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solar energy

J Pace VanDevender, Aaron P VanDevender, T Sloan, Criss Swaim, Peter Wilson, Robert G Schmitt, Rinat Zakirov, Josh Blum, James L Cross, Niall McGinley
Quark nuggets are theoretical objects composed of approximately equal numbers of up, down, and strange quarks and are also called strangelets and nuclearites. They have been proposed as a candidate for dark matter, which constitutes ~85% of the universe's mass and which has been a mystery for decades. Previous efforts to detect quark nuggets assumed that the nuclear-density core interacts directly with the surrounding matter so the stopping power is minimal. Tatsumi found that quark nuggets could well exist as a ferromagnetic liquid with a ~10(12)-T magnetic field...
August 18, 2017: Scientific Reports
D Jun, V Huang, J T Beatty
The photosynthetic complexes of the thermophile Thermochromatium tepidum are of considerable interest in biohybrid solar cell applications because of the capability of thermophilic proteins to tolerate elevated temperatures. Synthetic operons encoding reaction centre (RC) and light harvesting 1 (LH1) pigment-protein complexes of T. tepidum were expressed in the mesophile Rhodobacter sphaeroides The T. tepidum RC (TRC) was assembled, and functional with the addition of menadione to populate the QA pocket. The production of the T...
August 18, 2017: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
María José León, Borja Aldeguer-Riquelme, Josefa Antón, Cristina Sánchez-Porro, Antonio Ventosa
A moderately halophilic bacterium, designated strain SP30T, was isolated from a solar saltern located in Santa Pola, Alicante, on the East coast of Spain. It was a Gram-stain-negative, strictly aerobic bacterium, able to grow in 7.5-25 % (w/v) NaCl and optimally in 12.5 % (w/v) NaCl. Phylogenetic analyses, based on 16S rRNA gene sequences, showed that the novel isolate is a member of the genus Spiribacter, with the most closely related species being Spiribacter roseus SSL50T (99.9 % sequence similarity) and Spiribacter curvatus UAH-SP71T (99...
August 18, 2017: International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Mariia V Pavliuk, Arthur B Fernandes, Mohamed Abdellah, Daniel L A Fernandes, Caroline O Machado, Igor Rocha, Yocefu Hattori, Cristina Paun, Erick L Bastos, Jacinto Sá
The efficient conversion of light energy into chemical energy is key for sustainable human development. Several photocatalytic systems based on photovoltaic electrolysis have been used to produce hydrogen via water reduction. However, in such devices, light harvesting and proton reduction are carried separately, showing quantum efficiency of about 10-12%. Here, we report a nano-hybrid photocatalytic assembly that enables concomitant reductive hydrogen production and pollutant oxidation with solar-to-fuel efficiencies up to 20%...
August 17, 2017: Scientific Reports
Achisa C Mecha, Maurice S Onyango, Aoyi Ochieng, Maggy N B Momba
The present study evaluated the treatment of municipal wastewater containing phenol using solar and ultraviolet (UV) light photocatalytic ozonation processes to explore comparative performance. Important aspects such as catalyst reuse, mineralization of pollutants, energy requirements, and toxicity of treated wastewater which are crucial for practical implementation of the processes were explored. The activity of the photocatalysts did not change significantly even after three consecutive uses despite approximately 2% of the initial quantity of catalyst being lost in each run...
August 13, 2017: Chemosphere
Liming Zhang, Litianqi Sun, Zixuan Guan, Sang Chul Lee, Yingzhou Li, Haitao Dean Deng, Yiyang Li, Nadia Ahlborg, Madhur Boloor, Nicholas A Melosh, William C Chueh
Minority carrier diffusion length (LD) is a crucial property that determines the performance of light absorbers in photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells. Many transition-metal oxides are stable photoanodes for solar water splitting but exhibit a small to moderate LD, ranging from a few nanometers (such as α-Fe2O3 and TiO2) to a few tens of nanometers (such as BiVO4). Under operating conditions, temperature of PEC cells can deviate substantially from ambient, yet the temperature-dependence of LD has not been quantified...
August 17, 2017: Nano Letters
M Cipolloni, B Fresch, I Occhiuto, P Rukin, K G Komarova, A Cecconello, I Willner, R D Levine, F Remacle, E Collini
Elucidating the role of quantum coherences in energy migration within biological and artificial multichromophoric antenna systems is the subject of an intense debate. It is also a practical matter because of the decisive implications for understanding the biological processes and engineering artificial materials for solar energy harvesting. A supramolecular rhodamine heterodimer on a DNA scaffold was suitably engineered to mimic the basic donor-acceptor unit of light-harvesting antennas. Ultrafast 2D electronic spectroscopic measurements allowed identifying clear features attributable to a coherent superposition of dimer electronic and vibrational states contributing to the coherent electronic charge beating between the donor and the acceptor...
