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Bio-inspired metal-N4 macrocyclic compounds for next-generation fuel-cell electrocatalysts

Bio-inspired metal-N4 macrocyclic compounds for next-generation fuel-cell electrocatalysts

Corrine- and corrole-based promising nonprecious metal electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) For fuel-cell applications with reasonable cost as a widespread alternative energy conversion technology, scientists must learn from nature to replace the precious platinum electrocatalyst in the cathode. The research team led by Li-Chyong Chen, Kuei-Hsien Chen and Ken-Tsung Wong at the Center for Condensed Matter Sciences and Department o...

Increased electricity storage and faster delivery

Increased electricity storage and faster delivery

Electrochemical electrode material with combined supercapacitor and battery behaviors The advancements of mobile electronic devices have increased the demand for energy storage devices with not only high storage capacity but also fast power performance. Supercapacitors are capable of delivering fast power with both high coulombic and energy efficiencies; however, the charge-storage capacities of supercapacitors are substantially lower than those of batteries. The conventional strategy to com...

Post lithium-ion batteries: lithium-sulfur batteries

Post lithium-ion batteries: lithium-sulfur batteries

Probing the discharge and charge mechanism of lithium-sulfur batteries The ever-rising demand for portable power sources has prompted a renewed interest in next-generation energy storage systems, including batteries, fuel cells and electrochemical capacitors. The applications of these energy storage devices range from consumer electronics to next‐generation electric vehicles. Among the various energy storage technologies, batteries are by far the most successful products in the consumer...

Localized surface plasmon-induced change in a reaction pathway

Localized surface plasmon-induced change in a reaction pathway

In situ monitoring of the light-induced suppression of hydrogen peroxide formation The oxygen reduction reaction in alkaline electrolytes is critical for developing electrochemical systems for energy conversion. This reaction is especially critical for metal-air battery and fuel cells, which represent alternative opportunities to utilize cleaner and greener energy sources while reducing exhaust. In addition to the activity of electrocatalysts, the formation of a hydrogen peroxide intermediate...

Energy-efficient lighting: less is more

Energy-efficient lighting: less is more

Solution-processed transparent blue organic light-emitting diodes with CVD-grown graphene as the electrodes According to a report by the International Energy Agency, lighting accounts for approximately 19% of total global power consumption. Pursuing energy-efficient lighting is the trend in the future. Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are a type of LED in which a thin film of organic compounds is used to emit light when electricity is applied by adjacent electrodes, enabling OLEDs to pro...

Phononics and thermoelectric materials

Phononics and thermoelectric materials

A better understanding of the quantum nature of heat will advance energy research Phonons are the quantum mechanical description of vibrations. Similar to electromagnetic waves, they also have characteristic frequencies spanning from a few hertz (1 Hz=1 cycle per second) to hundreds of terahertz (1 THz=1012 cycles per second). Low-frequency phonons, such as human sounds or mechanical vibrations, are generally well understood and can be well controlled, whereas the physics of high-frequency (a...

Toward low-cost and high-efficiency solar cells by solution processing

Toward low-cost and high-efficiency solar cells by solution processing

Global warming has led to ice in the Arctic and Antarctic to melt at an unprecedented rapid rate, and the excess water has caused many severe natural disasters worldwide. Solar cells are the most promising technology for producing renewable clean energy to meet the conditions of the 2015 Paris agreement signed by world leaders. The agreement calls to limit the global temperature rise to lower than 2°C, which requires CO2 emissions to be reduced to at least 20% of the current amount by 2050 ...

Investigating organic photovoltaics by innovative optical spectroscopy

Investigating organic photovoltaics by innovative optical spectroscopy

Optical spectroscopy reveals insightful physical happenings in photovoltaics The fundamental processes underlying organic photovoltaic devices involve the following five processes: (1) exciton creation by light absorption, (2) exciton diffusion, (3) exciton dissociation, (4) charge conduction, and (5) charge collection. Among them, processes (2), (3) and (4) critically depend on the molecular alignment in the connected nanometer-scale morphology. Ordered molecular stacking can facilitate char...

2D materials: ‘holy grail’ for photocatalytic CO2 reduction into solar fuels

2D materials: ‘holy grail’ for photocatalytic CO2 reduction into solar fuels

Artificial photosynthesis: a ‘killing two birds with one stone’ approach for tackling energy and environmental challenges A research group led by Li-Chyong Chen and Kuei-Hsien Chen at the Center for Condensed Matter Sciences, National Taiwan University, has created a way to trigger a chemical reaction in a synthetic two-dimensional (2D) ., specifically, graphene oxides (GOs) and hybrid GOs that convert CO2 into solar fuels. This process is so-called artificial photosynthesis, mimi...

Theoreticians provide what cannot be directly seen in experiments

Theoreticians provide what cannot be directly seen in experiments

Reaction pathways and intermediate products in CO oxidation and CO2 reduction The realization of a carbon-neutral energy cycle is one of the most imminent issues of our time for human society and civilization. Finding efficient pathways for the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) and the oxidation of various types of hydrocarbons (carbon monoxide (CO) is the simplest example) is therefore relevant not only to a wide range of social interests but also represents a fundamental problem in chemistr...