Volume 3 Issue 8, August 2018

Volume 3 Issue 8

Looking into the lattice

Lithium-rich layered oxides are promising candidate materials for future batteries, but their voltages decay during electrochemical cycling and thus their energies drop. Singer et al. discover links between the voltage decay and lattice dislocations in these oxides (visualized here), allowing them to design an annealing method to re-order the lattice structure and to recover the decayed voltage.

See Singer et al.

Image: Victor O. Leshyk. Cover Design: Lauren Heslop.

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    Increased local energy generation may offer a route to meet climate targets while empowering community groups, but care is still needed to support those vulnerable to energy system change.

Comment & Opinion

  • Comment |

    Fuel poverty is a highly-complex social problem that is currently defined in technical and economic terms that prioritize energy performance measures as solutions. Yet considering the wider societal aspects of the condition demonstrates how adopting dynamic risk-based metrics can drive tailored and holistic folk-first outcomes.

    • Keith J. Baker
    • , Ronald Mould
    •  & Scott Restrick

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Perovskite solar cells are noted for their high performance and ease of synthesis, but are still plagued by concerns over their stability. Researchers are now demonstrating why higher performance and increased stability go hand-in-hand — and how to continue improving both.

    • Aaron T. Fafarman
  • News & Views |

    Voltage fade has been a major barrier to the commercialization of a series of high-energy-density battery electrodes for more than a decade. It is now re-examined with advanced characterization techniques, which find its origin is correlated to oxygen activities.

    • Wanli Yang

Reviews

  • Perspective |

    Positive and negative impacts of energy transitions will not be evenly distributed. In this Perspective, the authors present a framework to map geographic variation in vulnerability from energy policies that can be built on in future work to support just policy-making.

    • Sanya Carley
    • , Tom P. Evans
    • , Michelle Graff
    •  & David M. Konisky
  • Perspective |

    The energy transition has been alternatively characterized as a gradual transformation, a technological disruption or a systemic change. This Perspective argues that the transition is entering a new phase where it has unique characteristics, and research and policy can no longer treat it as a gradual transformation or mere disruption.

    • Jochen Markard

Research

  • Article |

    Investment and policy decisions about low-carbon technologies have been affected by the promise of a ‘unicorn technology’ that may reduce emissions at low costs. Researchers show that such investment delays can have high implications on cost and emissions whether the unicorn technology materializes or not.

    • Clara F. Heuberger
    • , Iain Staffell
    • , Nilay Shah
    •  & Niall Mac Dowell
  • Article |

    Voltage fade is a major obstacle for the efficient use of lithium-rich layered oxide materials in batteries. Here, the authors reveal the link between voltage fade and nucleation of a mobile dislocation network in the oxide nanoparticles, offering design ideas to restore the voltage.

    • A. Singer
    • , M. Zhang
    • , S. Hy
    • , D. Cela
    • , C. Fang
    • , T. A. Wynn
    • , B. Qiu
    • , Y. Xia
    • , Z. Liu
    • , A. Ulvestad
    • , N. Hua
    • , J. Wingert
    • , H. Liu
    • , M. Sprung
    • , A. V. Zozulya
    • , E. Maxey
    • , R. Harder
    • , Y. S. Meng
    •  & O. G. Shpyrko
  • Article |

    Despite their high efficiencies, perovskite solar cells still suffer from degradation issues that impede their practical deployment. Saidaminov et al. explore the effect of local lattice strain on vacancy formation and show that careful choice of dopants plays a key role, enhancing the device stability.

    • Makhsud I. Saidaminov
    • , Junghwan Kim
    • , Ankit Jain
    • , Rafael Quintero-Bermudez
    • , Hairen Tan
    • , Guankui Long
    • , Furui Tan
    • , Andrew Johnston
    • , Yicheng Zhao
    • , Oleksandr Voznyy
    •  & Edward H. Sargent
  • Article |

    Photocatalysts use light to drive chemical reactions; the effective spatial separation of photogenerated charges is key to their performance in solar energy conversion. Here, using surface photovoltage microscopy, the authors show that charges can be separated in photocatalytic particles by asymmetric light irradiation.

