Themed collection Journal of Materials Chemistry A Emerging Investigators
Contributors to the Journal of Materials Chemistry A Emerging Investigators 2022 issue
Journal of Materials Chemistry A profiles contributors to the Emerging Investigators issue.
Towards predictive design of electrolyte solutions by accelerating ab initio simulation with neural networks
Ab initio molecular dynamics can be massively accelerated using equivariant neural networks applicable to predict the properties of electrolyte solutions for predictive design in materials applications.
Balancing charge dissipation and generation: mechanisms and strategies for achieving steady-state charge of contact electrification at interfaces of matter
The dissipation of static charge generated by contact electrification occurs readily into all interfaces of matter via different fundamental mechanisms and critically affects the desired level of steady-state charge in practical applications.
Introducing porosity into metal–organic framework glasses
Here we document the reduction in porosity observed in MOFs upon their glass formation, propose routes to improve this porosity, and speculate on prospective future adsorptive applications.
Perovskite nanocrystals stabilized in metal–organic frameworks for light emission devices
Perovskite nanocrystals embedded in metal–organic frameworks (PeMOF) are a new nanoscale heterostructure for stable photonic sources. This perspective discusses the properties of PeMOF structures and their current progress in photonic devices.
Chemically functionalized phosphorenes and their use in the water splitting reaction
Phosphorene (few layer black phosphorus) has the potential to be an efficient catalyst for H2 evolution from water splitting reaction. This perspective highlights functionalized phosphorenes and explores their use in catalytic H2 production.
New framework of integrated electrocatalysis systems for nitrogen fixation
The novel hybridized and integrated nitrogen fixation system has been demonstrated based on the self-power triboelectric nanogenerators as the power generator, which supplies the new framework for future energy harvesting and conversion.
Spatioselective surface chemistry for the production of functional and chemically anisotropic nanocellulose colloids
In this review, we explain the influence and role of the multiscale hierarchy of cellulose fibers in their chemical modifications as exemplified through recent advances in the spatioselective surface chemistry of nanocelluloses.
Recent advancement in heterogeneous CO2 reduction processes in aqueous electrolyte
This review provides an in-depth general overview on various types of heterogeneous CO2 reduction in aqueous phase with a detailed discussion on EC, PEC and PV-EC/PEC processes including a thorough coverage on the futuristic MEA system.
Advances in studying interfacial reactions in rechargeable batteries by photoelectron spectroscopy
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy is a key characterisation technique in the study of interfacial reactions within modern rechargeable batteries.
Two-dimensional carbide/nitride (MXene) materials in thermal catalysis
In this article, we systematically summarize MXenes as both catalysts and supports in thermal catalysis, emphasizing the termination groups, active sites, and the metal–MXene interactions.
Approaching a stable oxygen redox reaction in lithium-rich cathode materials: structural perspectives from mechanism to optimization
We review the oxygen redox reaction in lithium-rich cathodes from structural perspectives. The structure–OR coupling, structural evolution, and efficient structural control strategies are introduced, followed by an outlook on future rational design.
Advances in understanding and regulation of sulfur conversion processes in metal–sulfur batteries
The fundamental understanding and rational regulation of effective metal–sulfur conversion reactions in metal–sulfur batteries.
Advanced solar desalination on superwetting surfaces
This review summarizes recent progress on versatile roles of surface wettability in water vaporization, condensation, transport, and salt nucleation, growth, removal, and the overall energy/mass transfer efficiency in solar desalination systems.
Metal–organic frameworks based on infinite secondary building units: recent progress and future outlooks
An emerging subclass of MOFs based on infinite secondary building units (ISBUs) has been surveyed in terms of their synthesis, structure and applications.
Spin-polarized excitons and charge carriers in chiral metal halide semiconductors
Introducing chirality into metal halide semiconductors brings spin-polarized charges and excitons, exotic chiroptical and spintronic properties, as well as application potential in optoelectronics and spintronics devices.
Current state-of-the-art characterization methods for probing defect passivation towards efficient perovskite solar cells
Several advanced characterization methods used for defect passivation were reviewed, including capacitance measurements, spectrometry and microscopy characterizations, as well as some newly applied in situ techniques.
Low-temperature resistant gel polymer electrolytes for zinc–air batteries
The rapid development of wearable devices has put forward high requirements for stable, solid-state, flexible and even stretchable energy storage systems.
Development of catalysts and electrolyzers toward industrial-scale CO2 electroreduction
Here we summarize the recent developments of catalysts and electrolyzers for the CO2 reduction reaction, which have improved product selectivity and enabled the delivery of industrial-scale current densities.
Recent strategies for activating the basal planes of transition metal dichalcogenides towards hydrogen production
The currently strategies for activating the TMDC basal planes toward hydrogen evolution reaction were summarized, which are divided into internal and external regulation, depending on whether the pristine structure is altered or not.
