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solar energy

Cai-Rong Zhang, Xing-Yu Li, Yu-Lin Shen, Youzhi Wu, Zi-Jiang Liu, Hongshan Chen
Novel dye sensitizers are highly expected in the development of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) since dye sensitizers can significantly affect the power conversion efficiency (PCE). Here, the molecular docking strategy is applied to design panchromatic dye sensitizers for DSSCs in order to improve light-harvesting efficiency covering the full solar spectrum. Considering the broad absorption bands of tetraanthracenylporphyrins (TAnPs) and tetraazuleneporphyrins (TAzPs), based upon porphyrin dye sensitizer YD2-o-C8, the panchromatic dye sensitizers coded as H2(TAnP)-α, H2(TAzP)-γ, H2(TAzP)-ε, and H2(TAzP)-δ are designed by the substitution of the porphyrin-ring in YD2-o-C8 with TAnPs and TAzPs moieties at different positions...
March 20, 2017: Journal of Physical Chemistry. A
Valerio Sarritzu, Nicola Sestu, Daniela Marongiu, Xueqing Chang, Sofia Masi, Aurora Rizzo, Silvia Colella, Francesco Quochi, Michele Saba, Andrea Mura, Giovanni Bongiovanni
Metal-halide perovskite solar cells rival the best inorganic solar cells in power conversion efficiency, providing the outlook for efficient, cheap devices. In order for the technology to mature and approach the ideal Shockley-Queissier efficiency, experimental tools are needed to diagnose what processes limit performances, beyond simply measuring electrical characteristics often affected by parasitic effects and difficult to interpret. Here we study the microscopic origin of recombination currents causing photoconversion losses with an all-optical technique, measuring the electron-hole free energy as a function of the exciting light intensity...
March 20, 2017: Scientific Reports
Gururaj P Kini, Sora Oh, Zaheer Abbas, Shafket Rasool, Muhammad Jahandar, Chang Eun Song, Sang Kyu Lee, Won Suk Shin, Won-Wook So, Jong-Cheol Lee
A series of four donor-acceptor alternating copolymers based on dialkyloxy-benzothiadiazole (ROBT) as an acceptor and thienoacenes as a donor units were synthesized and tested for polymer solar cells (PSCs). These new polymers had different donor units with varied electron-donating ability (thieno[3,2-b]thiophene (TT), dithieno[3,2-b:2',3'-d]thiophene (DTT), benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b']dithiophene (BDT) and naphtha[1,2-b:5,6-b']dithiophene (NDT)) in the polymer backbone. To understand the effect of these thienoacenes on the optoelectronic and photovoltaic properties of the copolymers, we systematically analyzed and compared energy levels, crystallinity, morphology, charge recombination and charge carrier mobility in the resulting polymers...
March 20, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Raquel Rondão, Ana Frias, Sandra Correia, Lianshe Fu, Verónica de Zea Bermudez, Paulo André, Rute A S Ferreira, Luis D Carlos
Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) appear as candidates to enhance the performance of photovoltaic (PV) cells and contribute to reduce the size of PV systems, decreasing, therefore, the amount of material needed, and thus the cost associated with energy conversion. One way to maximize the devices performance is to explore near infrared (NIR)-emitting centers, resonant with the maximum optical response of the most common Si-based PV cells. Nevertheless, very few examples in the literature demonstrate the feasibility of fabricating LSCs emitting in the NIR region...
March 20, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Jum Suk Jang, Mahadeo A Mahadik, Arunprabaharan Subramanian, Min Cho, Hee-Suk Chung
CdS sensitized 1D Zr:Fe2O3 nanorod arrays have been synthesized on fluorine-doped tin oxide substrates via a two-step hydrothermal method. The photoelectrochemical results demonstrate that the current density (4.2 at 0 V (vs. Ag/AgCl) recorded under illumination for the CdS/1D Zr:Fe2O3 photoanodes is 2.8 time higher than the bare 1D Zr:Fe2O3. The extended absorbance spectrum, the reduced recombination, and the effective transport of photogenerated holes in CdS to the electrolyte facilitate enhancement in photoelectrochemical performance...
March 20, 2017: ChemSusChem
Zongquan Gu, Dominic Imbrenda, Andrew L Bennett-Jackson, Matthias Falmbigl, Adrian Podpirka, Thomas C Parker, Daniel Shreiber, Mathew P Ivill, Vladimir M Fridkin, Jonathan E Spanier
We show how finite-size scaling of a bulk photovoltaic effect-generated electric field in epitaxial ferroelectric insulating BaTiO_{3}(001) films and a photo-Hall response involving the bulk photovoltaic current reveal a large room-temperature mean free path of photogenerated nonthermalized electrons. Experimental determination of mesoscopic ballistic optically generated carrier transport opens a new paradigm for hot electron-based solar energy conversion, and for facile control of ballistic transport distinct from existing low-dimensional semiconductor interfaces, surfaces, layers, or other structures...
