Volume 5 Issue 5, May 2020

Volume 5 Issue 5

Effective defects

Defects are normally detrimental to the power conversion efficiency of solar cells. Du et al. show that in quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells charge-trapping defects assist photoconversion and increase efficiency by supporting charge transfer to the electrodes.

See Du et al.

Image: Jun Du Cover Design: Thomas Phillips

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    Policy should pay closer attention to the increasing body of research on the links between energy, climate and health.

Comment & Opinion

  • Comment |

    The COVID-19 pandemic and associated changes in social and economic conditions may affect the prevalence of energy insecurity. Essential relief must be provided to the growing number of households that are energy insecure and protect them from even more dire circumstances caused by utility disconnections and unpaid energy bills.

    • Michelle Graff
    •  & Sanya Carley

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Low-cost, efficient hydrogen production via water electrolysis is expected to be an important part of a future hydrogen economy. Towards this end, new polymers with high stability are demonstrated and paired with low-cost, earth-abundant metal catalysts in alkaline membrane electrolyzers.

    • William E. Mustain
    •  & Paul A. Kohl
  • News & Views |

    Microsized battery anodes such as silicon offer cost advantages over nanosized counterparts but suffer from poor cycling stability. Now, an electrolyte design is reported to enable a LiF-rich solid–electrolyte interphase that stabilizes microsized silicon over a reasonably long cycle life.

    • Jiangyan Wang
    •  & Yi Cui
  • News & Views |

    The power conversion efficiency of solar cells sensitized with colloidal quantum dots is believed to be limited by surface defects. Research now finds that photocarriers trapped at shallow defect states can actually be recovered and ultimately contribute to device efficiency.

    • Iván Mora-Seró

Policy Brief

  • Policy Brief |

    Retiring, transitioning or installing more stringent emissions controls in coal-fired power plants has the potential to decrease asthma attacks and asthma-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations in nearby communities. These health co-benefits should be considered in policy and decision making about coal-fired power plant retirement or retrofit.

    • Joan A. Casey
    • , Jason G. Su
    • , Lucas R. F. Henneman
    • , Corwin Zigler
    • , Andreas M. Neophytou
    • , Ralph Catalano
    • , Rahul Gondalia
    • , Yu-Ting Chen
    • , Leanne Kaye
    • , Sarah S. Moyer
    • , Veronica Combs
    • , Grace Simrall
    • , Ted Smith
    • , James Sublett
    •  & Meredith A. Barrett

Reviews

  • Review Article |

    Production of hydrogen fuel by electrolysis of low-grade or saline water, as opposed to pure water, could have benefits in terms of resource availability and cost. This Review examines the challenges of this approach and how they can be addressed through catalyst and electrolyser design.

    • Wenming Tong
    • , Mark Forster
    • , Fabio Dionigi
    • , Sören Dresp
    • , Roghayeh Sadeghi Erami
    • , Peter Strasser
    • , Alexander J. Cowan
    •  & Pau Farràs

Research

  • Article |

    Anion exchange membrane water electrolysers have potential cost advantages over proton exchange membrane electrolysers, but their performance has lagged behind. Here the authors investigate the cause of the poor performance of anion exchange membrane electrolysers and design ionomers that can overcome some of the challenges.

    • Dongguo Li
    • , Eun Joo Park
    • , Wenlei Zhu
    • , Qiurong Shi
    • , Yang Zhou
    • , Hangyu Tian
    • , Yuehe Lin
    • , Alexey Serov
    • , Barr Zulevi
    • , Ehren Donel Baca
    • , Cy Fujimoto
    • , Hoon T. Chung
    •  & Yu Seung Kim
  • Article |

    Chunsheng Wang and colleagues develop an electrolyte strategy to enable the use of commercially available microsized alloys, such as Si–Li, as high-performance battery anodes. They ascribe its success to the formation of robust LiF-rich layers as the solid–electrolyte interface.

    • Ji Chen
    • , Xiulin Fan
    • , Qin Li
    • , Hongbin Yang
    • , M. Reza Khoshi
    • , Yaobin Xu
    • , Sooyeon Hwang
    • , Long Chen
    • , Xiao Ji
    • , Chongyin Yang
    • , Huixin He
    • , Chongmin Wang
    • , Eric Garfunkel
    • , Dong Su
    • , Oleg Borodin
    •  & Chunsheng Wang
  • Article |

    Transition from coal to gas, retrofitting and retirement of coal power plants are expected to reduce air pollution and therefore have positive health effects. Casey et al. present direct evidence of this phenomenon by reporting improved asthma outcomes in the wake of coal plant closure and retrofit in Louisville, Kentucky.

    • Joan A. Casey
    • , Jason G. Su
    • , Lucas R. F. Henneman
    • , Corwin Zigler
    • , Andreas M. Neophytou
    • , Ralph Catalano
    • , Rahul Gondalia
    • , Yu-Ting Chen
    • , Leanne Kaye
    • , Sarah S. Moyer
    • , Veronica Combs
    • , Grace Simrall
    • , Ted Smith
    • , James Sublett
    •  & Meredith A. Barrett

Amendments & Corrections