Manganese-based layered oxides for electrochemical energy storage: a review of degradation mechanisms and engineering strategies at the atomic level
In this review, particular attention is focused on the atomic degradation mechanisms of Mn-based layered oxide materials induced by the Jahn–Teller effect and the manipulative strategies for structural stability are highlighted.
Reactive oxygen species on transition metal-based catalysts for sustainable environmental applications
We highlight the defect engineering of transition metal catalysts to tailor reactive oxygen species in advanced oxidation processes in a controlled manner for sustainable environmental applications.
Carbon nanomaterials–polymer composites for perovskite solar cells: preparation, properties and applications
An overview of carbon–polymer nanocomposites for perovskite solar cells.
Understanding (photo)electrocatalysis for the conversion of methane to valuable chemicals through partial oxidation processes
The review overviews the mechanism of C–H activation through electron–hole mediated pathways in photo and electrocatalysis, and introduces various strategies to increase the conversion of CH4 as well as the selectivity to desired products.
Organic electrolyte design for practical potassium-ion batteries
In this review, recent electrolyte design strategies and progress are given, along with the discussion of relative key features and properties, as well as the practical design and considerations.
Quasi-2D halide perovskite crystals and their optoelectronic applications
The unique semiconductor properties, synthetic strategies, and corresponding optoelectronic applications of quasi-2D halide perovskite crystals are summarized and discussed in this review.
Controlled local orientation of 2D nanomaterials in 3D devices: methods and prospects for multifunctional designs and enhanced performance
The review provides the recent progress in the processing of functional devices using oriented 2D nanomaterials and highlights the alignment strategies that contributed to the enhancement of device performance.
Perovskites: weaving a network of knowledge beyond photovoltaics
In this review we highlight the benefits of perovskites beyond photovoltaic technology, focusing on their use as lasers, light-emitting diodes or sensors, including technologies such as gamma-ray detection or aerospace applications.
Alloying Sb into all inorganic lead-free CsBi3I10 for improving the crystal growth and photovoltaic performance
The incorporation of isovalent Sb3+ into all inorganic lead-free CsBi3I10 leads to the improved crystal growth and reduced bandgaps. Solar cells based on Cs(Bi0.7Sb0.3)3I10 yield a champion PCE of 1.54% with a high Voc of 0.81 V.
In situ construction of polyether-based composite electrolyte with bi-phase ion conductivity and stable electrolyte/electrode interphase for solid-state lithium metal batteries
A bi-phase ionic conductive polyether-based composite electrolyte was obtained by in situ polymerization, which synergistically achieves high ion-conduction (6.6 × 10−4 S cm−1, 25 °C), and a chemically stable solid electrolyte interphase.
Promoting oxygen reduction via coordination environment modulation through secondary metal-atom incorporation
The incorporation of Cu single atoms into Fe-based single-atom catalysts (Fe-SACs) can regulate the coordination environment of Fe active sites and significantly enhance the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) performance.
Effects of Stokes shift and Purcell enhancement on fluorescence-assisted radiative cooling
A Purcell factor of 2.6, obtained by matching the emission wavelength of phosphor with the Mie scattering resonance of TiO2 nanoparticles, and small stokes shift improve the effective solar reflectance of fluorescent cooling coatings by up to ∼4%.
Sustainable development of graphitic carbon nanosheets from plastic wastes with efficient photothermal energy conversion for enhanced solar evaporation
Plastic wastes are converted into two-dimensional carbon nanosheets with a graphitic-like structure and interlayer channels for improved solar evaporation performance.
Green synthesis of zirconium MOF-808 for simultaneous phosphate recovery and organophosphorus pesticide detoxification in wastewater
A green route to prepare Zr-based MOF-808 with controlled crystal size have been developed. MOF-808 is able to decontaminate wastewater by simultaneously degrading a toxic pesticide and recovering phosphate ions.
Synthetic control of structure and conduction properties in Na–Y–Zr–Cl solid electrolytes
In this study, the relationship between structure, cation disorder and Na-ion conduction properties is elucidated in a series of Na3−xY1−xZrxCl6 solid electrolytes.
Platinum deposition on functionalised graphene for corrosion resistant oxygen reduction electrodes
Functionalisation of graphene with functional groups affords promising supports for electrocatalysts due to their improved durability and enhanced specific activity compared to commercial systems.
Synthesis, crystal structure, and properties of stoichiometric hard tungsten tetraboride, WB4
Hard stoichiometric WB4 is synthesized under high-pressure and high-temperature conditions.
Electropolymerized thin films with a microporous architecture enabling molecular sieving in harsh organic solvents under high temperature
Electropolymerized conjugated microporous polymer (CMP) membranes enable molecular sieving in organic solvents under extreme conditions.
