Solar-powered water evaporation — the extraction of vapour from liquid water using solar energy — provides the basis for the development of eco-friendly and cost-effective freshwater production. Liquid water consumes and carries energy, and, thus, plays an essential role in this process. As such, extensive experimental and theoretical studies have been focused on water management to achieve efficient solar vapour generation. Many innovative materials have been proposed to enable highly controllable and efficient solar-to-thermal energy conversion to address the challenges in the energy–water nexus from the microscale to the molecular level. In this Review, we summarize the fundamental principles of materials design for efficient solar-to-thermal energy conversion and vapour generation. We discuss how to integrate photothermal materials, nanostructures/microstructures and water–material interactions to improve the performance of the evaporation system via in situ utilization of solar energy. Focusing on materials science and engineering, we overview the key challenges and opportunities for nanostructured and microstructured materials in both fundamental research and practical water-purification applications.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $8.25 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Lewis, N. S. Research opportunities to advance solar energy utilization. Science 351, aad1920 (2016).
Chu, S., Cui, Y. & Liu, N. The path towards sustainable energy. Nat. Mater. 16, 16–22 (2017).
Tiwari, G. N., Kumar, A. & Sodha, M. S. A review — cooling by water evaporation over roof. Energy Convers. Manag. 22, 143–153 (1982).
Tao, P. et al. Solar-driven interfacial evaporation. Nat. Energy 3, 1031–1041 (2018). This paper outlines the achievements in solar interfacial evaporation based on an isolated evaporation front that helps to reduce energy losses.
Service, R. F. Desalination freshens up. Science 313, 1088–1090 (2006).
Chen, C., Kuang, Y. & Hu, L. Challenges and opportunities for solar evaporation. Joule 3, 683–718 (2019).
Blanco, J. et al. Review of feasible solar energy applications to water processes. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 13, 1437–1445 (2009).
Tanaka, H., Nosoko, T. & Nagata, T. A highly productive basin-type-multiple-effect coupled solar still. Desalination 130, 279–293 (2000).
Mistry, K. H., Antar, M. A. & Lienhard V, J. H. An improved model for multiple effect distillation. Desalin. Water Treat. 51, 807–821 (2013).
Ohmura, A. & Wild, M. Is the hydrological cycle accelerating? Science 298, 1345–1346 (2002).
El Kharraz, J., Zaragoza, G. & Ghaffour, N. in Water, Energy, Food and Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (eds Barchiesi, S., Carmona-Moreno, C., Dondeynaz, C. & Biedler, M.) 17–24 (WEFE, 2018).
Wang, J. et al. High-performance photothermal conversion of narrow-bandgap Ti2O3 nanoparticles. Adv. Mater. 29, 1603730 (2017).
Liu, H. et al. Narrow bandgap semiconductor decorated wood membrane for high-efficiency solar-assisted water purification. J. Mater. Chem. A 6, 18839–18846 (2018).
Li, Y. et al. 3D-printed, all-in-one evaporator for high-efficiency solar steam generation under 1 sun illumination. Adv. Mater. 29, 1700981 (2017). This paper is one of the first introducing advanced manufacturing for the fabrication of solar evaporators.
Zhou, X., Zhao, F., Guo, Y., Zhang, Y. & Yu, G. A hydrogel-based antifouling solar evaporator for highly efficient water desalination. Energy Environ. Sci. 11, 1985–1992 (2018).
Ren, H. et al. Hierarchical graphene foam for efficient omnidirectional solar-thermal energy conversion. Adv. Mater. 29, 1702590 (2017).
Zhang, P. et al. A microstructured graphene/poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) membrane for intelligent solar water evaporation. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 57, 16343–16347 (2018).
Chen, C. et al. Dual functional asymmetric plasmonic structures for solar water purification and pollution detection. Nano Energy 51, 451–456 (2018).
Zhou, L. et al. Self-assembly of highly efficient, broadband plasmonic absorbers for solar steam generation. Sci. Adv. 2, e1501227 (2016).
