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solar energy

Hongpeng Zhou, Shixin Xu, Dingke Zhang, Shijian Chen, Junkai Deng
Making full use of solar energy and achieving high charge separation efficiency are critical factors for the photocatalysis technique. In this work, we report core-shell structured fibrous phosphorus (f-P) coated P-doped Cr2O3 (Cr2O3:P@f-P) hybrid composites with a strong optical absorption in the full region of 200-2600 nm. The Cr2O3:P@f-P hybrid composites exhibit a record photocatalytic efficiency under UV, visible and near-infrared light irradiation, demonstrating as promising photocatalysts for the full utilization of solar energy...
February 21, 2017: Nanoscale
Huimin Jia, Beibei Zhang, Weiwei He, Yong Xiang, Zhi Zheng
The rational design of high performance hetero-structure photovoltaic devices requires a full understanding of the photoinduced charge transfer mechanism and kinetics at the interface of heterojunctions. In this paper, we intelligently fabricated p-BiOBr/n-CdS heterojunctions with perfect nanosheet arrays by using a facile successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction and chemical bath deposition methods at low temperature. A BiOBr/CdS heterojunction based solar cell has been fabricated which exhibited enhanced photovoltaic responses...
February 21, 2017: Nanoscale
Jingxiang Low, Jiaguo Yu, Mietek Jaroniec, Swelm Wageh, Ahmed A Al-Ghamdi
Semiconductor-based photocatalysis attracts wide attention because of its ability to directly utilize solar energy for production of solar fuels, such as hydrogen and hydrocarbon fuels and for degradation of various pollutants. However, the efficiency of photocatalytic reactions remains low due to the fast electron-hole recombination and low light utilization. Therefore, enormous efforts have been undertaken to solve these problems. Particularly, properly engineered heterojunction photocatalysts are shown to be able to possess higher photocatalytic activity because of spatial separation of photogenerated electron-hole pairs...
February 21, 2017: Advanced Materials
Ting Liao, Ziqi Sun, Shi Xue Dou
Low solar energy harvesting and conversion efficiency has become a major problem in solar energy science and engineering owing to the difficulty in capturing solar energy across the wide solar spectrum, especially in the visible light range. Inspired by the extraordinary properties of materials arising from decreased dimensions, in this study, we explore a nano-contact system formed by a two-dimensional (2D) TiO2 monolayer and II-VI semiconductor (CdX)13 (X = S, Se and Te) nanocages for engineering the visible light absorption...
February 20, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Isaac Kwame Attah, Abdel-Rahman Soliman, Sean P Platt, Michael Meot-Ner Mautner, Saaudallah G Aziz, M Samy El-Shall
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polycyclic aromatic nitrogen heterocyclics (PANHs) are present in ionizing environments, including interstellar clouds and solar nebulae, where their ions can interact with neutral PAH and PANH molecules leading to the formation of a variety of complex organics including large N-containing ions. Herein, we report on the formation of a covalently-bonded (benzene·pyrimidine) radical cation dimer by the gas phase reaction of pyrimidine with the benzene radical cation at room temperature using the mass-selected ion mobility technique...
February 20, 2017: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics: PCCP
Pavel Majumdar, Deepak Pant, Snehangshu Patra
Recent breakthroughs have reinvigorated the century-old research domain of artificial photosynthesis. Here, we highlight CO2-reducing and O2-liberating integrated photobioelectrochemical systems that contain novel enzymatic cathodes and photoanodes. These devices, which are completely self-driven by solar energy with unprecedented efficiency and stability, have important implications for biotechnological research communities.
February 16, 2017: Trends in Biotechnology
Vladimir V Shubin, Irina V Terekhova, Yulia V Bolychevtseva, Eithar El-Mohsnawy, Matthias Rögner, Werner Mäntele, Marta J Kopczak, Enela Džafić
The performance of solar energy conversion into alternative energy sources in artificial systems highly depends on the thermostability of photosystem I (PSI) complexes Terasaki et al. (2007), Iwuchukwu et al. (2010), Kothe et al. (2013) . To assess the thermostability of PSI complexes from the thermophilic cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus heating induced perturbations on the level of secondary structure of the proteins were studied. Changes were monitored by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectra in the mid-IR region upon slow heating (1°C per minute) of samples in D2O phosphate buffer (pD 7...