Effects of the rigid and sterically bulky structure of non-fused nonfullerene acceptors on transient photon-to-current dynamics
Non-fused electron-accepting π-conjugated compounds have been investigated recently for application to nonfullerene acceptors (NFAs) in organic solar cells (OSCs).
Marine waste upcycling—recovery of nylon monomers from fishing net waste using seashell waste-derived catalysts in a CO2-mediated thermocatalytic process
A strategy for marine waste upcycling and CO2 utilization by the recovery of high-value monomer from fishing net waste using seashell waste-derived catalysts in the presence of CO2.
Porous polyaminoamides via an exotemplate synthesis approach for ultrahigh multimedia iodine adsorption
An exotemplate synthetic approach is demonstrated to prepare porous polyaminoamides with ultrahigh multimedia iodine capture ability and excellent chemical, thermal and radiation stability.
Plasmon-enhanced photocatalytic overall water-splitting over Au nanoparticle-decorated CaNb2O6 electrospun nanofibers
The Au/CaNb2O6 electrospun NFs exhibited ∼100.9-fold enhancement of the photocatalytic activity for water splitting as compared to the traditional CaNb2O6 NPs due to the unique nanostructure property and plasmon-mediated hot electron transfer.
The in situ formation of defective CoOOH catalysts from semi-oxidized Co for alkaline oxygen evolution reaction
Semi-oxidized Co pre-catalysts are oxidized and self-assembled into defective CoOOH with a much higher O vacancy density during the OER, benefiting the bonding of oxygen species on the catalyst surface and promoting the catalytic activity.
In situ regeneration of copper catalysts for long-term electrochemical CO2 reduction to multiple carbon products
We report an in situ catalyst regeneration strategy that can extend the operation time of Cu-based catalysts for electrochemical CO2 reduction many times.
A hexacoordinated Bi3+-based ellagate MOF with acid/base resistance boosting carbon dioxide electroreduction to formate
Rod-shaped SU-101 catalysts exhibited a high HCOO− Faraday efficiency of 93.66% at −1.10 V vs. RHE due to the unique hexacoordinated Bi3+ site of SU-101.
Iridium nanohollows with porous walls for acidic water splitting
The reported Ir p-NH catalytic structure integrates porous architecture with hollow morphology and delivers enhanced OER electrocatalytic efficiency over solid counterparts in acidic media.
Laser synthesis of amorphous CoSx nanospheres for efficient hydrogen evolution and nitrogen reduction reactions
Laser-induced amorphous CoSx nanospheres anchored on carbon fiber cloths are reported. Profiting from the amorphous nature of CoSx, the enhanced electrocatalytic HER and NRR performance with good proton activation and nitrogen adsorption abilities were obtained.
Unravelling nanostructured Nb-doped TiO2 dual band behaviour in smart windows by in situ spectroscopies
Nb doped TiO2 NCs exhibit a selective modulation in the VIS and NIR regions associated with polaronic and plasmonic absorptions. Comprehensive in situ electrochemical XAS, spectroelectrochemistry and EIS experiments allow us to unravel and independently study these two phenomena.
Solar thermal-activated photocatalysis for hydrogen production and aqueous triethanolamine polymerization
Solar thermal-activated photocatalysis (STAP) has been developed as an efficient sustainable technology for hydrogen generation and aqueous triethanolamine polymerization initiated by heterogeneous photocatalysts under solar light irradiation.
A general strategy to enhance the electrochemical activity and energy density of energy-storage materials through using sintering aids with redox activity: a case study of Mo4Nb26O77
A general modification for the solid-state reaction preparation of energy-storage materials is explored through using sintering aids with redox activity.
Developing a nitrile-based lithium-conducting electrolyte for low temperature operation
Nitrile-based electrolytes are attractive for low temperature Li-ion batteries.
Electrocatalytic valorization of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural coupled with hydrogen production using tetraruthenium-containing polyoxometalate-based composites
Electrocatalytic biomass valorization represents a promising route to produce sustainable and carbon-neutral products, especially when coupled with hydrogen production.
Unraveling the role of chemical composition in the lattice thermal conductivity of oxychalcogenides as thermoelectric materials
Oxychalcogenides represent a large chemical space with potential application as thermoelectric materials due to their low thermal conductivity.
The resistive nature of decomposing interfaces of solid electrolytes with alkali metal electrodes
A crucial ingredient in lithium (Li) and sodium (Na)-ion batteries (LIBs and NIBs) is the electrolyte.
Vacancy assisted growth of copper tantalum sulfide nanocrystals
Cu3TaS4, a ternary chalcogenide, is a promising photovoltaic material. The growth of Cu3TaS4 occurs via the formation of Cu2−xS with Cu vacancies. Ta incorporation occurs in the Cu2−xS at Cu vacancy sites, followed by diffusion of Ta to form Cu3TaS4.
