The emergence of solar thermal utilization: solar-driven steam generation
Solar-driven steam generation not only has a long history of application demand, but is also a new research topic due to the progress in nano-material science. Conventional solar-driven steam generation suffers from low efficiency and high cost in practical applications. A new type of steam generation system based on plasmonic absorption of nano-materials with a good cost-efficiency balance has emerged in the last few years. For the first time, studies on various plasmonic solar-driven steam generation systems are summarized and discussed in this review based on the types of materials used. Throughout this article, the basic concept, classification, mechanism and development of plasmonic solar-steam generation systems, as well as the factors that influence these novel systems, are clearly presented. This review provides unique insight into this rapidly developing field and sheds light on the potential of research into plasmonic solar-driven steam generation systems.