Articles

  • Article |

    Extensive efforts have recently been geared towards developing all-solid-state batteries largely because of their potential to enable high-energy-density Li anodes. Here, the authors report a high-performance lithium pouch cell with no excess lithium, enabled by just a dual-salt liquid electrolyte.

    • Rochelle Weber
    • , Matthew Genovese
    • , A. J. Louli
    • , Samuel Hames
    • , Cameron Martin
    • , Ian G. Hill
    •  & J. R. Dahn
  • Article |

    Improvements in building envelope performance and onsite power generation are key to enabling zero-energy buildings. Here, Svetozarevic et al. present an adaptive solar facade driven by soft robotic solar trackers that allow both the modulation of daylight penetration and energy generation.

    • Bratislav Svetozarevic
    • , Moritz Begle
    • , Prageeth Jayathissa
    • , Stefan Caranovic
    • , Robert F. Shepherd
    • , Zoltan Nagy
    • , Illias Hischier
    • , Johannes Hofer
    •  & Arno Schlueter
  • Article |

    Air pollution has significant effects on human health and well-being, but also on the ability of solar panels to produce energy. Sweerts et al. find that the loss in potential solar electricity generation in China, due to increased pollution from industrialization from the 1960s onwards, could amount to 14 TWh in 2016 and 51–74 TWh by 2030.

    • Bart Sweerts
    • , Stefan Pfenninger
    • , Su Yang
    • , Doris Folini
    • , Bob van der Zwaan
    •  & Martin Wild
  • Article |

    Adsorbing natural gas in porous materials is a potential storage alternative to conventional approaches based on liquefaction or compression, but higher capacities are required for commercial viability. Here, the authors employ porous covalent organic polymers that are flexible but robust, leading to high storage capacities and cyclability.

    • Vepa Rozyyev
    • , Damien Thirion
    • , Ruh Ullah
    • , Joosung Lee
    • , Minji Jung
    • , Hyunchul Oh
    • , Mert Atilhan
    •  & Cafer T. Yavuz
  • Article |

    Voltage hysteresis plagues several important families of battery electrodes, yet our understanding of its thermochemical properties remains poor. Here, the authors use isothermal calorimetry to measure the thermal effects of voltage hysteresis in a lithium-rich layered cathode and propose a mechanism for oxygen redox.

    • Gaurav Assat
    • , Stephen L. Glazier
    • , Charles Delacourt
    •  & Jean-Marie Tarascon
  • Article |

    The performance of Li-ion batteries deteriorates at elevated temperatures due to increased activity of electrode materials and parasitic reactions. Here Yi Cui and colleagues report much-improved battery cyclability at 60 °C and use cryo-electron microscopy to shed light on the origin of the phenomenon.

    • Jiangyan Wang
    • , William Huang
    • , Allen Pei
    • , Yuzhang Li
    • , Feifei Shi
    • , Xiaoyun Yu
    •  & Yi Cui
  • Article |

    Real-world conditions under which solar cells operate can be different from standard testing conditions. Tress et al. investigate the effects of temperature and irradiation on the performance of a perovskite cell and a reference silicon cell, reproducing real weather conditions in the laboratory.

    • Wolfgang Tress
    • , Konrad Domanski
    • , Brian Carlsen
    • , Anand Agarwalla
    • , Essa A. Alharbi
    • , Michael Graetzel
    •  & Anders Hagfeldt
  • Article |

    Lead leakage from damaged perovskite solar cells poses a challenge to the deployment of such technology. Here, Jiang, Qiu and co-workers quantify lead leakage caused by a simulated hail impact under a number of weather conditions and show that self-healing encapsulations can effectively reduce it.

    • Yan Jiang
    • , Longbin Qiu
    • , Emilio J. Juarez-Perez
    • , Luis K. Ono
    • , Zhanhao Hu
    • , Zonghao Liu
    • , Zhifang Wu
    • , Lingqiang Meng
    • , Qijing Wang
    •  & Yabing Qi
  • Article |

    While thicker battery electrodes are in high demand to maximize energy density, mechanical instability is a major hurdle in their fabrication. Here the authors report that segregated carbon nanotube networks enable thick, high-capacity electrodes for a range of materials including Si and NMC.

