Volume 1 Issue 12 December 2016

Volume 1 Issue 12

A solar window of opportunity

Luminescent solar concentrators absorb light at certain wavelengths and re-emit it at longer ones, and can be exploited for building-integrated photovoltaic applications. Li et al. build luminescent solar concentrators using quantum dots and large-area glass slabs (as seen here), which they incorporate with photovoltaic panels to construct solar energy-harvesting windows.

See Li et al. 1, 16157 (2016).

Image: Kaifeng Wu. Cover design: Alex Wing.


  • Editorial |

    Decarbonization of heat is a difficult challenge — with many interdependent factors — but one that is increasingly urgent for energy researchers to tackle.

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News and Views |

    Catalysing the oxygen evolution reaction is central to electrochemical energy conversion technologies such as electrolysis, but the high cost of state-of-the-art precious metal oxide electrocatalysts hinders commercialization. Now, thin sheets of a metal–organic framework are shown to provide a high-performing, cheaper alternative.

    • Elise M. Miner
    •  & Mircea Dincă
  • News and Views |

    The US Clean Power Plan establishes detailed CO2 emissions reductions targets at state level with a flexible framework for implementation. This flexibility is intended to spur innovation and economic efficiency, but a study finds that it creates vast uncertainties around both the implementation of the rule and subsequent impacts.

    • Nadejda Victor
  • News and Views |

    Tin-based perovskite solar cells are less toxic than their lead-based counterparts, but suffer from severe stability issues due to the susceptibility of tin to oxidation. Now, a CsSnI3 perovskite solar cell with a SnCl2 additive is shown to exhibit remarkable stability.

    • Kai Shum
    •  & Anna Tsatskina


  • Review Article |

    Following on from ITER, a fusion demonstration reactor will be needed to showcase the commercial viability of fusion energy. To guide preliminary design considerations, this Review explores safety gaps that must be filled between current fission reactors, ITER and future fusion reactors.

    • Y. Wu
    • , Z. Chen
    • , L. Hu
    • , M. Jin
    • , Y. Li
    • , J. Jiang
    • , J. Yu
    • , C. Alejaldre
    • , E. Stevens
    • , K. Kim
    • , D. Maisonnier
    • , A. Kalashnikov
    • , K. Tobita
    • , D. Jackson
    •  & D. Perrault


  • Article |

    Luminescent solar concentrators can be used to harvest sunlight over large areas at low cost, and are promising for building-integrated photovoltaics. Li et al. fabricate such devices from silica-coated colloidal quantum dots having internal quantum efficiencies over 10% on tens of centimetres.

    • Hongbo Li
    • , Kaifeng Wu
    • , Jaehoon Lim
    • , Hyung-Jun Song
    •  & Victor I. Klimov
  • Article |

    Biofuel prices depend on related commodities—such as corn, sugar cane and palm oil—but their connection to other non-feedstock commodities is less well explored. Filip et al. analyse a data set of 33 commodities and assets and examine their relationships to biofuels in Brazil, the US and Europe.

    • Ondrej Filip
    • , Karel Janda
    • , Ladislav Kristoufek
    •  & David Zilberman
  • Article |

    Intermittent renewable sources provide an ever-greater share of electricity, which changes the variability of the net load. This study models different renewables combinations over different timescales for the Nordic power system and shows how the optimal mix depends on the frequency band of the fluctuations.

    • Jon Olauson
    • , Mohd Nasir Ayob
    • , Mikael Bergkvist
    • , Nicole Carpman
    • , Valeria Castellucci
    • , Anders Goude
    • , David Lingfors
    • , Rafael Waters
    •  & Joakim Widén
  • Article |

    Efficient electrocatalysts for the oxygen–evolution reaction are desired due to their importance in applications such as water splitting and metal–air batteries. Here, the authors engineer ultrathin metal–organic frameworks that require low overpotential to generate oxygen from alkaline media.

    • Shenlong Zhao
    • , Yun Wang
    • , Juncai Dong
    • , Chun-Ting He
    • , Huajie Yin
    • , Pengfei An
    • , Kun Zhao
    • , Xiaofei Zhang
    • , Chao Gao
    • , Lijuan Zhang
    • , Jiawei Lv
    • , Jinxin Wang
    • , Jianqi Zhang
    • , Abdul Muqsit Khattak
    • , Niaz Ali Khan
    • , Zhixiang Wei
    • , Jing Zhang
    • , Shaoqin Liu
    • , Huijun Zhao
    •  & Zhiyong Tang