February 6, 2017: Spectrochimica Acta. Part A, Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Jianming Zhang, Yue Huang, Lei Jin, Federico Rosei, Fiorenzo Vetrone, Jerome P Claverie
We report the two-step synthesis of a core@shell nanohybrid material for visible-to-near-infrared (NIR) photocatalysis. The core is constituted of NaGdF4:Er(3+), Yb(3+) upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs). A bismuth ferrite (BFO) shell is assembled around the UCNPs via a hydrothermal process. The photocatalytic degradation assays of organic compounds of methylene orange and 4-chlorophenol reveal that core@shell nanostructures possess remarkably enhanced reaction activity under visible and NIR irradiation, compared to the BFO powder alone and the BFO-UCNP mixture...
February 17, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Nikita Gupta, K D Mallikharjuna Rao, Ritu Gupta, Frederik C Krebs, Giridhar U Kulkarni
Despite relatively high manufacturing cost, crystalline-Si solar cell continues to hold promising future due to its high energy conversion efficiency and long life. As regards cost, one pertinent issue is the top electrode metallization of textured cell surface, which typically involves screen printing of silver paste. The associated disadvantages call for alternative methods that can lower the cost without compromising the solar cell efficiency. In the present work, a highly interconnected one dimensional (1D) metal wire network has been employed as front electrode on conventional Si wafers...
February 17, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Xiaoqing Jiang, Ze Yu, Yuchen Zhang, Jianbo Lai, Jiajia Li, Gagik G Gurzadyan, Xichuan Yang, Licheng Sun
Herein, we successfully applied a facile in-situ solid-state synthesis of conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) as a HTM, directly on top of the perovskite layer, in conventional mesoscopic perovskite solar cells (PSCs) (n-i-p structure). The fabrication of the PEDOT film only involved a very simple in-situ solid-state polymerisation step from a monomer 2,5-dibromo-3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene (DBEDOT) made from a commercially available and cheap starting material. The ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) demonstrated that the as-prepared PEDOT film possesses the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) energy level of -5...
February 13, 2017: Scientific Reports
Ian Cunnyngham, Marcelo Emilio, Jeff Kuhn, Isabelle Scholl, Rock Bush
The Sun's internal rotation Ω(r,Θ) has previously been measured using helioseismology techniques and found to be a complex function of colatitude θ and radius r. From helioseismology and observations of apparently "rooted" solar magnetic tracers, we know that the surface rotates more slowly than much of the interior. The cause of this slow-down is not understood, but it is important for understanding stellar rotation generally and any plausible theory of the solar interior. A new analysis using 5-min solar p-mode limb oscillations as a rotation "tracer" finds an even larger velocity gradient in a thin region at the top of the photosphere...
February 3, 2017: Physical Review Letters
Li-Qiang Xie, Liang Chen, Zi-Ang Nan, Hai-Xin Lin, Tan Wang, Dongping Zhan, Jia-Wei Yan, Bing-Wei Mao, Zhong-Qun Tian
The spontaneous α-to-δ phase transition of the Formamidinium-based (FA) lead halide perovskite hinders its large scale application in solar cells. Though this phase transition can be inhibited by alloying with Methylammonium-based (MA) perovskite, the underlying mechanism is largely unexplored. In this communication, we grow high quality mixed cations and halides perovskite single crystals (FAPbI3)1-x(MAPbBr3)x to understand the principles for maintaining pure perovskite phase, which is essential to device optimization...
February 17, 2017: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Haejun Yu, Jaehoon Ryu, Jong Woo Lee, Jongmin Roh, Kisu Lee, Juyoung Yun, Jungsup Lee, Yun Ki Kim, Doyk Hwang, Jooyoun Kang, Seong Keun Kim, Jyongsik Jang
There remains tremendous interest in perovskite solar cells (PSCs) in the solar energy field; the certified power conversion efficiency (PCE) now exceeds 20 %. Along with research focused on enhancing PCE, studies are also underway concerning PSC commercialization. It is crucial to simplify the fabrication process and reduce the production cost to facilitate commercialization. Herein, we successfully fabricated highly efficient hole-blocking layer (HBL)-free PSCs through vigorously interrupting penetration of hole-transport material (HTM) into FTO by large grain based-CH3NH3PbI3 (MAPbI3) film, thereby obtaining a PCE of 18...
