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Mesoporous materials for energy conversion and storage devices

Abstract

To meet the growing energy demands in a low-carbon economy, the development of new materials that improve the efficiency of energy conversion and storage systems is essential. Mesoporous materials offer opportunities in energy conversion and storage applications owing to their extraordinarily high surface areas and large pore volumes. These properties may improve the performance of materials in terms of energy and power density, lifetime and stability. In this Review, we summarize the primary methods for preparing mesoporous materials and discuss their applications as electrodes and/or catalysts in solar cells, solar fuel production, rechargeable batteries, supercapacitors and fuel cells. Finally, we outline the research and development challenges of mesoporous materials that need to be overcome to increase their contribution in renewable energy applications.

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Figure 1: The principal methods for synthesizing mesoporous materials.
Figure 2: Mesoporous materials for solar cells.
Figure 3: Mesoporous materials for solar fuel production.
Figure 4: Mesoporous materials for rechargeable batteries.
Figure 5: Mesoporous carbon materials for lithium–sulfur batteries.
Figure 6: Mesoporous materials for lithium–air batteries.
Figure 7: Mesoporous materials for supercapacitors.
Figure 8: Mesoporous materials for fuel cells.

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Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by the State Key Basic Research Programme of the PRC (2013CB934104 and 2012CB224805), Shanghai Science and Technology Commission (14JC1400700), National Science Foundation (NSF) of China (21210004 and U1463206), and the authors thank the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University for funding this work through Research Group No. RG-1435-002. J.L. acknowledges the support from the US Department of Energy (DoE), Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering under Award KC020105-FWP12152 for his contribution to energy storage and fuel cells.

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Li, W., Liu, J. & Zhao, D. Mesoporous materials for energy conversion and storage devices. Nat Rev Mater 1, 16023 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/natrevmats.2016.23

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