Zielinski, M. S. et al. Hollow mesoporous plasmonic nanoshells for enhanced solar vapor generation. Nano Lett. 16, 2159–2167 (2016).
Zhao, Y. et al. Plasmonic Cu2−xS nanocrystals: optical and structural properties of copper-deficient copper(I) sulfides. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 131, 4253–4261 (2009).
Zhao, Y. & Burda, C. Development of plasmonic semiconductor nanomaterials with copper chalcogenides for a future with sustainable energy materials. Energy Environ. Sci. 5, 5564–5576 (2012).
Yu, F. et al. Dispersion stability of thermal nanofluids. Prog. Nat. Sci. Mater. Int. 27, 531–542 (2017).
Umlauff, M. et al. Direct observation of free-exciton thermalization in quantum-well structures. Phys. Rev. B 57, 1390 (1998).
Whang, A. J. W., Chen, Y. Y. & Wu, B. Y. Innovative design of cassegrain solar concentrator system for indoor illumination utilizing chromatic aberration to filter out ultraviolet and infrared in sunlight. Sol. Energy 8, 1115–1122 (2009).
Yu, N. et al. Dynamically tuning near-infrared-induced photothermal performances of TiO2 nanocrystals by Nb doping for imaging-guided photothermal therapy of tumors. Nanoscale 9, 9148–9159 (2017).
Choi, W., Termin, A. & Hoffmann, M. R. The role of metal ion dopants in quantum-sized TiO2: correlation between photoreactivity and charge carrier recombination dynamics. J. Phys. Chem. 98, 13669–13679 (2002).
Tao, J., Luttrell, T. & Batzill, M. A two-dimensional phase of TiO2 with a reduced bandgap. Nat. Chem. 3, 296–300 (2011).
Dette, C. et al. TiO2 anatase with a bandgap in the visible region. Nano Lett. 14, 6533–6538 (2014).
Li, Y. et al. From titanium sesquioxide to titanium dioxide: oxidation-induced structural, phase, and property evolution. Chem. Mater. 30, 4383–4392 (2018).
Cui, S., Liu, H., Gan, L., Li, Y. & Zhu, D. Fabrication of low-dimension nanostructures based on organic conjugated molecules. Adv. Mater. 20, 2918–2925 (2008).
Xu, L., Cheng, L., Wang, C., Peng, R. & Liu, Z. Conjugated polymers for photothermal therapy of cancer. Polym. Chem. 5, 1573–1580 (2014).
Li, Y. & Zou, Y. Conjugated polymer photovoltaic materials with broad absorption band and high charge carrier mobility. Adv. Mater. 20, 2952–2958 (2008).
Liu, J. et al. Conjugated polymer nanoparticles for photoacoustic vascular imaging. Polym. Chem. 5, 2854–2862 (2014).
Gibson, G. L., McCormick, T. M. & Seferos, D. S. Atomistic band gap engineering in donor–acceptor polymers. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 539–547 (2011).
Wang, Y. et al. Dopant-enabled supramolecular approach for controlled synthesis of nanostructured conductive polymer hydrogels. Nano Lett. 15, 7736–7741 (2015).
Shi, Y. et al. A conductive self-healing hybrid gel enabled by metal-ligand supramolecule and nanostructured conductive polymer. Nano Lett. 15, 6276–6281 (2015).
Chen, M., Fang, X., Tang, S. & Zheng, N. Polypyrrole nanoparticles for high-performance in vivo near-infrared photothermal cancer therapy. Chem. Commun. 48, 8934–8936 (2012).
Bjorklund, R. B. & Liedberg, B. Electrically conducting composites of colloidal polypyrrole and methylcellulose. J. Chem. Soc. Chem. Commun. 16, 1293–1295 (1986).
Yang, K. et al. In vitro and in vivo near-infrared photothermal therapy of cancer using polypyrrole organic nanoparticles. Adv. Mater. 24, 5586–5592 (2012).