February 17, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Priscila Ferri, María Ramil, Isaac Rodríguez, Rosângela Bergamasco, Angélica Marquetotti Salcedo Vieira, Rafael Cela
Quinoxyfen has been recently identified as a priority hazardous substance in the field of the European water policy. In this work, its fate in aqueous samples and solid supports under UV and solar radiation is investigated. Diverse degradation experiments were carried out, at lab scale, using spiked aliquots of different aqueous matrices (ultrapure, treated wastewater and river water) irradiated at different wavelengths (λ = 254 nm, λ = 365 nm and solar light). Half-lives of quinoxyfen (2-26 min) depended on the wavelength and the intensity of radiation whilst the nature of the aqueous matrix did not play an important role in degradation kinetics...
February 16, 2017: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Harry L Tuller
To meet increasing energy needs, while limiting greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades, power capacity on a large scale will need to be provided from renewable sources, with solar expected to play a central role. While the focus to date has been on electricity generation via photovoltaic (PV) cells, electricity production currently accounts for only about one-third of total primary energy consumption. As a consequence, solar-to-fuel conversion will need to play an increasingly important role and, thereby, satisfy the need to replace high energy density fossil fuels with cleaner alternatives that remain easy to transport and store...
2017: Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Amir Mirzaei, Zhi Chen, Fariborz Haghighat, Laleh Yerushalmi
The presence of emerging contaminants such as pharmaceuticals in natural waters has raised increasing concern due to their frequent appearance and persistence in the aquatic ecosystem and the threat to health and safety of aquatic life, even at trace concentrations. Conventional water treatment processes are known to be generally inadequate for the elimination of these persistent contaminants. Therefore, the use of advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) which are able to efficiently oxidize organic pollutants has attracted a great amount of attention...
February 4, 2017: Chemosphere
Pengqiang Duan, Tingting Huang, Wei Xiong, Lei Shu, Yuling Yang, Changyu Shao, Xurong Xu, Weimin Ma, Ruikang Tang
Photosynthetic microalgae play an important role in solar-to-chemical energy conversion on Earth but the increasing solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation seriously reduces the biological photosynthesis. Here we developed a one-step approach to construct cell-in-shell hybrid structure by using direct adsorption of CeO2 nanoparticles onto cells. The engineered CeO2 nanoshell can efficiently protect the enclosed Chlorella cell due to its excellent UV filter property, which can also eliminate UV-induced oxidative stress...
February 15, 2017: Langmuir: the ACS Journal of Surfaces and Colloids
Zijie Xu, Teng Li, Fayin Zhang, Xiaodan Hong, Shuyao Xie, Meidan Ye, Wenxi Guo, Xiangyang Liu
The rapid development of modern electronics has given rise to a higher demand for flexible and wearable energy sources. Flexible transparent conducting electrodes (TCEs) are one of the essential components of flexible/wearable thin-film solar cells (SCs). In this regard, we present highly transparent and conducting CuS-nanosheet (NS) networks with an optimized sheet resistance (Rs) as low as 50 Ω sq(-1) at 85% transmittance as a counter electrode (CE) for flexible quantum-dot solar cells (QDSCs). The CuS NS network electrode exhibits remarkable mechanical flexibility under bending tests compared to traditional ITO/plastic substrates and sputtered CuS films...
February 15, 2017: Nanoscale
Gengwu Ji, Guanhaojie Zheng, Bin Zhao, Fei Song, Xiaonan Zhang, Kongchao Shen, Yingguo Yang, Yimin Xiong, Xingyu Gao, Liang Cao, Dong-Chen Qi
The electronic structures of rubrene films deposited on CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite have been investigated using in situ ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). It was found that rubrene molecules interacted weakly with the perovskite substrate. Due to charge redistribution at their interface, a downward 'band bending'-like energy shift of ∼0.3 eV and an upward band bending of ∼0.1 eV were identified at the upper rubrene side and the CH3NH3PbI3 substrate side, respectively...
February 15, 2017: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics: PCCP
Yu Yan, Xuan Liu, Tao Wang
The photoactive layer of bulk-heterojunction organic solar cells, in a thickness range of tens to hundreds of nanometers, comprises phase-separated electron donors and acceptors after solution casting. The component distribution in the cross-section of these thin films is found to be heterogeneous, with electron donors or acceptors accumulated or depleted near the electrode interfaces. This vertical stratification of the photovoltaic blend influences device metrics through its impact on charge transport and recombination, and consequently plays an important role in determining the power conversion efficiency of photovoltaic devices...
February 13, 2017: Advanced Materials
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