    • Sang-Hoon Park
    • , Paul J. King
    • , Ruiyuan Tian
    • , Conor S. Boland
    • , João Coelho
    • , Chuanfang (John) Zhang
    • , Patrick McBean
    • , Niall McEvoy
    • , Matthias P. Kremer
    • , Dermot Daly
    • , Jonathan N. Coleman
    •  & Valeria Nicolosi
  • Article |

    LiCoO2 is a widely used cathode material in Li-ion batteries for applications such as portable electronics. Here, the authors report multiple-element doping to enable stable cycling of LiCoO2 at high voltages that are not yet accessible with commercial Li-ion batteries.

    • Jie-Nan Zhang
    • , Qinghao Li
    • , Chuying Ouyang
    • , Xiqian Yu
    • , Mingyuan Ge
    • , Xiaojing Huang
    • , Enyuan Hu
    • , Chao Ma
    • , Shaofeng Li
    • , Ruijuan Xiao
    • , Wanli Yang
    • , Yong Chu
    • , Yijin Liu
    • , Huigen Yu
    • , Xiao-Qing Yang
    • , Xuejie Huang
    • , Liquan Chen
    •  & Hong Li
  • Article |

    Biomass can be used to scavenge photogenerated holes in photocatalytic hydrogen production, but the oxidized molecules that form are not always useful products. Here, the authors use Ru-ZnIn2S4 to photocatalyse the dehydrogenative C−C coupling of lignocellulose-derived methylfurans, forming both hydrogen and diesel fuel precursors.

    • Nengchao Luo
    • , Tiziano Montini
    • , Jian Zhang
    • , Paolo Fornasiero
    • , Emiliano Fonda
    • , Tingting Hou
    • , Wei Nie
    • , Jianmin Lu
    • , Junxue Liu
    • , Marc Heggen
    • , Long Lin
    • , Changtong Ma
    • , Min Wang
    • , Fengtao Fan
    • , Shengye Jin
    •  & Feng Wang
  • Article |

    Some of the best electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction in alkaline electrolysers are based on oxides of nickel and iron. Here, the authors demonstrate that the water oxidation performance of such catalysts can be enhanced by application of a magnetic field from a permanent magnet.

    • Felipe A. Garcés-Pineda
    • , Marta Blasco-Ahicart
    • , David Nieto-Castro
    • , Núria López
    •  & José Ramón Galán-Mascarós
  • Article |

    Isolating metal atoms on supports is becoming an increasingly studied approach to design water splitting electrocatalysts. Here, the authors prepare a hydrogen evolution catalyst comprising atomically dispersed Pt atoms on curved carbon supports, which outperform similar catalysts where the support is flat.

    • Daobin Liu
    • , Xiyu Li
    • , Shuangming Chen
    • , Huan Yan
    • , Changda Wang
    • , Chuanqiang Wu
    • , Yasir A. Haleem
    • , Sai Duan
    • , Junling Lu
    • , Binghui Ge
    • , Pulickel M. Ajayan
    • , Yi Luo
    • , Jun Jiang
    •  & Li Song
  • Article |

    Manufacturing high-performing solid electrolytes at low processing temperature requires improved techniques. Here Jennifer Rupp and colleagues report a ceramic processing strategy, using Li3N multilayers as a lithium reservoir for the formation of lithium–garnet films, significantly reducing the operating temperature while maintaining the ionic conductivity.

    • Reto Pfenninger
    • , Michal Struzik
    • , Iñigo Garbayo
    • , Evelyn Stilp
    •  & Jennifer L. M. Rupp
  • Article |

    Intensive efforts are underway towards developing battery-based grid-scale storage technologies. Here, the authors report an aqueous K-ion battery that offers many attractive advantages over various battery alternatives.

    • Liwei Jiang
    • , Yaxiang Lu
    • , Chenglong Zhao
    • , Lilu Liu
    • , Jienan Zhang
    • , Qiangqiang Zhang
    • , Xing Shen
    • , Junmei Zhao
    • , Xiqian Yu
    • , Hong Li
    • , Xuejie Huang
    • , Liquan Chen
    •  & Yong-Sheng Hu
  • Article |

    Much has been said about the high-energy, long-lasting potential of Li metal batteries, and yet little has been demonstrated at the cell scale. Here, Jun Liu and colleagues demonstrate a Li metal pouch cell with a 300 Wh kg−1 energy density and a 200-cycle lifetime.

