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Themed collection Highlighting materials research in the UK for energy and sustainability

25 items
Review Article

Towards the use of metal–organic frameworks for water reuse: a review of the recent advances in the field of organic pollutants removal and degradation and the next steps in the field

A comprehensive and critical analysis on the use of metal–organic frameworks for the adsorption and photocatalytic degradation of organics in water, as well as H2 production.

Graphical abstract: Towards the use of metal–organic frameworks for water reuse: a review of the recent advances in the field of organic pollutants removal and degradation and the next steps in the field
Open Access Review Article

Synthetic strategies to nanostructured photocatalysts for CO2 reduction to solar fuels and chemicals

Advances in nanomaterials synthesis offer new routes to solar fuels and chemicals from CO2 as a sustainable chemical feedstock.

Graphical abstract: Synthetic strategies to nanostructured photocatalysts for CO2 reduction to solar fuels and chemicals
Review Article

Soft and hard templating of graphitic carbon nitride

This article reviews recent advances in templating of graphitic carbon nitride materials, with a particular focus on applications in photocatalysis.

Graphical abstract: Soft and hard templating of graphitic carbon nitride
From the themed collection: Celebrating our 2020 Prize and Award winners
Communication

A novel regenerative hydrogen cerium fuel cell for energy storage applications

A novel regenerative hydrogen cerium fuel cell is presented which has the potential to deliver both low cost and high performance.

Graphical abstract: A novel regenerative hydrogen cerium fuel cell for energy storage applications
Open Access Communication

Improved environmental stability of organic lead trihalide perovskite-based photoactive-layers in the presence of mesoporous TiO2

Transient absorption spectroscopy is used to study the charge transfer processes in methyl ammonium lead triiodide based photoactive layers under ambient and inert conditions.

Graphical abstract: Improved environmental stability of organic lead trihalide perovskite-based photoactive-layers in the presence of mesoporous TiO2
Open Access Communication

Synthesis of highly surface-textured ZnO thin films by aerosol assisted chemical vapour deposition

Highly surface-textured ZnO thin films are fabricated by aerosol assisted chemical vapour deposition.

Graphical abstract: Synthesis of highly surface-textured ZnO thin films by aerosol assisted chemical vapour deposition
Paper

Oxygen permeation and stability of Mo-substituted BSCF membranes

During 200 h of operation at 750 °C the performance of the Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2O3-δ membrane decays by 35%, while Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.5Fe0.125Mo0.375O3-δ shows steady-state permeation and Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.78Fe0.195Mo0.025O3-δ slows the decay by a factor of two.

Graphical abstract: Oxygen permeation and stability of Mo-substituted BSCF membranes
Paper

On the nature of niobium substitution in niobium doped titania thin films by AACVD and its impact on electrical and optical properties

Niobium doped TiO2 thin films were deposited on silica coated glass substrate using aerosol assisted chemical vapour deposition (AACVD) from hexane solution, at 500 °C.

Graphical abstract: On the nature of niobium substitution in niobium doped titania thin films by AACVD and its impact on electrical and optical properties
Open Access Paper

A one-step route to solubilised, purified or functionalised single-walled carbon nanotubes

The use of N,N-dimethylformamide as a solvent for carbon nanotube reduction and dissolution allows simple and effective dissolution and purification.

Graphical abstract: A one-step route to solubilised, purified or functionalised single-walled carbon nanotubes
Paper

One pot synthesis of nickel foam supported self-assembly of NiWO4 and CoWO4 nanostructures that act as high performance electrochemical capacitor electrodes

Novel NiWO4 and CoWO4 nanostructures showed excellent electrochemical properties for supercapacitor electrodes, better than those previously reported for these materials.

Graphical abstract: One pot synthesis of nickel foam supported self-assembly of NiWO4 and CoWO4 nanostructures that act as high performance electrochemical capacitor electrodes
Paper

Fe3O4/carbon nanofibres with necklace architecture for enhanced electrochemical energy storage

Fe3O4 spherulites on carbon nanofibres (CNFs) to form novel necklace structures were prepared by a facile method. The Fe3O4/CNF necklaces show superior performance for both supercapacitor and Li-ion battery applications.

Graphical abstract: Fe3O4/carbon nanofibres with necklace architecture for enhanced electrochemical energy storage
Open Access Paper

Incorporation of square-planar Pd2+ in fluorite CeO2: hydrothermal preparation, local structure, redox properties and stability

EXAFS shows that square-planar Pd2+ can be accommodated in CeO2 in interstitial positions to give Ce1−xPdxO2−δ (x ≤ 0.15); redox properties and stability have been explored.

Graphical abstract: Incorporation of square-planar Pd2+ in fluorite CeO2: hydrothermal preparation, local structure, redox properties and stability
Open Access Paper

Oxygen storage capacity and thermal stability of the CuMnO2–CeO2 composite system

Fast oxygen diffusion and improved oxygen storage capacity of crednerite CuMnO2 have been achieved at reduced temperatures by surface modification with CeO2.

Graphical abstract: Oxygen storage capacity and thermal stability of the CuMnO2–CeO2 composite system
Paper

Control of chemical state of cerium in doped anatase TiO2 by solvothermal synthesis and its application in photocatalytic water reduction

Solvothermal synthesis yields nanocrystalline Ce3+–TiO2 with high activity for photocatalytic water reduction.

Graphical abstract: Control of chemical state of cerium in doped anatase TiO2 by solvothermal synthesis and its application in photocatalytic water reduction
Paper

A novel approach to fabricate zeolite membranes for pervaporation processes

A method has been demonstrated to synthesise effective zeolite membranes from existing crystals without a hydrothermal synthesis step.