August 17, 2017: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics: PCCP
Ankang Guo, Xin Ming, Yang Fu, Gang Wang, Xianbao Wang
Solar vapor generation is a promising and whole new branch of photothermal conversion for harvesting solar energy. Various materials and devices for solar thermal conversion were successively produced and reported for higher solar energy utilization in the past few years. Herein, a compact device of reduced graphene oxides (rGO) and paper fibers was designed and assembled for efficient solar steam generation under light illumination, and it consists of water supply pipelines (WSP), a thermal insulator (TI) and a double-sided absorbing film (DSF)...
August 17, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Chintam Hanmandlu, Chih Wei Chu, Chien-Yu Chen, Karunakara Moorthy Boopathi, Hao-Wu Lin, Chao Sung Lai
Inorganic-organic hybrid perovskite solar cells (PSCs) are promising devices for providing future clean energy because of their low cost, ease of fabrication, and high efficiencies, similar to those of silicon solar cells. These materials have been investigated for their potential use in bifacial PSCs, which can absorb light from both sides of the electrodes. Here, we fabricated bifacial PSCs featuring transparent BCP/Ag/MoO3 rear electrodes, which we formed through low-temperature processing using thermal evaporation methods...
August 17, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Oleg N Starovoytov, Pengzhi Zhang, Piotr Cieplak, Margaret S Cheung
The light-harvesting molecular triad consisting of carotenoid polyene (C), diaryl-porphyrin (P) and pyrrole-fullerene (C60) is a donor-acceptor molecule capable of absorbing incident light in the visible range. Its ability to convert solar energy to electrical excitation and charge separation energy suggests a great potential in real-world applications. The ensemble of its conformations under ambient conditions varies widely according to its electronic state. In previous work, we applied a non-polarizable model to study the conformational distribution of the molecular triad in the ground and charge separated states...
August 17, 2017: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics: PCCP
Hao Zhang, Mian Tao, Baizhi Gao, Wei Chen, Qi Li, Qingyu Xu, Shuai Dong
The fabrication of high-quality organic-inorganic hybrid halide perovskite layers is the key prerequisite for the realization of high efficient photon energy harvest and electric energy conversion in their related solar cells. In this article, we report a novel fabrication technique of CH3NH3PbI3 layers based on high temperature chemical vapor reaction. CH3NH3PbI3 layers have been prepared by the reaction of PbI2 films which were deposited by pulsed laser deposition, with CH3NH3I vapor at various temperatures from 160 °C to 210 °C...
August 16, 2017: Scientific Reports
Hiroki Makita, Gary Hastings
In all photosynthetic organisms, light energy is used to drive electrons from a donor chlorophyll species via a series of acceptors across a biological membrane. These light-induced electron-transfer processes display a remarkably high quantum efficiency, indicating a near-complete inhibition of unproductive charge recombination reactions. It has been suggested that unproductive charge recombination could be inhibited if the reaction occurs in the so-called inverted region. However, inverted-region electron transfer has never been demonstrated in any native photosynthetic system...
August 16, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
E Falgarone, M A Zwaan, B Godard, E Bergin, R J Ivison, P M Andreani, F Bournaud, R S Bussmann, D Elbaz, A Omont, I Oteo, F Walter
Starburst galaxies at the peak of cosmic star formation are among the most extreme star-forming engines in the Universe, producing stars over about 100 million years (ref. 2). The star-formation rates of these galaxies, which exceed 100 solar masses per year, require large reservoirs of cold molecular gas to be delivered to their cores, despite strong feedback from stars or active galactic nuclei. Consequently, starburst galaxies are ideal for studying the interplay between this feedback and the growth of a galaxy...
August 14, 2017: Nature
Michael Schrempf, Nadine Thuns, Kezia Lange, Gunther Seckmeyer
The vitamin D₃-weighted UV exposure of a human with vertical posture was calculated for urban locations to investigate the impact of orientation and obstructions on the exposure. Human exposure was calculated by using the 3D geometry of a human and integrating the radiance, i.e., the radiant energy from the direct solar beam and the diffuse sky radiation from different incident and azimuth angles. Obstructions of the sky are derived from hemispherical images, which are recorded by a digital camera with a fisheye lens...