    • Chaojiang Niu
    • , Hongkyung Lee
    • , Shuru Chen
    • , Qiuyan Li
    • , Jason Du
    • , Wu Xu
    • , Ji-Guang Zhang
    • , M. Stanley Whittingham
    • , Jie Xiao
    •  & Jun Liu
  • Article |

    Selenium in cadmium telluride solar cells is known to allow bandgap engineering, thus enabling highly efficient devices. Here, Fiducia et al. show that selenium also plays a role in passivating defects in the absorber layer.

    • Thomas A. M. Fiducia
    • , Budhika G. Mendis
    • , Kexue Li
    • , Chris R. M. Grovenor
    • , Amit H. Munshi
    • , Kurt Barth
    • , Walajabad S. Sampath
    • , Lewis D. Wright
    • , Ali Abbas
    • , Jake W. Bowers
    •  & John M. Walls
  • Article |

    Intensive research efforts are underway to enable applications of layered lithium transition metal oxides in batteries. Here the authors report an oxidative chemical vapour deposition technique to conformally coat both the primary and the secondary particles of these oxides to unleash potential applications.

    • Gui-Liang Xu
    • , Qiang Liu
    • , Kenneth K. S. Lau
    • , Yuzi Liu
    • , Xiang Liu
    • , Han Gao
    • , Xinwei Zhou
    • , Minghao Zhuang
    • , Yang Ren
    • , Jiadong Li
    • , Minhua Shao
    • , Minggao Ouyang
    • , Feng Pan
    • , Zonghai Chen
    • , Khalil Amine
    •  & Guohua Chen
  • Article |

    Defects and defect migration are detrimental for perovskite solar cell efficiency and long-term stability. Li et al. show that fluoride is able to suppress the formation of halide anion and organic cation vacancy defects by restraining the relative ions via ionic and hydrogen bonds.

    • Nengxu Li
    • , Shuxia Tao
    • , Yihua Chen
    • , Xiuxiu Niu
    • , Chidozie K. Onwudinanti
    • , Chen Hu
    • , Zhiwen Qiu
    • , Ziqi Xu
    • , Guanhaojie Zheng
    • , Ligang Wang
    • , Yu Zhang
    • , Liang Li
    • , Huifen Liu
    • , Yingzhuo Lun
    • , Jiawang Hong
    • , Xueyun Wang
    • , Yuquan Liu
    • , Haipeng Xie
    • , Yongli Gao
    • , Yang Bai
    • , Shihe Yang
    • , Geert Brocks
    • , Qi Chen
    •  & Huanping Zhou
  • Article |

    For photo-electrochemical hydrogen production to become viable on a large scale, not only efficiency but also power density must be optimized. Here, the authors explore the impact of thermal integration on photo-electrochemical devices driven by concentrated solar irradiation and design one that operates with high efficiency and power density output.

    • Saurabh Tembhurne
    • , Fredy Nandjou
    •  & Sophia Haussener
  • Article |

    Carbon capture and storage can help reduce fossil-fuel power-plant emissions. Here the authors show that the energy return on input of thermal plants with carbon capture is in general lower than the energy return of most types of renewable energy even when combined with energy storage.

    • Sgouris Sgouridis
    • , Michael Carbajales-Dale
    • , Denes Csala
    • , Matteo Chiesa
    •  & Ugo Bardi
  • Article |

    A key challenge for hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cells is the development of membranes with both high ionic conductivity and mechanical strength. Here the authors report a high-performance family of poly(aryl piperidinium) membranes enabling promising durability and power density.

    • Junhua Wang
    • , Yun Zhao
    • , Brian P. Setzler
    • , Santiago Rojas-Carbonell
    • , Chaya Ben Yehuda
    • , Alina Amel
    • , Miles Page
    • , Lan Wang
    • , Keda Hu
    • , Lin Shi
    • , Shimshon Gottesfeld
    • , Bingjun Xu
    •  & Yushan Yan
  • Article |

    The ever-increasing applications for Li-ion batteries in markets call for environmentally friendly and energy-efficient recycling technologies. Here the authors report using a deep eutectic solvent to extract valuable components of Li-ion batteries.