Graphical abstract: A novel approach to fabricate zeolite membranes for pervaporation processes
Paper

Electrochemical synthesis of highly corrugated graphene sheets for high performance supercapacitors

Highly wrinkled graphene flakes via electrochemical method in molten salts for high performance supercapacitor.

Graphical abstract: Electrochemical synthesis of highly corrugated graphene sheets for high performance supercapacitors
Open Access Paper

Solution-processed boron subphthalocyanine derivatives as acceptors for organic bulk-heterojunction solar cells

We present solution-processed organic solar cells based on subphthalocyanine acceptors with strong light harvesting in the visible region and an efficiency up to 3.5%.

Graphical abstract: Solution-processed boron subphthalocyanine derivatives as acceptors for organic bulk-heterojunction solar cells
Paper

In situ Fe K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy study during cycling of Li2FeSiO4 and Li2.2Fe0.9SiO4 Li ion battery materials

The valence and local structures of Fe during battery cycling of Li2FeSiO4 and Li2.2Fe0.9SiO4 are studied by in situ (XAS) measurements.

Graphical abstract: In situ Fe K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy study during cycling of Li2FeSiO4 and Li2.2Fe0.9SiO4 Li ion battery materials
Open Access Paper

Urine-activated origami microbial fuel cells to signal proof of life

This study investigated microbial revival, urine as a viable inoculant and the generation of useful power using novel paper-based MFCs.

Graphical abstract: Urine-activated origami microbial fuel cells to signal proof of life
Paper

The vapour phase detection of explosive markers and derivatives using two fluorescent metal–organic frameworks

Microwave synthesis of a new Zn-MOF gives rapid synthesis of uniform microcrystals for highly sensitive detection of explosive taggant DMNB.

Graphical abstract: The vapour phase detection of explosive markers and derivatives using two fluorescent metal–organic frameworks
Open Access Paper

Single-step synthesis of nanostructured γ-alumina with solvent reusability to maximise yield and morphological purity

The mechanism of the hydrothermal synthesis of nanostructured alumina shows that the NaOH : Al molar ratio affects not only the resulting morphology but also the yield. Successful reusability of the reaction medium opens the door to large scale manufacturing.

Graphical abstract: Single-step synthesis of nanostructured γ-alumina with solvent reusability to maximise yield and morphological purity
Open Access Paper

Carbon dots supported upon N-doped TiO2 nanorods applied into sodium and lithium ion batteries

N-doped TiO2 decorated with C-dots shows superior rate capability and extended battery life when utilized in Li-ion and Na-ion batteries.

Graphical abstract: Carbon dots supported upon N-doped TiO2 nanorods applied into sodium and lithium ion batteries
Open Access Paper

Low temperature synthesized carbon nanotube superstructures with superior CO2 and hydrogen storage capacity

Carbon nanotube (CNT) superstructures prepared at 180 °C are activated to highly porous (1479–3802 m2 g−1; 0.83–2.98 cm3 g−1) carbons with excellent CO2 uptake; up to 4.8 and 8.4 mmol g−1 at 1 bar and 25 or 0 °C, respectively, and exceptional hydrogen storage; up to 7.5 and 14.9 wt% at −196 °C and 20 or 150 bar, respectively, and 4.4 wt% at 25 °C and 150 bar.

Graphical abstract: Low temperature synthesized carbon nanotube superstructures with superior CO2 and hydrogen storage capacity
Open Access Paper

Using intermolecular interactions to crosslink PIM-1 and modify its gas sorption properties

The attractive intermolecular interactions between PIM-1 and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were used to produce films with higher CO2/N2 gas sorption selectivity and reduced ageing of permeability.

Graphical abstract: Using intermolecular interactions to crosslink PIM-1 and modify its gas sorption properties
Paper

Naturally derived porous carbon with selective metal- and/or nitrogen-doping for efficient CO2 capture and oxygen reduction

A low-cost, high-performance “green carbon”, derived from London plane leaves, exhibits excellent sorption capacity for CO2 capture and electro-catalytic capability for oxygen reduction, due to naturally doped nitrogen and metallic elements inherited from biomass.

Graphical abstract: Naturally derived porous carbon with selective metal- and/or nitrogen-doping for efficient CO2 capture and oxygen reduction
25 items

About this collection

Introduced by Professor Stephen Skinner, Imperial College London

We are delighted to highlight the diversity of research activity within the UK materials chemistry community in the field of energy and sustainability. As well as demonstrating the diversity of topics investigated by UK researchers, this collection shows extensive collaborations between leading UK groups and international industry partners, and demonstrates the leading position of UK researchers internationally as evidenced by their collaborations with groups from China, Singapore, and the USA among others. 

In this collection the work includes research on carbon based materials for photochemical conversion, carbon dioxide capture, oxygen storage materials, graphene for supercapacitors, new concepts for microbial fuel cells, cerium based fuel cells and nanomaterials for lithium and sodium battery based devices. In these papers the groups use innovative materials preparation techniques to improve manufacturing costs, apply in-situ characterization techniques to provide unique insights into device operations and consider degradation and durability. This is of critical importance in, for example, methyl ammonium lead iodide photovoltaic devices. It is exciting and encouraging to see the internationally leading activity that groups from the UK are involved with, and the pioneering work that our researchers are presenting.

Best wishes Stephen

Professor Stephen Skinner
Imperial College London
Associate Editor,  Journal of Materials Chemistry A

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