Energy science and technology articles within Nature


  • Perspective |

    Efforts to find renewable alternatives to fossil fuels that might enable a carbon-neutral society by 2050 are described, as well as outlining a possible roadmap towards a refinery of the future and evaluating its requirements.

    • Eelco T. C. Vogt
    •  & Bert M. Weckhuysen
  • Article |

    The introduction of chemical short-range disorder substantially affects the crystal structure of layered lithium oxide cathodes, leading to improved charge transfer and structural stability.

    • Qidi Wang
    • , Zhenpeng Yao
    •  & Chenglong Zhao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A study introduces a novel method to grow single-crystal Cu2O thin films with selected crystal orientations, highlighting enhanced bulk carrier mobility and carrier diffusion length along the [111] direction that yields Cu2O photocathodes with improved performance.

    • Linfeng Pan
    • , Linjie Dai
    •  & Samuel D. Stranks
  • Article |

    Using a three-pronged approach — spanning field-driven negative capacitance stabilization to increase intrinsic energy storage, antiferroelectric superlattice engineering to increase total energy storage, and conformal three-dimensional deposition to increase areal energy storage density — very high electrostatic energy storage density and power density are reported in HfO2–ZrO2-based thin film microcapacitors integrated into silicon.

    • Suraj S. Cheema
    • , Nirmaan Shanker
    •  & Sayeef Salahuddin
  • Article |

    Use of a chain-ether-based solvent instead of tetrahydrofuran for lithium-mediated nitrogen reduction enables long-term continuous ammonia electrosynthesis with high efficiency and improved gas-phase ammonia distribution.

    • Shaofeng Li
    • , Yuanyuan Zhou
    •  & Ib Chorkendorff
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A synergistic dopant-additive combination strategy using methylammonium chloride as the dopant and a Lewis-basic ionic-liquid additive is shown to enable the fabrication of perovskite solar modules achieving record certified performance and long-term operational stability.

    • Bin Ding
    • , Yong Ding
    •  & Mohammad Khaja Nazeeruddin
  • Article |

    Calendar ageing of lithium metal batteries in the discharged state improves capacity retention through isolated lithium recovery, which is in contrast with the capacity degradation observed during charged state calendar ageing.

    • Wenbo Zhang
    • , Philaphon Sayavong
    •  & Yi Cui
  • Article |

    We investigate the mechanism underlying the sulfur reduction reaction that plays a central role in high-capacity lithium sulfur batteries, highlighting the electrocatalytic approach as a promising strategy for tackling the fundamental challenges associated with these batteries.

    • Rongli Liu
    • , Ziyang Wei
    •  & Xiangfeng Duan
  • Article |

    We develop a proton-exchange membrane system that reduces CO2 to formic acid at a catalyst that is derived from waste lead–acid batteries and in which a lattice carbon activation mechanism contributes.

    • Wensheng Fang
    • , Wei Guo
    •  & Bao Yu Xia
  • Article |

    A study reports a combination of processing, optimization and low-damage deposition methods for the production of silicon heterojunction solar cells exhibiting flexibility and high performance.

    • Yang Li
    • , Xiaoning Ru
    •  & Zongping Shao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Single-cycle terahertz pumps are used to impulsively trigger ionic hopping in battery solid electrolytes, probing ion transport at its fastest limit and demonstrating the connection between activated transport and the thermodynamics of information.

    • Andrey D. Poletayev
    • , Matthias C. Hoffmann
    •  & Aaron M. Lindenberg
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Satellite imagery, vessel GPS data and deep-learning models are used to map industrial fishing vessel activities missing from public tracking systems and changes in offshore energy infrastructure in the world’s coastal waters during 2017–2021.

    • Fernando S. Paolo
    • , David Kroodsma
    •  & Patrick Halpin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A Sobol attribution analysis unveils the roles of mitigation targets, model differences and scenario assumptions in shaping climate policy scenario outcomes.

    • Mark M. Dekker
    • , Andries F. Hof
    •  & Detlef P. van Vuuren
  • Article |

    A miniaturized narrow-channel in-plane electrochemical capacitor shows drastically reduced ionic resistances within both the electrode material and the electrolyte and an ultrahigh areal capacitance by downscaling the channel width with femtosecond-laser scribing.

    • Yajie Hu
    • , Mingmao Wu
    •  & Liangti Qu
  • Article |

    The inclusion of a Mg–Bi-based interlayer between the lithium metal and solid electrolyte and a F-rich interlayer on the cathode improves the stability and performance of solid-state lithium-metal batteries.

    • Hongli Wan
    • , Zeyi Wang
    •  & Chunsheng Wang
  • Article |

    An independently certified power conversion efficiency of 32.5% for perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells is achieved through improved charge transfer at the amorphous indium zinc oxide interconnecting layer and reduced optical losses at the front and rear electrodes.

    • Erkan Aydin
    • , Esma Ugur
    •  & Stefaan De Wolf
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Analysis of a large dataset of scanning transmission X-ray microscopy images of carbon-coated lithium iron phosphate nanoparticles shows that the heterogeneous reaction kinetics of battery materials can be learned from such videos pixel by pixel.