Zha, Z., Yue, X., Ren, Q. & Dai, Z. Uniform polypyrrole nanoparticles with high photothermal conversion efficiency for photothermal ablation of cancer cells. Adv. Mater. 25, 777–782 (2013).
Wang, C. et al. Iron oxide @ polypyrrole nanoparticles as a multifunctional drug carrier for remotely controlled cancer therapy with synergistic antitumor effect. ACS Nano 7, 6782–6795 (2013).
Yang, J. et al. Convertible organic nanoparticles for near-infrared photothermal ablation of cancer cells. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 50, 441–444 (2011).
Chen, Q. et al. A durable monolithic polymer foam for efficient solar steam generation. Chem. Sci. 9, 623–628 (2018).
Cheng, L., Yang, K., Chen, Q. & Liu, Z. Organic stealth nanoparticles for highly effective in vivo near-infrared photothermal therapy of cancer. ACS Nano 6, 5605–5613 (2012).
Gong, H. et al. Near-infrared absorbing polymeric nanoparticles as a versatile drug carrier for cancer combination therapy. Adv. Funct. Mater. 23, 6059–6067 (2013).
Jiang, Q. et al. Polydopamine-filled bacterial nanocellulose as a biodegradable interfacial photothermal evaporator for highly efficient solar steam generation. J. Mater. Chem. A 5, 18397–18402 (2017).
Zhou, L. et al. 3D self-assembly of aluminium nanoparticles for plasmon-enhanced solar desalination. Nat. Photon. 10, 393–398 (2016). This paper is one of the first reporting a nanostructured plasmonic absorber that exhibits strong light absorption for solar water evaporation under one-sun irradiation.
Zhao, Q. et al. Super black and ultrathin amorphous carbon film inspired by anti-reflection architecture in butterfly wing. Carbon 49, 877–883 (2011).
Yang, Z. P., Ci, L., Bur, J. A., Lin, S. Y. & Ajayan, P. M. Experimental observation of an extremely dark material made by a low-density nanotube array. Nano Lett. 8, 446–451 (2008).
Mizuno, K. et al. A black body absorber from vertically aligned single-walled carbon nanotubes. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 106, 6044–6047 (2009).
Zhang, P., Li, J., Lv, L., Zhao, Y. & Qu, L. Vertically aligned graphene sheets membrane for highly efficient solar thermal generation of clean water. ACS Nano 11, 5087–5093 (2017).
Hu, X. et al. Tailoring graphene oxide-based aerogels for efficient solar steam generation under one sun. Adv. Mater. 29, 1604031 (2017).
Liu, Z. et al. High-absorption recyclable photothermal membranes used in a bionic system for high-efficiency solar desalination via enhanced localized heating. J. Mater. Chem. A 5, 20044–20052 (2017).
Zhao, F. et al. Highly efficient solar vapour generation via hierarchically nanostructured gels. Nat. Nanotechnol. 13, 489–495 (2018). This paper is the first to introduce the use of hydrogel-based materials that may reduce energy demand for water evaporation and greatly enhance SVG.
Liu, M. et al. A graphene-based broadband optical modulator. Nature 474, 64–67 (2011).
Wang, X., Liu, Q., Wu, S., Xu, B. & Xu, H. Multilayer polypyrrole nanosheets with self-organized surface structures for flexible and efficient solar–thermal energy conversion. Adv. Mater. 31, 1807716 (2019).
Li, W., Li, Z., Bertelsmann, K. & Fan, D. E. Portable low-pressure solar steaming-collection unisystem with polypyrrole origamis. Adv. Mater. 31, 1900720 (2019).
Kelly, K. L., Coronado, E., Zhao, L. L. & Schatz, G. C. The optical properties of metal nanoparticles: the influence of size, shape, and dielectric environment. J. Phys. Chem. B 107, 668–677 (2003).
Boriskina, S. V., Ghasemi, H. & Chen, G. Plasmonic materials for energy: from physics to applications. Mater. Today 16, 375–386 (2013).
