Energy science and technology

  • Article |

    A simple acid treatment can improve high-temperature annealed electrolyte surfaces, resulting in improved performance and stability at lower temperatures for protonic ceramic fuel/electrolysis cells, offering new understanding for sustainable energy infrastructures.

    • Wenjuan Bian
    • , Wei Wu
    •  & Dong Ding
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Two-junction TPV cells with efficiencies of more than 40% are reported, using an emitter with a temperature between 1,900 and 2,400 °C, for integration into a TPV system for thermal energy grid storage.

    • Alina LaPotin
    • , Kevin L. Schulte
    •  & Asegun Henry
  • Article |

    A metastable palladium hydride is synthesized where the unique environment in the liquid cell, namely the limited quantity of Pd precursors and the continuous supply of H, resulted in the formation of the hcp phase.

    • Jaeyoung Hong
    • , Jee-Hwan Bae
    •  & Dong Won Chun
  • Perspective |

    The concept of 'Embodied Energy'—in which the components of a robot or device both store energy and provide a mechanical or structural function—is put forward, along with specific robot-design principles.

    • Cameron A. Aubin
    • , Benjamin Gorissen
    •  & Robert F. Shepherd
  • Perspective |

    The economic, technical, environmental and safety requirements of battery-powered aircraft are considered, and promising technologies and future prospects for battery innovation are discussed.

    • Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan
    • , Alan H. Epstein
    •  & Michael Winter
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A burning plasma, a critical step towards self-sustaining fusion, is achieved at the US National Ignition Facility, with a subset of experiments demonstrating fusion self-heating beyond radiation and conduction losses.

    • A. B. Zylstra
    • , O. A. Hurricane
    •  & G. B. Zimmerman
  • Article |

    Carbon-neutral hydrocarbon fuels can be produced using sunlight and air via a thermochemical solar fuel production chain, thus representing a pathway towards the long-term decarbonization of the aviation sector.

    • Remo Schäppi
    • , David Rutz
    •  & Aldo Steinfeld
  • Article |

    A global energy system model finds that planned fossil fuel extraction is inconsistent with limiting global warming to 1.5 °C, because the majority of fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground.

    • Dan Welsby
    • , James Price
    •  & Paul Ekins
  • Article |

    Rechargeable Na/Cl2 and Li/Cl2 batteries are produced with a microporous carbon positive electrode, aluminium chloride in thionyl chloride as the electrolyte, and either sodium or lithium as the negative electrode.

    • Guanzhou Zhu
    • , Xin Tian
    •  & Hongjie Dai
  • Article |

    A multidisciplinary method for managing triggered seismicity is developed using detailed subsurface information to calibrate geomechanical and earthquake source physics models, and is applied to the Val d’Agri oil field in seismically active southern Italy.

    • Bradford H. Hager
    • , James Dieterich
    •  & Andreas Plesch
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective reviews the recent technical developments in the components of the fuel cell stack in proton-exchange membrane fuel cell vehicles and outlines the road towards large-scale commercialization of such vehicles.

    • Kui Jiao
    • , Jin Xuan
    •  & Michael D. Guiver
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective discusses how high-energy-density physics could tap the potential of AI-inspired algorithms for extracting relevant information and how data-driven automatic control routines may be used for optimizing high-repetition-rate experiments.

    • Peter W. Hatfield
    • , Jim A. Gaffney
    •  & Ben Williams
  • Article |

    An environmentally friendly, all-organic radical battery is demonstrated, in which redox-active polypeptides perform as both cathode and anode materials, with a metal-free organic electrolyte.

    • Tan P. Nguyen
    • , Alexandra D. Easley
    •  & Karen L. Wooley
  • Article |

    A diversity-oriented synthesis approach that yields a library of architecturally broad microporous polymers is used to develop structurally diverse polymer membranes with ion specificity and to screen their properties.

    • Miranda J. Baran
    • , Mark E. Carrington
    •  & Brett A. Helms
  • Article |

    Incorporation of the pseudo-halide anion formate during the fabrication of α-FAPbI3 perovskite films eliminates deleterious iodide vacancies, yielding solar cell devices with a certified power conversion efficiency of 25.21 per cent and long-term operational stability.

    • Jaeki Jeong
    • , Minjin Kim
    •  & Jin Young Kim
  • Article |

    Highly active but durable perovskite-based solid oxide fuel cell cathodes are realized using a thermal-expansion offset, achieving full thermo-mechanical compatibility between the cathode and other cell components.

    • Yuan Zhang
    • , Bin Chen
    •  & Zongping Shao
  • Article |

    An improved device design for perovskite-based photovoltaic cells enables a certified power conversion efficiency of 25.2 per cent, translating to 80.5 per cent of the thermodynamic limit for its bandgap, which approaches those achieved by silicon solar cells.

    • Jason J. Yoo
    • , Gabkyung Seo
    •  & Jangwon Seo
  • Article |

    γ-ray spectroscopy experiments on the origin of spin in the products of nuclear fission of spin-zero nuclei suggest that the fission fragments acquire their spin after scission, rather than before.

    • J. N. Wilson
    • , D. Thisse
    •  & S. Ziliani
  • Article |

    An air gap embedded within the structure of a thermophotovoltaic device acts as a near-perfect reflector of low-energy photons, resulting in their recovery and recycling by the thermal source, enabling excellent power-conversion efficiency.

    • Dejiu Fan
    • , Tobias Burger
    •  & Stephen R. Forrest
  • Article |

    A mobile robot autonomously operates analytical instruments in a wet chemistry laboratory, performing a photocatalyst optimization task much faster than a human would be able to.

    • Benjamin Burger
    • , Phillip M. Maffettone
    •  & Andrew I. Cooper
  • Article |

    Using lead-absorbing materials to coat the front and back of perovskite solar cells can prevent lead leaching from damaged devices, without affecting the device performance or long-term operation stability.

    • Xun Li
    • , Fei Zhang
    •  & Tao Xu
  • Article |

    A new type of energy-harvesting device, based on protein nanowires from the microbe Geobacter sulforreducens, can generate a sustained power output by producing a moisture gradient across the nanowire film using natural humidity.

    • Xiaomeng Liu
    • , Hongyan Gao
    •  & Jun Yao
  • Article |

    Electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 over copper can be made highly selective by ‘tuning’ the copper surface with adsorbed organic molecules to stabilize intermediates for carbon-based fuels such as ethylene

    • Fengwang Li
    • , Arnaud Thevenon
    •  & Edward H. Sargent
  • Article |

    A carrier-resolved photo-Hall technique is developed to extract properties of both majority and minority carriers simultaneously and determine the critical parameters of semiconductor materials under light illumination.

    • Oki Gunawan
    • , Seong Ryul Pae
    •  & Byungha Shin