March 3, 2017: Physical Review Letters
Yoshikazu Hirose, Atsushi Itadani, Takahiro Ohkubo, Hideki Hashimoto, Jun Takada, Shigeharu Kittaka, Yasushige Kuroda
A nitrogen-doped TiO2 sample was prepared at 413 K by direct hydrothermal treatment of titanium isopropoxide in an aqueous solution of NH3. This new material has a large specific surface area of ca. 220 m(2) g(-1) because of its tubular structure and it exhibits a prominent absorption feature in the region between 400 and 650 nm. It responds strongly to light in the visible region, which is key to its potential performance as a photocatalyst that may improve the efficiency for utilization of solar energy. Actually, this sample exhibits very efficient activity in the decomposition of CH3COOH under visible light among the samples prepared...
March 17, 2017: Dalton Transactions: An International Journal of Inorganic Chemistry
Johannes Hagen Krümpel, Lukas Illi, Andreas Lemmer
In consequence of a growing share of solar and wind power, recent research on biogas production highlighted a need for demand-orientated, flexible gas production to provide grid services and enable a decentralized stabilization of the electricity infrastructure. Two-staged anaerobic digestion is particularly suitable for shifting the methane production into times of higher demand due to the spatio-temporal separation of hydrolysis and methanogenesis. To provide a basis for predicting gas production in an Anaerobic Filter, kinetic parameters of gas production have been determined experimentally in this study...
March 17, 2017: Environmental Technology
Wook Jin Kim, Sun-Mi Lee, Youngsoon Um, Sang Jun Sim, Han Min Woo
Cyanobacteria are oxygenic photosynthetic prokaryotes that are able to assimilate CO2 using solar energy and water. Metabolic engineering of cyanobacteria has suggested the possibility of direct CO2 conversion to value-added chemicals. However, engineering of cyanobacteria has been limited due to the lack of various genetic tools for expression and control of multiple genes to reconstruct metabolic pathways for biochemicals from CO2. Thus, we developed SyneBrick vectors as a synthetic biology platform for gene expression in Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 as a model cyanobacterium...
2017: Frontiers in Plant Science
Stefan Ilic, Marija R Zoric, Usha Pandey Kadel, Yunjing Huang, Ksenija D Glusac
Metal-free motifs, such as graphitic carbon nitride, conjugated polymers, and doped nanostructures, are emerging as a new class of Earth-abundant materials for solar fuel devices. Although these metal-free structures show great potential, detailed mechanistic understanding of their performance remains limited. Here, we review important experimental and theoretical findings relevant to the role of metal-free motifs as either photoelectrodes or electrocatalysts. First, the light-harvesting characteristics of metal-free photoelectrodes (band energetics, exciton binding energies, charge carrier mobilities and lifetimes) are discussed and contrasted with those in traditional inorganic semiconductors (such as Si)...
March 15, 2017: Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Ming-Chung Yang, Akhilesh Kumar Sharma, W M Chamil Sameera, Keiji Morokuma, Ming-Der Su
The addition reaction of M(Cl)(CO)(PPh3)2 (M = Rh, Ir) and M(PPh3)2 (M = Pd, Pt) fragments with X@C60 (X = 0, Li+) were characterized by density functional theory (DFT) and the artificial force-induced reaction (AFIR) method. The calculated free energy profiles suggested that the η2[6:6]-addition is the most favorable reaction, which is consistent with the experimental observations. In the presence of Li+ ion, the reaction is highly exothermic, leading to η2[6:6] product of L4IrLi+@C60. In contrast, an endothermic reaction was observed in the absence of a Li+ ion...
March 16, 2017: Journal of Physical Chemistry. A
Jin Soo Kang, Jin Kim, Myeong Jae Lee, Yoon Jun Son, Juwon Jeong, Dong Young Chung, Ahyoun Lim, Heeman Choe, Hyun S Park, Yung-Eun Sung
Photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells are promising tools for renewable and sustainable solar energy conversion. Currently, their inadequate performance and high cost of the noble metals used in the electrocatalytic counter electrode have postponed the practical use of PEC cells. In this study, we report the electrochemical synthesis of nanoporous tungsten carbide and its application as a reduction catalyst in PEC cells, namely, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) and PEC water splitting cells, for the first time...
March 16, 2017: Nanoscale
Tingting Qian, Jinhong Li, Wuwei Feng, Hong'en Nian
A striking contrast in the thermal conductivities of polyethylene glycol (PEG)/diatomite form-stable phase change composite (fs-PCC) with single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNs) as nano-additive has been reported in our present study. Compared to the pure PEG, the thermal conductivity of the prepared fs-PCC has increased from 0.24 W/mK to 0.87 W/Mk with a small SWCNs loading of 2 wt%. SWCNs are decorated on the inner surface of diatomite pores whilst retaining its porous structure. Compared to PEG/diatomite fs-PCC, the melting and solidification time of the PEG/diatomite/SWCNs fs-PCC are respectively decreased by 54...