Liu, Z. et al. Ultra-broadband tunable resonant light trapping in a two-dimensional randomly microstructured plasmonic-photonic absorber. Sci. Rep. 7, 43803 (2017).
Masuda, H. & Fukuda, K. Ordered metal nanohole arrays made by a two-step replication of honeycomb structures of anodic alumina. Science 268, 1466–1468 (1995).
Jin, H., Lin, G., Bai, L., Zeiny, A. & Wen, D. Steam generation in a nanoparticle-based solar receiver. Nano Energy 28, 397–406 (2016).
Neumann, O. et al. Solar vapor generation enabled by nanoparticles. ACS Nano 7, 42–49 (2013).
Ni, G. et al. Volumetric solar heating of nanofluids for direct vapor generation. Nano Energy 17, 290–301 (2015).
Prasher, R., Phelan, P. E. & Bhattacharya, P. Effect of aggregation kinetics on the thermal conductivity of nanoscale colloidal solutions (nanofluid). Nano Lett. 6, 1529–1534 (2006).
Ito, Y. et al. Multifunctional porous graphene for high-efficiency steam generation by heat localization. Adv. Mater. 27, 4302–4307 (2015).
Ghasemi, H. et al. Solar steam generation by heat localization. Nat. Commun. 5, 4449 (2014). This paper is one of the first demonstrating a structural design that helped to utilize the harvested solar energy in situ for vapour generation.
Shi, L., Wang, Y., Zhang, L. & Wang, P. Rational design of a bi-layered reduced graphene oxide film on polystyrene foam for solar-driven interfacial water evaporation. J. Mater. Chem. A 5, 16212–16219 (2017).
Yang, Y. et al. Graphene-based standalone solar energy converter for water desalination and purification. ACS Nano 12, 829–835 (2018).
Wang, G. et al. Reduced graphene oxide–polyurethane nanocomposite foam as a reusable photoreceiver for efficient solar steam generation. Chem. Mater. 29, 5629–5635 (2017).
Xu, N. et al. Mushrooms as efficient solar steam-generation devices. Adv. Mater. 29, 1606762 (2017).
Guo, Y. et al. Synergistic energy nanoconfinement and water activation in hydrogels for efficient solar water desalination. ACS Nano 13, 7913–7919 (2019).
Xue, G. et al. Robust and low-cost flame-treated wood for high-performance solar steam generation. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 9, 15052–15057 (2017).
Liu, P. F. et al. A mimetic transpiration system for record high conversion efficiency in solar steam generator under one-sun. Mater. Today Energy 8, 166–173 (2018).
Zhang, P. et al. Three-dimensional water evaporation on a macroporous vertically aligned graphene pillar array under one sun. J. Mater. Chem. A 6, 15303–15309 (2018).
Liu, Z. et al. Extremely cost-effective and efficient solar vapor generation under nonconcentrated illumination using thermally isolated black paper. Glob. Chall. 1, 1600003 (2017).
Zhou, X., Zhao, F., Guo, Y., Rosenberger, B. & Yu, G. Architecting highly hydratable polymer networks to tune the water state for solar water purification. Sci. Adv. 5, eaaw5484 (2019). This paper is the first to propose the concept of designing hydratable polymers to regulate the water state for ultrafast solar water evaporation.
Zeng, Y. et al. Solar evaporation enhancement using floating light-absorbing magnetic particles. Energy Environ. Sci. 4, 4074–4078 (2011).
Ni, G. et al. Steam generation under one sun enabled by a floating structure with thermal concentration. Nat. Energy 1, 16126 (2016). This paper is one of the first describing the concept of heat concentration for efficient energy utilization to generate high-temperature steam under one-sun illumination.
Howell, J. R., Mengüç, M. P. & Siegel, R. Thermal Radiation Heat Transfer 6th edn (CRC, 2015).
Bae, K. et al. Flexible thin-film black gold membranes with ultrabroadband plasmonic nanofocusing for efficient solar vapour generation. Nat. Commun. 6, 10103 (2015).