    • Mai K. Tran
    • , Marco-Tulio F. Rodrigues
    • , Keiko Kato
    • , Ganguli Babu
    •  & Pulickel M. Ajayan
  • Article |

    Despite tremendous progress in the development of LiS batteries, their performance at the full-cell level is not as competitive as state-of-the-art Li-ion batteries. Here the authors report a full-cell architecture making use of a hybrid intercalation-conversion cathode, enabling both high volumetric and gravimetric energy densities.

    • Weijiang Xue
    • , Zhe Shi
    • , Liumin Suo
    • , Chao Wang
    • , Ziqiang Wang
    • , Haozhe Wang
    • , Kang Pyo So
    • , Andrea Maurano
    • , Daiwei Yu
    • , Yuming Chen
    • , Long Qie
    • , Zhi Zhu
    • , Guiyin Xu
    • , Jing Kong
    •  & Ju Li
  • Article |

    Oxygen evolution is one half of the overall water splitting reaction to produce hydrogen. Although this reaction is well studied, there remains debate over the particulars of the catalytic mechanism. Here, the authors investigate Co–Zn oxyhydroxide electrocatalysts, and suggest that the mechanism depends on the amount of Zn2+ they contain.

    • Zhen-Feng Huang
    • , Jiajia Song
    • , Yonghua Du
    • , Shibo Xi
    • , Shuo Dou
    • , Jean Marie Vianney Nsanzimana
    • , Cheng Wang
    • , Zhichuan J. Xu
    •  & Xin Wang
  • Article |

    Accurately predicting battery lifetime is difficult, and a prediction often cannot be made unless a battery has already degraded significantly. Here the authors report a machine-learning method to predict battery life before the onset of capacity degradation with high accuracy.

    • Kristen A. Severson
    • , Peter M. Attia
    • , Norman Jin
    • , Nicholas Perkins
    • , Benben Jiang
    • , Zi Yang
    • , Michael H. Chen
    • , Muratahan Aykol
    • , Patrick K. Herring
    • , Dimitrios Fraggedakis
    • , Martin Z. Bazant
    • , Stephen J. Harris
    • , William C. Chueh
    •  & Richard D. Braatz
  • Article |

    Planning of electric power systems often does not consider the potential for, and possible effects of, conflict and socio-political strife. Here, using a case study of South Sudan, researchers develop and implement a framework for power system planning in fragile and conflict-affected states.

    • E. Spyrou
    • , B. F. Hobbs
    • , M. D. Bazilian
    •  & D. Chattopadhyay
  • Article |

    Reversible electrochemical cells can operate in both fuel cell and electrolysis modes to interconvert between chemical and electrical energy. Here, Duan et al. design a reversible protonic ceramic electrochemical cell that operates stably at 500–600 °C, with high Faradaic and round-trip efficiencies, by minimizing electronic leakage.

    • Chuancheng Duan
    • , Robert Kee
    • , Huayang Zhu
    • , Neal Sullivan
    • , Liangzhu Zhu
    • , Liuzhen Bian
    • , Dylan Jennings
    •  & Ryan O’Hayre
  • Article |

    Driven by solar light, photoelectrocatalytic cells can convert CO2 into energy carriers, but strategies to improve their performance are still required. Here the authors combine molecular and semiconductor p–n junctions that have complementary absorption in the visible light range to convert CO2 to formate efficiently.

    • Bing Shan
    • , Srinivas Vanka
    • , Ting-Ting Li
    • , Ludovic Troian-Gautier
    • , M. Kyle Brennaman
    • , Zetian Mi
    •  & Thomas J. Meyer
  • Article |

    High-performance polymer electrolytes are highly sought after in the development of solid-state batteries. Lynden Archer and co-workers report an in situ polymerization of liquid electrolytes in a lithium battery for creating promising polymer electrolytes with high ionic conductivity and low interfacial resistance.

