, heat and illumination.

    • Liang Wang
    • , Deng-Bing Li
    • , Kanghua Li
    • , Chao Chen
    • , Hui-Xiong Deng
    • , Liang Gao
    • , Yang Zhao
    • , Fan Jiang
    • , Luying Li
    • , Feng Huang
    • , Yisu He
    • , Haisheng Song
    • , Guangda Niu
    •  & Jiang Tang
  • Article |

    To tackle the high energy consumption of buildings, information programs to promote investment in energy efficiency measures have been introduced. This study compares the effectiveness of three US programs and finds that despite large energy savings, progress is lacking for small and medium sized buildings.

    • Omar Isaac Asensio
    •  & Magali A. Delmas
  • Article |

    The application of Li–O2 batteries is hindered by severe parasitic reactions in battery cycling. Here the authors show that the highly reactive singlet oxygen is the main cause for the electrolyte and carbon electrode degradation on discharge and charge.

    • Nika Mahne
    • , Bettina Schafzahl
    • , Christian Leypold
    • , Mario Leypold
    • , Sandra Grumm
    • , Anita Leitgeb
    • , Gernot A. Strohmeier
    • , Martin Wilkening
    • , Olivier Fontaine
    • , Denis Kramer
    • , Christian Slugovc
    • , Sergey M. Borisov
    •  & Stefan A. Freunberger
  • Article |

    The efficiency of silicon solar cells has a large influence on the cost of most photovoltaics panels. Here, researchers from Kaneka present a silicon heterojunction with interdigitated back contacts reaching an efficiency of 26.3% and provide a detailed loss analysis to guide further developments.

    • Kunta Yoshikawa
    • , Hayato Kawasaki
    • , Wataru Yoshida
    • , Toru Irie
    • , Katsunori Konishi
    • , Kunihiro Nakano
    • , Toshihiko Uto
    • , Daisuke Adachi
    • , Masanori Kanematsu
    • , Hisashi Uzu
    •  & Kenji Yamamoto

News & Comment

  • News and Views |

    Cheap, efficient, and stable thin photovoltaics that use abundant and non-toxic materials can deliver widespread renewable energy. New results using Earth-abundant and potentially cheap ZnO/Sb2Se3 solar cells indicate promising levels of stability.

    • Supratik Guha
  • News and Views |

    Various programmes have been introduced to increase energy efficiency in buildings. A study of commercial buildings in Los Angeles, USA, now finds that voluntary certification programmes have been effective at lowering energy use, bringing savings of up to 30%.

    • Margaret Walls
  • News and Views |

    It is important to include the public in the processes by which decisions on societal trajectories are made. A study shows that interactive scenario-building tools can engage people in the holistic complexities of energy transitions, but these tools must be designed and used with care because elicited preferences can be influenced by contextual factors.

    • Tim Chatterton
  • News and Views |

    US conservatives receive a steady stream of anti-environmental messaging from Republican politicians. However, clean-energy conservatives sending strong counter-messages on energy issues could mobilize moderate conservatives to break away from the dominant right-wing defence of fossil fuels.

    • Aaron M. McCright

Current Issue

Volume 2 Issue 3

Image: Zheng et al. Cover design: David Shand.

Volume 2 Issue 3

Additives work wonders

Lithium-metal batteries offer great potential for high-energy-density storage but suffer from limited charging capability and cycling stability. Zheng et al. report that by tuning a dual salt electrolyte composition with additives, the performance of lithium-metal batteries (whose working lithium electrode is shown here) can be significantly improved.

See Zheng et al. 2, 17012 (2017) and News and Views by Zheng & Wei, article 17029.