Wang, X., He, Y., Liu, X., Cheng, G. & Zhu, J. Solar steam generation through bio-inspired interface heating of broadband-absorbing plasmonic membranes. Appl. Energy 195, 414–425 (2017).
Liu, Y. et al. A bioinspired, reusable, paper-based system for high-performance large-scale evaporation. Adv. Mater. 27, 2768–2774 (2015).
Geng, H. et al. Plant leaves inspired sunlight-driven purifier for high-efficiency clean water production. Nat. Commun. 10, 1512 (2019).
Li, C. et al. Scalable and robust bilayer polymer foams for highly efficient and stable solar desalination. Nano Energy 60, 841–849 (2019).
Zhang, P. et al. Direct solar steam generation system for clean water production. Energy Storage Mater. 18, 429–446 (2019).
Cooper, T. A. et al. Contactless steam generation and superheating under one sun illumination. Nat. Commun. 9, 5086 (2018).
Li, Y. et al. Graphene oxide-based evaporator with one-dimensional water transport enabling high-efficiency solar desalination. Nano Energy 41, 201–209 (2017).
Li, X. et al. Graphene oxide-based efficient and scalable solar desalination under one sun with a confined 2D water path. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 113, 13953–13958 (2016).
Jiang, Q. et al. Bilayered biofoam for highly efficient solar steam generation. Adv. Mater. 28, 9400–9407 (2016).
Zhu, M. et al. Tree-inspired design for high-efficiency water extraction. Adv. Mater. 29, 1704107 (2017).
Zhang, L., Tang, B., Wu, J., Li, R. & Wang, P. Hydrophobic light-to-heat conversion membranes with self-healing ability for interfacial solar heating. Adv. Mater. 27, 4889–4894 (2015). This paper is one of the first introducing the idea of using interfacial evaporation to lower the energy loss to the bulk water.
Liu, Y., Chen, J., Guo, D., Cao, M. & Jiang, L. Floatable, self-cleaning, and carbon-black-based superhydrophobic gauze for the solar evaporation enhancement at the air–water interface. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 7, 13645–13652 (2015).
Yu, S. et al. The impact of surface chemistry on the performance of localized solar-driven evaporation system. Sci. Rep. 5, 13600 (2015).
Xu, W. et al. Flexible and salt resistant Janus absorbers by electrospinning for stable and efficient solar desalination. Adv. Energy Mater. 8, 1702884 (2018).
Wan, R. & Shi, G. Accelerated evaporation of water on graphene oxide. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 19, 8843–8847 (2017).
Sharma, S. & Debenedetti, P. G. Evaporation rate of water in hydrophobic confinement. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 109, 4365–4370 (2012).
Guo, Y., Zhao, F., Zhou, X., Chen, Z. & Yu, G. Tailoring nanoscale surface topography of hydrogel for efficient solar vapor generation. Nano Lett. 19, 2530–2536 (2019). This paper demonstrates the concept of regulating the surface topography in polymers to enhance SVG.
Hong, S. et al. Nature-inspired, 3D origami solar steam generator toward near full utilization of solar energy. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 10, 28517–28524 (2018).
Kim, K., Yu, S., An, C., Kim, S. & Jang, J. Mesoporous three-dimensional graphene networks for highly efficient solar desalination under 1 sun illumination. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 10, 15602–15608 (2018).
Wang, Y. et al. Improved light-harvesting and thermal management for efficient solar-driven water evaporation using 3D photothermal cones. J. Mater. Chem. A 6, 9874–9881 (2018).
Li, X. et al. Enhancement of interfacial solar vapor generation by environmental energy. Joule 2, 1331–1338 (2018).
Song, H. et al. Cold vapor generation beyond the input solar energy limit. Adv. Sci. 5, 1800222 (2018).
Xue, G. et al. Water-evaporation-induced electricity with nanostructured carbon materials. Nat. Nanotechnol. 12, 317–321 (2017).