    • Qing Zhao
    • , Xiaotun Liu
    • , Sanjuna Stalin
    • , Kasim Khan
    •  & Lynden A. Archer
  • Article |

    Effects from electrolytes on supercapacitor electrodes, especially pseudocapacitive materials, are important but often overlooked. Gogotsi and colleagues demonstrate strong influences from electrolyte solvents on charge-storage processes in a titanium carbide and identify a best-performing electrode/electrolyte couple for supercapacitors.

    • Xuehang Wang
    • , Tyler S. Mathis
    • , Ke Li
    • , Zifeng Lin
    • , Lukas Vlcek
    • , Takeshi Torita
    • , Naresh C. Osti
    • , Christine Hatter
    • , Patrick Urbankowski
    • , Asia Sarycheva
    • , Madhusudan Tyagi
    • , Eugene Mamontov
    • , Patrice Simon
    •  & Yury Gogotsi
  • Article |

    Metal-based smart windows allow for light and heat transmission control but suffer from poor metal ion diffusion over large areas. Here, the authors demonstrate a 100 cm2 window that is uniformly switchable from clear to black in 60 s by combining reversible metal electrodeposition with ion insertion.

    • Shakirul M. Islam
    • , Tyler S. Hernandez
    • , Michael D. McGehee
    •  & Christopher J. Barile
  • Article |

    Maintaining a pH gradient across a fuel cell improves device efficiency and flexibility in device chemistry. Here the authors develop an efficient microscale bipolar interface for direct borohydride fuel cells, enabling sustained operations with a pH differential between the anolyte and the catholyte.

    • Zhongyang Wang
    • , Javier Parrondo
    • , Cheng He
    • , Shrihari Sankarasubramanian
    •  & Vijay Ramani
  • Article |

    Hydrogen fuel, produced from renewable power, could be critical in the decarbonization of the electricity and transportation sectors. Here, a thorough economic analysis shows that hydrogen obtained from wind power is already cost competitive in niche applications and may become widely competitive in the foreseeable future.

    • Gunther Glenk
    •  & Stefan Reichelstein
  • Article |

    The growing deployment of solar panels in urban areas requires tools to determine their optimal placement and electricity yield. Towards this end, this study presents a simplified model based on the sky view and sun coverage factors and validates it using real-world data from different systems in different climates.

    • Andres Calcabrini
    • , Hesan Ziar
    • , Olindo Isabella
    •  & Miro Zeman
  • Article |

    Carrier recombination limits the power conversion efficiency of perovskite solar cells. Here the authors construct a planar p–n homojunction perovskite solar cell to promote the oriented transport of carriers and reduce recombination, thus enabling power conversion efficiency of 21.3%.

    • Peng Cui
    • , Dong Wei
    • , Jun Ji
    • , Hao Huang
    • , Endong Jia
    • , Shangyi Dou
    • , Tianyue Wang
    • , Wenjing Wang
    •  & Meicheng Li
  • Article |

    This Article presents a battery with protons as the charge carrier, as opposed to Li-ion batteries, which rely on the transport of Li-ions. Protons are conducted by means of the Grotthuss mechanism in a hydrated Prussian blue analogue electrode, offering potential for ultrafast rate and long-life batteries.

    • Xianyong Wu
    • , Jessica J. Hong
    • , Woochul Shin
    • , Lu Ma
    • , Tongchao Liu
    • , Xuanxuan Bi
    • , Yifei Yuan
    • , Yitong Qi
    • , T. Wesley Surta
    • , Wenxi Huang
    • , Joerg Neuefeind
    • , Tianpin Wu
    • , P. Alex Greaney
    • , Jun Lu
    •  & Xiulei Ji
  • Article |

    Blockchain-based distributed management of electricity systems is an important step towards making these systems more resilient. Although there are many implementations, here the researchers formalize a basic template for smart contracts that can be built upon for distributed electricity systems management.

    • Lee Thomas
    • , Yue Zhou
    • , Chao Long
    • , Jianzhong Wu
    •  & Nick Jenkins
  • Article |

    Luminescent solar concentrators are promising for semi-transparent, building-integrated photovoltaic systems. Here the authors minimize the absorption losses by relying on fast energy transfer in multiphase perovskite nanoplatelets to achieve optical quantum efficiency of 26% on 100 cm2 devices.