    • Hongbo Zhao
    • , Haitao Dean Deng
    •  & Martin Z. Bazant
  • Article |

    A route to greatly elevate joint densities of states by introducing a flat-band electronic structure is demonstrated, showing metallic λ-Ti3O5 powders have a high solar absorptivity and offering insights into access to cost-effective solar-to-steam generation.

    • Bo Yang
    • , Zhiming Zhang
    •  & Liang Zuo
  • Article |

    Lead-free perovskite light-emitting diodes (LEDs) prepared using tautomeric mixture coordination provide improved ordering in the crystal structure, reduced recombination and enhanced exciton binding energy compared with lead-containing perovskite-based LEDs.

    • Dongyuan Han
    • , Jie Wang
    •  & Ning Wang
  • Article |

    By combining O2/H2O redox electrolysis with a modular solid-electrolyte reactor, a design for continuous electrochemical carbon capture showing high capture rates, high Faradaic efficiencies and low energy consumption is demonstrated.

    • Peng Zhu
    • , Zhen-Yu Wu
    •  & Haotian Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Using a heralded single-photon source along with coincidence counting, we establish time correlation functions for B800 excitation and B850 fluorescence emission and demonstrate that both events involve single photons.

    • Quanwei Li
    • , Kaydren Orcutt
    •  & K. Birgitta Whaley
  • Article |

    Analysis of dendrite initiation, owing to filling of pores with lithium by means of microcracks, and propagation, caused by wedge opening, shows that there are two separate processes during dendrite failure of lithium metal solid-state batteries.

    • Ziyang Ning
    • , Guanchen Li
    •  & Peter G. Bruce
  • Perspective |

    An analysis of chemical processes to immobilize lead from perovskite solar cells is presented, highlighting the need for a standard lead-leakage test and mathematical model to reliably evaluate the potential environmental risk of perovskite optoelectronics.

    • Hui Zhang
    • , Jin-Wook Lee
    •  & Nam-Gyu Park
  • Article |

    A dimethylacridine-based molecular doping process is used to construct a well-matched p-perovskite/indium tin oxide contact, along with all-round passivation of grain boundaries, achieving a certified power conversion efficiency of 25.39%.

    • Qin Tan
    • , Zhaoning Li
    •  & Zhubing He
  • Article |

    The state of charge, mechanical strain and temperature within lithium-ion 18650 cells operated at high rates are characterized and operando temperature rise is observed to be due to heat accumulation, strongly influenced by cell design and charging protocol.

    • T. M. M. Heenan
    • , I. Mombrini
    •  & P. R. Shearing
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Microsecond infrared spectroscopy together with quantum chemistry reveal the rate-determining proton and electron movements and identify an oxygen-radical state of the manganese cluster as the S4 state.

    • Paul Greife
    • , Matthias Schönborn
    •  & Holger Dau
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A new strategy to separate radioactive americium from lanthanides based on complexation with polyoxometalates and ultrafiltration technique is highly efficient and rapid, does not involve any organic components and requires minimal energy input.

    • Hailong Zhang
    • , Ao Li
    •  & Shuao Wang
  • Article |

    A self-assembled monolayer of (4-(7H-dibenzo[c,g]carbazol-7-yl)butyl)phosphonic acid is integrated in wide-bandgap perovskite solar cells, which enables a high power conversion efficiency and low open-circuit voltage deficiency, as well as efficient centimetre-scale all-perovskite tandem solar cells.

    • Rui He
    • , Wanhai Wang
    •  & Dewei Zhao
  • Article |

    In situ grazing-incidence wide-angle X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy were used to evaluate the crystallization process and surface morphology of perovskite thin films coated with alkylammonium chlorides, which were used to fabricate high-efficiency perovskite solar cells.

    • Jaewang Park
    • , Jongbeom Kim
    •  & Sang Il Seok
  • Article |

    An efficient and scalable direct seawater electrolysis method for hydrogen production that addresses the side-reaction and corrosion problems associated with using seawater instead of pure water is demonstrated.

    • Heping Xie
    • , Zhiyu Zhao
    •  & Zongping Shao
  • Article |

    Because open-circuit voltage deficit is greater in wide-bandgap perovskite solar cells, the authors introduce diammonium molecules to modify perovskite surface states and achieve a more uniform spatial distribution of surface potential, enabling record voltage all-perovskite tandem solar cells.

    • Hao Chen
    • , Aidan Maxwell
    •  & Edward H. Sargent
  • Article |

    Using a stable and viscosity-tunable perovskite ink, a hybrid perovskite thin-film photovoltaic device can be deposited by the screen-printing method, which exhibits higher efficiency compared with previously investigated techniques.

    • Changshun Chen
    • , Jianxin Chen
    •  & Wei Huang
  • Article |

    A new approach to charging energy-dense electric vehicle batteries, using temperature modulation with a dual-salt electrolyte, promises a range in excess of 500,000 miles using only rapid (under 12 minute) charges.

    • Chao-Yang Wang
    • , Teng Liu
    •  & Brian D. McCarthy