August 16, 2017: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Dan Ruan, Rui Lin, Kui Jiang, Xiang Yu, Yaofeng Zhu, Yaqin Fu, Zilong Wang, He Yan, Wenjie Mai
Scalable manufacturing of flexible, fiber-shaped energy storage devices has enabled great technological advances in wearable and portable technology. Replacing inefficient oxides with inexpensive and high-performance oxynitrides with more favourable 3D structures is critical if the practical applications of these technologies are to be realised. Here we developed a facile and controllable approach for the synthesis of 3D porous micropillars of molybdenum oxynitride, which exhibit high conductivity, robust stability and excellent energy storage properties...
August 16, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Junwoo Lee, Mahdi Malekshahi Byranvand, Gyeongho Kang, Sung Y Son, Seulki Song, Guan-Woo Kim, Taiho Park
In addition to having proper energy levels and high hole mobility (μh) without the use of dopants, hole-transporting materials (HTMs) used in n-i-p-type perovskite solar cells (PSCs) should be processed using green solvents to enable environmentally friendly device fabrication. Although many HTMs have been assessed, owing to the limited solubility of HTMs in green solvents, no green-solvent-processable HTM has been reported to date. Here we report on a green-solvent-processable HTM, an asymmetric D-A polymer (asy-PBTBDT) that exhibits superior solubility even in the green solvent, 2-methylanisole, which is a known food additive...
August 16, 2017: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Young-Hoon Chung, Injoon Jang, Jue-Hyuk Jang, Hyun S Park, Hyung Chul Ham, Jong Hyun Jang, Yong-Kul Lee, Sung Jong Yoo
Electrochemical water splitting is one of the most promising systems by which to store energy produced from sustainable sources, such as solar and wind energy. Designing robust and stable electrocatalysts is urgently needed because of the relatively sluggish kinetics of the anodic reaction, i.e. the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). In this study, we investigate the anomalous in situ activation behaviour of carbon-supported Ni2P nanoparticles (Ni2P/C) during OER catalysis in alkaline media. The activated Ni2P/C shows an exceptionally high activity and stability under OER conditions in which the overpotential needed to achieve 10 mA cm(-2) was reduced from approximately 350 mV to approximately 300 mV after 8,000 cyclic voltammetric scans...
August 15, 2017: Scientific Reports
Surendra K Yadav, Sandheep Ravishankar, Sara Pescetelli, Antonio Agresti, Francisco Fabregat-Santiago, Aldo Di Carlo
In the last few decades, dye-sensitized solar cell (DSC) technology has been demonstrated to be a promising candidate for low cost energy production due to cost-effective materials and fabrication processes. Arguably, DSC stability is the biggest challenge for making this technology appealing for industrial exploitation. This work provides further insight into the stability of DSCs by considering specific dye-electrolyte systems characterized by Raman and impedance spectroscopy analysis. In particular, two ruthenium-based dyes, Z907 and Ru505, and two commercially available electrolytes, namely, the high stability electrolyte (HSE) and solvent-free Livion 12 (L-12), were tested...
August 15, 2017: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics: PCCP
Liangang Xiao, Tianxiang Liang, Ke Gao, Tianqi Lai, Xuebin Chen, Feng Liu, Thomas P Russell, Fei Huang, Xiaobin Peng, Yong Cao
Ternary organic solar cells (OSCs) are very attractive for further enhancing the power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of binary ones but still with a single active layer. However, improving the PCEs is still challenging because a ternary cell with one more component is more complicated on phase separation behavior. If the two donors or two acceptors have similar chemical structures, good miscibility can be expected to reduce the try-and-error work. Herein, we report ternary devices based on two small molecule donors with the same backbone but different substituents...
August 15, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Zhijie Bi, Xiaomin Li, Yongbo Chen, Xiaoli He, Xiaoke Xu, Xiang Dong Gao
A high-performance electrochromic-energy storage device (EESD) is developed, which successfully realizes the multifunctional combination of electrochromism and energy storage by constructing tungsten trioxide monohydrate (WO3●H2O) nanosheets and Prussian white (PW) film as asymmetric electrodes. The EESD presents excellent electrochromic properties of broad optical modulation (61.7%), ultrafast response speed (1.84/1.95 s) and great coloration efficiency (139.4 cm(2) C(-1)). In particular, remarkable cyclic stability (sustaining 82...
August 15, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
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