    • Mingyang Wei
    • , F. Pelayo García de Arquer
    • , Grant Walters
    • , Zhenyu Yang
    • , Li Na Quan
    • , Younghoon Kim
    • , Randy Sabatini
    • , Rafael Quintero-Bermudez
    • , Liang Gao
    • , James Z. Fan
    • , Fengjia Fan
    • , Aryeh Gold-Parker
    • , Michael F. Toney
    •  & Edward H. Sargent
  • Article |

    Compressed-air energy storage could be a useful inter-seasonal storage resource to support highly renewable power systems. This study presents a modelling approach to assess the potential for such storage in porous rocks and, applying it to the UK, finds availability of up to 96 TWh in offshore saline aquifers.

    • Julien Mouli-Castillo
    • , Mark Wilkinson
    • , Dimitri Mignard
    • , Christopher McDermott
    • , R. Stuart Haszeldine
    •  & Zoe K. Shipton
  • Article |

    Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) are increasingly being explored as electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution and reduction reactions, which are important processes in electrolysers and fuel cells. Here, the authors increase the activity of MOFs for these reactions by introducing strain into the lattice using UV light illumination.

    • Weiren Cheng
    • , Xu Zhao
    • , Hui Su
    • , Fumin Tang
    • , Wei Che
    • , Hui Zhang
    •  & Qinghua Liu
  • Article |

    Despite its importance in lithium batteries, the mechanism of Li dendrite growth is not well understood. Here the authors study three representative solid electrolytes with neutron depth profiling and identify high electronic conductivity as the root cause for the dendrite issue.

    • Fudong Han
    • , Andrew S. Westover
    • , Jie Yue
    • , Xiulin Fan
    • , Fei Wang
    • , Miaofang Chi
    • , Donovan N. Leonard
    • , Nancy J. Dudney
    • , Howard Wang
    •  & Chunsheng Wang
  • Article |

    Thermomagnetic generators exploit magnetic flux and temperature differences across magnetocaloric materials to generate electricity from waste heat. Waske et al. present a device based on a pretzel-like magnetic-field topology that leads to a higher power output than previous, simpler, topologies.

    • Anja Waske
    • , Daniel Dzekan
    • , Kai Sellschopp
    • , Dietmar Berger
    • , Alexander Stork
    • , Kornelius Nielsch
    •  & Sebastian Fähler
  • Article |

    Integrating electrocatalytic H2 production with biological H2-fed systems for CO2 upgrading requires H2 generation to occur in biocompatible media—typically with neutral pH. Here, the authors design multi-site H2 evolution catalysts that minimize the water dissociation barrier and promote hydride coupling in neutral media.

    • Cao-Thang Dinh
    • , Ankit Jain
    • , F. Pelayo García de Arquer
    • , Phil De Luna
    • , Jun Li
    • , Ning Wang
    • , Xueli Zheng
    • , Jun Cai
    • , Benjamin Z. Gregory
    • , Oleksandr Voznyy
    • , Bo Zhang
    • , Min Liu
    • , David Sinton
    • , Ethan J. Crumlin
    •  & Edward H. Sargent
  • Article |

    The oxygen reduction reaction, catalysed by platinum, is a crucial process in the operation of fuel cells, but the mechanistic pathways through which it occurs remain a matter for debate. Here, the authors use in situ Raman spectroscopy to identify key intermediates for this reaction at different atomically flat platinum surfaces, shedding light on the mechanism.

    • Jin-Chao Dong
    • , Xia-Guang Zhang
    • , Valentín Briega-Martos
    • , Xi Jin
    • , Ji Yang
    • , Shu Chen
    • , Zhi-Lin Yang
    • , De-Yin Wu
    • , Juan Miguel Feliu
    • , Christopher T. Williams
    • , Zhong-Qun Tian
    •  & Jian-Feng Li
  • Article |

    Large variations exist in the revenue prediction of grid-scale storage due to uncertainties in operations of storage technologies. Here the authors integrate the economic evaluation of energy storage with key battery parameters for a realistic measure of revenues.

    • D. M. Davies
    • , M. G. Verde
    • , O. Mnyshenko
    • , Y. R. Chen
    • , R. Rajeev
    • , Y. S. Meng
    •  & G. Elliott