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This month we look at lihium metal batteries, photoelectrodes for fuel production, thermal energy storage, solid-state cooling, public engagement in energy transition and extremes in energy systems.  

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    • The current mainstream photovoltaic technology used in industry has a power conversion efficiency above 23% in mass production but major further improvements are challenging. Researchers now demonstrate a 26% efficiency by implementing passivating contacts on double-side contacted solar cells.

      • Robby Peibst
      News & Views
    • The development of metallic anodes for next-generation high-energy batteries is largely hindered by dendritic growth issues. Now, an interface between metals and substrates is engineered to facilitate their strong chemical bonding, leading to uniform metal deposition and high battery cycling reversibility.

      • Edward Matios
      • Weiyang Li
      News & Views
    • Flow batteries based on, for example, polysulfide suffer severe performance deterioration due to active species crossover in membranes. Now, a charge-reinforced ion-selective membrane is designed to support long-term cycling of polysulfide redox flow batteries by blocking the crossover.

      • Wei Wang
      News & Views
    • Fuel cells are increasingly being considered for powertrains of heavy-duty transportation. Cullen et al. survey the technical challenges of fuel cells at both the system and materials level for transportation application and outline the roadmap for future development.

      • David A. Cullen
      • K. C. Neyerlin
      • Ahmet Kusoglu
      Review Article
    • Alkali metal electrodes paired with solid electrolyte separators show great promise in improving the energy density, safety and cost of batteries. Now, a deeper understanding of the effect of metal mechanical properties on a key failure mode creates opportunities for improved cycling performance.

      • Paul Albertus
      News & Views
  • 11 March 2021 marked the tenth anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Today, without better public engagement and understanding of nuclear power generation and its role in the energy system mix, progress on Japan’s post-carbon strategy will remain stagnant.

    • Midori Aoyagi
    Comment
  • Lithium cobalt oxide was the first commercially successful cathode for the lithium-ion battery mass market. Its success directly led to the development of various layered-oxide compositions that dominate today’s automobile batteries.

    • Arumugam Manthiram
    • John B. Goodenough
    Tales of Invention
  • The milestones in rechargeable lithium-ion battery development have been widely reported but the first-hand accounts from inventors have often not been. We aim to bring their personal stories to wider attention with a new article series.

    Editorial
  • It is now almost 50 years since the first rechargeable lithium batteries, based on the reversible intercalation of lithium into layered structured titanium disulfide, were conceived. They were the precursor to the structurally related layered oxides that now dominate energy storage for electronics, the grid and vehicles.

    • M. Stanley Whittingham
    Tales of Invention
  • We celebrate our fifth birthday this issue, with some reflections on the journey from 2016 to today.

    Editorial
  • To mark the fifth anniversary of Nature Energy, past and present editors share their take on some favourite papers.

    • Changjun (Alex) Zhang
    • Elisa De Ranieri
    • Giulia Tregnago
    Feature
Social Dynamics of Energy Behaviour

Social Dynamics of Energy Behaviour

Energy use occurs in homes, workplaces and communities in which complex webs of social relations already exist, and social interactions routinely occur.
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