Spatial distribution of triplet excitons formed from charge transfer states at the donor/acceptor interface
Spatial distribution of triplet excitons near the organic semiconductor interface is clarified. The result indicates that 90% of the triplet excitons are confined to less than 10 nm from the interface, where photoelectric conversion and charge recombination occur.
Enhanced acetylene semi-hydrogenation on a subsurface carbon tailored Ni–Ga intermetallic catalyst
A subsurface carbon tailored Ni–Ga intermetallic catalyst delivers superior catalytic performance for acetylene semi-hydrogenation.
Design and development of nucleobase modified sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) membranes for high-performance direct methanol fuel cells
This work prepared a series of novel nucleobase modified sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) membranes for high-performance direct methanol fuel cells.
Atomically miniaturized bi-phase IrOx/Ir catalysts loaded on N-doped carbon nanotubes for high-performance Li–CO2 batteries
Atomically minimized IrOx/Ir bi-phase catalysts loaded on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes were employed as cathodes for high-performance and environmentally friendly Li–CO2 cells, enabling simultaneous energy storage and CO2 capture and storage.
A simple decagram-scale synthesis of an atomically dispersed, hierarchically porous Fe–N–C catalyst for acidic ORR
A scalable synthesis of magnesium ion imprinted nitrogen-doped carbon allows for facile preparation of large quantities of Fe–N–C, for large-scale fuel cell research.
Impact of processing conditions on the film formation of lead-free halide double perovskite Cs2AgBiBr6
Text-mining inspired study on halide double perovskite formation using in situ structural and optical probes.
Salt–solvent synchro-constructed robust electrolyte–electrode interphase for high-voltage lithium metal batteries
A simple electrolyte formula of “single salt single solvent” —1 M LiDFOB in ES—enables the stable operation of an NCM622|Li full cell (2.5 mA h cm−2, N/P = 4) under harsh conditions of high voltage (4.6 V) and wide temperature range (−30 to 60 °C).
Unusual thermoelectric properties mediated by solute segregation in tellurium alloyed CoSbS
A Te dopant segregated along the grain boundaries as precipitates in CoSbS resulted in increased grain size, leading to unusual thermoelectric properties.
Self-standing sulfur cathodes enabled by a single Fe site decorated fibrous membrane for durable lithium–sulfur batteries
Self-standing sulfur cathodes with fibrous skeletons and porous structures were fabricated by incorporating Fe single atoms into electrospun carbon nanofibers, leading to enhanced polysulfide retention and catalysis for Li–S batteries.
MgH2/single-atom heterojunctions: effective hydrogen storage materials with facile dehydrogenation
MgH2/single-atom heterojunction systems were designed with improved dehydrogenation performance for hydrogen storage applications.
Phase transition of metal–organic frameworks for the encapsulation of enzymes
Enzyme/MOF composites with high activity and stability were synthesized via the pressure-induced-stimulated-aging (PISA) strategy.
Photoexcited charge manipulation in conjugated polymers bearing a Ru(II) complex catalyst for visible-light CO2 reduction
Photoexcited charge manipulation was demonstrated by molecular engineering in conjugated polymers, bearing a Ru(II) complex as the CO2 reduction photocatalyst.
Heterostructuring cobalt sulfide with highly oxophilic 1T-tungsten sulfide for durable and efficient oxygen electrocatalysis
A CoS/1T-WS2 heterostructure enhances the affinity of oxygen molecules through modulating the electronic structure and effectively retards the phase transformation during catalysis, thereby delivering an impressive electrocatalytic performance.
A metal–organic framework-modified separator enables long cycling lithium-ion capacitors with asymmetric electrolyte design
An asymmetric electrolyte design has been proposed for lithium-ion capacitors which was enabled by a metal–organic framework modified separator because of the physical obstruction and chemical interactions toward the soluble redox mediators.
A high-energy conversion-type cathode activated by amorpholization for Li rechargeable batteries
An amorphorized Cu(PO3)2/C composite (A-CPO/C) achieves outstanding electrochemical performances compared to a low-crystalline Cu(PO3)2 (LC-CPO/C) composite.
About this collection
Journal of Materials Chemistry A is pleased to present this themed issue highlighting the rising stars of materials chemistry research in 2022. This issue showcases the very best work from materials chemists in the early stages of their independent career.
Each contributor was recommended by experts in their fields as carrying out work with the potential to influence future directions in materials chemistry with applications in energy and sustainability. Congratulations to all the outstanding researchers featured.
Journal of Materials Chemistry B Emerging Investigators
Journal of Materials Chemistry C Emerging Investigators