Zhang, Z. et al. Emerging hydrovoltaic technology. Nat. Nanotechnol. 13, 1109–1119 (2018).
Cheng, H. et al. Graphene fibers with predetermined deformation as moisture-triggered actuators and robots. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 52, 10482–10486 (2013).
Cheng, H. et al. Moisture-activated torsional graphene-fiber motor. Adv. Mater. 26, 2909–2913 (2014).
Zhou, X., Guo, Y., Zhao, F. & Yu, G. Hydrogels as an emerging material platform for solar water purification. Acc. Chem. Res. 52, 3244–3253 (2019). This paper outlines key developments of hydrogel-based materials as an emerging platform for solar water purification.
Luzar, A. & Chandler, D. Hydrogen-bond kinetics in liquid water. Nature 379, 55–57 (1996).
Maréchal, Y. The Hydrogen Bond and the Water Molecule 1st edn (Elsevier, 2006).
Ohmine, I. & Tanaka, H. Fluctuation, relaxations, and hydration in liquid water. Hydrogen-bond rearrangement dynamics. Chem. Rev. 93, 2545–2566 (1993).
Fecko, C. J., Eaves, J. D., Loparo, J. J., Tokmakoff, A. & Geissler, P. L. Ultrafast hydrogen-bond dynamics in the infrared spectroscopy of water. Science 301, 1698–1702 (2003).
Boulougouris, G. C., Economou, I. G. & Theodorou, D. N. Engineering a molecular model for water phase equilibrium over a wide temperature range. J. Phys. Chem. B 102, 1029–1035 (1998).
Smith, J. D. et al. Energetics of hydrogen bond network rearrangements in liquid water. Science 306, 851–853 (2004).
Duboué-Dijon, E. & Laage, D. Characterization of the local structure in liquid water by various order parameters. J. Phys. Chem. B 119, 8406–8418 (2015).
Rey, R., Møller, K. B. & Hynes, J. T. Hydrogen bond dynamics in water and ultrafast infrared spectroscopy. J. Phys. Chem. B 106, 11993–11996 (2002).
Rahman, A. & Stillinger, F. H. Hydrogen-bond patterns in liquid water. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 95, 7943–7948 (1973).
Luzar, A. & Chandler, D. Effect of environment on hydrogen bond dynamics in liquid water. Phys. Rev. Lett. 76, 928 (1996).
Eaves, J. D. et al. Hydrogen bonds in liquid water are broken only fleetingly. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 102, 13019–13022 (2005).
Smith, J. D. et al. Unified description of temperature-dependent hydrogen-bond rearrangements in liquid water. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 102, 14171–14174 (2005).
Sanz, E., Vega, C., Abascal, J. L. & MacDowell, L. G. Phase diagram of water from computer simulation. Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 255701 (2004).
Chutia, A., Hamada, I. & Tokuyama, M. Role of lone pair and π-orbital interaction in formation of water nanostructures confined in carbon nanotubes. Chem. Phys. Lett. 550, 118–124 (2012).
Tomo, Y. et al. Superstable ultrathin water film confined in a hydrophilized carbon nanotube. Nano Lett. 18, 1869–1874 (2018).
Takaiwa, D., Hatano, I., Koga, K. & Tanaka, H. Phase diagram of water in carbon nanotubes. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 105, 39–43 (2008).
Vila Verde, A. & Lipowsky, R. Cooperative slowdown of water rotation near densely charged ions is intense but short-ranged. J. Phys. Chem. B 117, 10556–10566 (2013).
Wang, S. et al. An insight into liquid water networks through hydrogen bonding halide anion: stimulated Raman scattering. J. Appl. Phys. 119, 163104 (2016).
Smith, J. D., Saykally, R. J. & Geissler, P. L. The effects of dissolved halide anions on hydrogen bonding in liquid water. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 129, 13847–13856 (2007).
