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Issue 3, 2018
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A durable monolithic polymer foam for efficient solar steam generation

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Abstract

Efficient and cost-effective solar steam generation requires self-floating evaporators which can convert light into heat, prevent unnecessary heat loss and greatly accelerate evaporation without solar concentrators. Currently, the most efficient evaporators (efficiency of ∼80% under 1 sun) are invariably built from inorganic materials, which are difficult to mold into monolithic sheets. Here, we present a new polymer which can be easily solution processed into a self-floating monolithic foam. The single-component foam can be used as an evaporator with an efficiency at 1 sun comparable to that of the best graphene-based evaporators. Even at 0.5 sun, the efficiency can reach 80%. Moreover, the foam is mechanically strong, thermally stable to 300 °C and chemically resistant to organic solvents.

Graphical abstract: A durable monolithic polymer foam for efficient solar steam generation

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Submitted
06 Jul 2017
Accepted
01 Nov 2017
First published
01 Nov 2017

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2018,9, 623-628
Article type
Edge Article

A durable monolithic polymer foam for efficient solar steam generation

Q. Chen, Z. Pei, Y. Xu, Z. Li, Y. Yang, Y. Wei and Y. Ji, Chem. Sci., 2018, 9, 623
DOI: 10.1039/C7SC02967E

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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