March 16, 2017: Scientific Reports
Elisabet Romero, Vladimir I Novoderezhkin, Rienk van Grondelle
Photosynthesis is the natural process that converts solar photons into energy-rich products that are needed to drive the biochemistry of life. Two ultrafast processes form the basis of photosynthesis: excitation energy transfer and charge separation. Under optimal conditions, every photon that is absorbed is used by the photosynthetic organism. Fundamental quantum mechanics phenomena, including delocalization, underlie the speed, efficiency and directionality of the charge-separation process. At least four design principles are active in natural photosynthesis, and these can be applied practically to stimulate the development of bio-inspired, human-made energy conversion systems...
March 15, 2017: Nature
Artiom Magomedov, Nobuya Sakai, Egidijus Kamarauskas, Marius Franckevičius, Gabrielė Jokubauskaitė, Vygintas Jankauskas, Henry J Snaith, Vytautas Getautis
Perovskite solar cells are considered as promising technology for solar energy conversion with the power conversion efficiencies, currently exceeding 20%. In the majority of the record devices Spiro-OMeTAD is used for the positive charge extraction and transport layer. Although, a number of alternative hole transporting materials with different aromatic or heteroaromatic fragments have already been synthesized, a cheap and well performing hole transporting material is still in huge demand. In this work we present two-step synthesis of a novel carbazole-based hole transporting material...
March 16, 2017: Chemistry, An Asian Journal
Yu Hou, Shuang Yang, Xiao Chen, Chunzhong Li, Huijun Zhao, Huagui Yang
Recently, fully covered and smooth perovskite films can be fabricated by optimized coating methods, however, it is still hard to prepare perovskite films with large grain size and high crystallinity. Given the fact that thermal energy can promote crystallization, we combine the application of solvent with high boiling point and high temperature crystallization, which produce high quality perovskite films with micrometer sized grains. We further investigated the temperature dependence of the thermal induced synthetic strategy that the grains become larger as the temperature elevated...
March 16, 2017: Chemistry: a European Journal
Bin Kan, Huanran Feng, Xiangjian Wan, Feng Liu, Xin Ke, Yanbo Wang, Yunchuang Wang, Hongtao Zhang, Chenxi Li, Jianhui Hou, Yongsheng Chen
A new acceptor-donor-acceptor (A-D-A) type small molecule, namely NFBDT, with a heptacyclic benzodi(cyclopentadithiophene) (FBDT) unit based on BDT as the central building block, was designed and synthesized. Its optical, electrical, thermal properties and photovoltaic performances were systematically investigated. NFBDT exhibits a low optical bandgap of 1.56 eV resulting in wide and efficient absorption in the range from 600 to 800 nm, and suitable energy levels as an electron acceptor. With the widely used and successful wide bandgap polymer PBDB-T selected as the donor material, an optimized PCE of 10...
March 16, 2017: Journal of the American Chemical Society
A Salhi, F S Baklouti, F Godeferd, T Lehner, C Cambon
Magnetic Archimedes Coriolis (MAC) waves are omnipresent in several geophysical and astrophysical flows such as the solar tachocline. In the present study, we use linear spectral theory (LST) and investigate the energy partition, scale by scale, in MAC weak wave turbulence for a Boussinesq fluid. At the scale k^{-1}, the maximal frequencies of magnetic (Alfvén) waves, gravity (Archimedes) waves, and inertial (Coriolis) waves are, respectively, V_{A}k,N, and f. By using the induction potential scalar, which is a Lagrangian invariant for a diffusionless Boussinesq fluid [Salhi et al...
February 2017: Physical Review. E
Juan L Delgado, Rafael Sandoval-Torrientes, Nazario Martín, Ramón Tena-Zaera, Silvia Collavini, Ivet Kosta, Jorge Pascual, Inés García-Benito
A variety of novel chemically modified fullerenes, showing different electron accepting capabilities, has been synthesized and used to prepare electron transport layer(ETL)-free solar cells based on perovskite:fullerene blends. In particular, isoxazolino[60] fullerenes are proven to be a good candidate for processing blend films with CH3NH3PbI3 and obtaining enhanced power conversion efficiency (PCE) ETL-free perovskite solar cells, improving state-of-the-art PCE (i.e. 14.3%) for this simplified device architecture...
March 15, 2017: ChemSusChem
Qichen Yuan, Dong Liu, Ning Zhang, Wei Ye, Huanxin Ju, Lei Shi, Ran Long, Junfa Zhu, Yujie Xiong
Z-scheme water splitting is a promising approach based on high-performance photocatalysis by harvesting broadband solar energy. Its efficiency depends on the well-defined interfaces between two semiconductors for the charge kinetics and their exposed surfaces for chemical reactions. Herein, we report a facile cation-exchange approach to obtain compounds with both properties without the need for noble metals by forming Janus-like structures consisting of γ-MnS and Cu7 S4 with high-quality interfaces. The Janus-like γ-MnS/Cu7 S4 structures displayed dramatically enhanced photocatalytic hydrogen production rates of up to 718 μmol g(-1)  h(-1) under full-spectrum irradiation...
March 15, 2017: Angewandte Chemie
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