Omta, A. W., Kropman, M. F., Woutersen, S. & Bakker, H. J. Negligible effect of ions on the hydrogen-bond structure in liquid water. Science 301, 347–349 (2003).
Hatakeyema, T., Yamauchi, A. & Hatakeyema, H. Studies on bound water in poly (vinyl alcohol). Hydrogel by DSC and FT-NMR. Eur. Polym. J. 20, 61–64 (1984).
Terada, T., Maeda, Y. & Kitano, H. Raman spectroscopic study on water in polymer gels. J. Phys. Chem. 97, 3619–3622 (1993).
Ping, Z. H., Nguyen, Q. T., Chen, S. M., Zhou, J. Q. & Ding, Y. D. States of water in different hydrophilic polymers—DSC and FTIR studies. Polymer 42, 8461–8467 (2001).
Wang, T. & Gunasekaran, S. State of water in chitosan–PVA hydrogel. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 101, 3227–3232 (2006).
Kudo, K., Ishida, J., Syuu, G., Sekine, Y. & Ikeda-Fukazawa, T. Structural changes of water in poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogel during dehydration. J. Chem. Phys. 140, 044909 (2014).
Sekine, Y. & Ikeda-Fukazawa, T. Structural changes of water in a hydrogel during dehydration. J. Chem. Phys. 130, 034501 (2009).
Hara, K., Masuike, T., Nakamura, A., Okabe, H. & Hiramatsu, N. Raman scattering study during the dehydration process of polyacrylamide gel. Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 34, 5700 (1995).
Hara, K., Masuike, T., Nakamura, A. & Hiramatsu, N. Elastic property and Raman spectrum evolutions during dehydration process of polyacrylamide gel. Phys. B 219, 526–528 (1996).
Zhang, Y. S. & Khademhosseini, A. Advances in engineering hydrogels. Science 356, eaaf3627 (2017).
Ahmed, E. M. Hydrogel: preparation, characterization, and applications: a review. J. Adv. Res. 6, 105–121 (2015).
Zhao, F., Bae, J., Zhou, X., Guo, Y. & Yu, G. Nanostructured functional hydrogels as an emerging platform for advanced energy technologies. Adv. Mater. 30, 1801796 (2018).
Abu-Arabi, M., Al-harahsheh, M., Mousa, H. & Alzghoul, Z. Theoretical investigation of solar desalination with solar still having phase change material and connected to a solar collector. Desalination 448, 60–68 (2018).
Wang, Z. et al. Pathways and challenges for efficient solar-thermal desalination. Sci. Adv. 5, eaax0763 (2019).
Sun, Z. et al. Plasmon based double-layer hydrogel device for a highly efficient solar vapor generation. Adv. Funct. Mater. 29, 1901312 (2019).
Liu, H. et al. High-performance solar steam device with layered channels: artificial tree with a reversed design. Adv. Energy Mater. 8, 1701616 (2018).
Xu, W. et al. Efficient water transport and solar steam generation via radially, hierarchically structured aerogels. ACS Nano 13, 7930–7938 (2019).
Shi, Y. et al. A 3D photothermal structure toward improved energy efficiency in solar steam generation. Joule 2, 1171–1186 (2018).
Gong, F. et al. Scalable, eco-friendly and ultrafast solar steam generators based on one-step melamine-derived carbon sponges toward water purification. Nano Energy 58, 322–330 (2019).
Liu, Z. et al. Continuously producing watersteam and concentrated brine from seawater by hanging photothermal fabrics under sunlight. Adv. Funct. Mater. 29, 1905485 (2019).
Bian, Y. et al. Carbonized bamboos as excellent 3D solar vapor-generation devices. Adv. Mater. Technol. 4, 1800593 (2019).
G.Y. acknowledges the support from the Welch Foundation award F-1861, UT Energy Institute, Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, Sloan Research Fellowship and partially from Lockheed Martin, Corp.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Zhao, F., Guo, Y., Zhou, X. et al. Materials for solar-powered water evaporation. Nat Rev Mater 5, 388–401 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41578-020-0182-4