    • Ruotian Chen
    • , Shan Pang
    • , Hongyu An
    • , Jian Zhu
    • , Sheng Ye
    • , Yuying Gao
    • , Fengtao Fan
    •  & Can Li
  • Article |

    Achieving transport decarbonization targets depends on vehicle-purchasing decisions. Non-financial consumer preferences presented in six global energy-economy models reveal that diverse policies targeting vehicle buyers are necessary for the widespread adoption of clean technologies.

    • David L. McCollum
    • , Charlie Wilson
    • , Michela Bevione
    • , Samuel Carrara
    • , Oreane Y. Edelenbosch
    • , Johannes Emmerling
    • , Céline Guivarch
    • , Panagiotis Karkatsoulis
    • , Ilkka Keppo
    • , Volker Krey
    • , Zhenhong Lin
    • , Eoin Ó Broin
    • , Leonidas Paroussos
    • , Hazel Pettifor
    • , Kalai Ramea
    • , Keywan Riahi
    • , Fuminori Sano
    • , Baltazar Solano Rodriguez
    •  & Detlef P. van Vuuren
  • Article |

    Non-flammable electrolytes such as phosphates offer safety advantages for batteries, but they are prone to decomposition when coupled with graphite anodes. Here, the authors report a phosphate with a high salt-to-solvent ratio that displays high stability as well as compatibility with graphite in a commercial 18650-type cell.

    • Ziqi Zeng
    • , Vijayakumar Murugesan
    • , Kee Sung Han
    • , Xiaoyu Jiang
    • , Yuliang Cao
    • , Lifen Xiao
    • , Xinping Ai
    • , Hanxi Yang
    • , Ji-Guang Zhang
    • , Maria L. Sushko
    •  & Jun Liu
  • Article |

    Interfacial losses between device layers play a key role in determining characteristics of solar cells. Jeon et al. address this in perovskite solar cells by synthesizing a hole-transporting layer that is better matched to the surrounding layers, and show high-efficiency and high-stability devices.

    • Nam Joong Jeon
    • , Hyejin Na
    • , Eui Hyuk Jung
    • , Tae-Youl Yang
    • , Yong Guk Lee
    • , Geunjin Kim
    • , Hee-Won Shin
    • , Sang Il Seok
    • , Jaemin Lee
    •  & Jangwon Seo
  • Article |

    Voltage decay is a major problem in applications of high-energy Li- and Mn-rich layer-structured battery materials. Here, the authors report the evolution of redox couples as the origin of the voltage decay and discuss strategies to suppress the problem.

    • Enyuan Hu
    • , Xiqian Yu
    • , Ruoqian Lin
    • , Xuanxuan Bi
    • , Jun Lu
    • , Seongmin Bak
    • , Kyung-Wan Nam
    • , Huolin L. Xin
    • , Cherno Jaye
    • , Daniel A. Fischer
    • , Kahlil Amine
    •  & Xiao-Qing Yang

Amendments & Corrections

  • Author Correction |

    • David L. McCollum
    • , Wenji Zhou
    • , Christoph Bertram
    • , Harmen-Sytze de Boer
    • , Valentina Bosetti
    • , Sebastian Busch
    • , Jacques Després
    • , Laurent Drouet
    • , Johannes Emmerling
    • , Marianne Fay
    • , Oliver Fricko
    • , Shinichiro Fujimori
    • , Matthew Gidden
    • , Mathijs Harmsen
    • , Daniel Huppmann
    • , Gokul Iyer
    • , Volker Krey
    • , Elmar Kriegler
    • , Claire Nicolas
    • , Shonali Pachauri
    • , Simon Parkinson
    • , Miguel Poblete-Cazenave
    • , Peter Rafaj
    • , Narasimha Rao
    • , Julie Rozenberg
    • , Andreas Schmitz
    • , Wolfgang Schoepp
    • , Detlef van Vuuren
    •  & Keywan Riahi