This review covers key technological developments and scientific challenges for a broad range of Li-ion battery electrodes. Periodic table and potential/capacity plots are used to compare many families of suitable materials. Performance characteristics, current limitations, and recent breakthroughs in the development of commercial intercalation materials such as lithium cobalt oxide (LCO), lithium nickel cobalt manganese oxide (NCM), lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA), lithium iron phosphate (LFP), lithium titanium oxide (LTO) and others are contrasted with that of conversion materials, such as alloying anodes (Si, Ge, Sn, etc.), chalcogenides (S, Se, Te), and metal halides (F, Cl, Br, I). New polyanion cathode materials are also discussed. The cost, abundance, safety, Li and electron transport, volumetric expansion, material dissolution, and surface reactions for each type of electrode materials are described. Both general and specific strategies to overcome the current challenges are covered and categorized.
Recent advances in atomically thin two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides (2D TMDs) have led to a variety of promising technologies for nanoelectronics, photonics, sensing, energy storage, and opto-electronics, to name a few. This article reviews the recent progress in 2D materials beyond graphene and includes mainly transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) (e.g. MoS , WS , MoSe , and WSe ). These materials are finding niche applications for next-generation electronics and optoelectronics devices relying on ultimate atomic thicknesses. Albeit several challenges in developing scalable and defect-free TMDs on desired substrates, new growth techniques compatible with traditional and unconventional substrates have been developed to meet the ever-increasing demand of high quality and controllability for practical applications. The fabrication of novel 2D TMDs that exhibit exotic functionalities and fundamentally new chemistry is highlighted. And finally, in parallel with the electronics, the considerable effort devoted to using these materials for energy and sensing applications is discussed in detail.
Perovskite solar cells based on organometal halides represent an emerging photovoltaic technology. Perovskite solar cells stem from dye-sensitized solar cells. In a liquid-based dye-sensitized solar cell structure, the adsorption of methylammonium lead halide perovskite on a nanocrystalline TiO surface produces a photocurrent with a power conversion efficiency (PCE) of around 3–4%, as first discovered in 2009. The PCE was doubled after 2 years by optimizing the perovskite coating conditions. However, the liquid-based perovskite solar cell receives little attention because of its stability issues, including instant dissolution of the perovskite in a liquid electrolyte. A long-term, stable, and high efficiency (∼10%) perovskite solar cell was developed in 2012 by substituting the solid hole conductor with a liquid electrolyte. Efficiencies have quickly risen to 18% in just 2 years. Since PCE values over 20% are realistically anticipated with the use of cheap organometal halide perovskite materials, perovskite solar cells are a promising photovoltaic technology. In this review, the opto-electronic properties of perovskite materials and recent progresses in perovskite solar cells are described. In addition, comments on the issues to current and future challenges are mentioned.
Self-powered system is a system that can sustainably operate without an external power supply for sensing, detection, data processing and data transmission. Nanogenerators were first developed for self-powered systems based on piezoelectric effect and triboelectrification effect for converting tiny mechanical energy into electricity, which have applications in internet of things, environmental/infrastructural monitoring, medical science and security. In this paper, we present the fundamental theory of the nanogenerators starting from the Maxwell equations. In the Maxwell's displacement current, the first term gives the birth of electromagnetic wave, which is the foundation of wireless communication, radar and later the information technology. Our study indicates that the second term in the Maxwell's displacement current is directly related to the output electric current of the nanogenerator, meaning that our nanogenerators are the applications of Maxwell's displacement current in energy and sensors. By contrast, electromagnetic generators are built based on Lorentz force driven flow of free electrons in a conductor. This study presents the similarity and differences between pieozoelectric nanogenerator and triboelectric nanogenerator, as well as the classical electromagnetic generator, so that the impact and uniqueness of the nanogenerators can be clearly understood. We also present the three major applications of nanogenerators as micro/nano-power source, self-powered sensors and blue energy.
High-entropy alloys (HEAs) are presently of great research interest in materials science and engineering. Unlike conventional alloys, which contain one and rarely two base elements, HEAs comprise multiple principal elements, with the possible number of HEA compositions extending considerably more than conventional alloys. With the advent of HEAs, fundamental issues that challenge the proposed theories, models, and methods for conventional alloys also emerge. Here, we provide a critical review of the recent studies aiming to address the fundamental issues related to phase formation in HEAs. In addition, novel properties of HEAs are also discussed, such as their excellent specific strength, superior mechanical performance at high temperatures, exceptional ductility and fracture toughness at cryogenic temperatures, superparamagnetism, and superconductivity. Due to their considerable structural and functional potential as well as richness of design, HEAs are promising candidates for new applications, which warrants further studies.
With the advent of additive manufacturing technologies in the mid 1980s, many applications benefited from the faster processing of products without the need for specific tooling or dies. However, the application of such techniques in the area of biomedical devices has been slow due to the stringent performance criteria and concerns related to reproducibility and part quality, when new technologies are in their infancy. However, the use of additive manufacturing technologies in bone tissue engineering has been growing in recent years. Among the different technology options, three dimensional printing (3DP) is becoming popular due to the ability to directly print porous scaffolds with designed shape, controlled chemistry and interconnected porosity. Some of these inorganic scaffolds are biodegradable and have proven ideal for bone tissue engineering, sometimes even with site specific growth factor/drug delivery abilities. This review article focuses on recent advances in 3D printed bone tissue engineering scaffolds along with current challenges and future directions.
Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a vapor phase technique capable of producing thin films of a variety of materials. Based on sequential, self-limiting reactions, ALD offers exceptional conformality on high-aspect ratio structures, thickness control at the Angstrom level, and tunable film composition. With these advantages, ALD has emerged as a powerful tool for many industrial and research applications. In this review, we provide a brief introduction to ALD and highlight select applications, including Cu(In,Ga)Se solar cell devices, high-k transistors, and solid oxide fuel cells. These examples are chosen to illustrate the variety of technologies that are impacted by ALD, the range of materials that ALD can deposit – from metal oxides such as Zn Sn O , ZrO , Y O , to noble metals such as Pt – and the way in which the unique features of ALD can enable new levels of performance and deeper fundamental understanding to be achieved.
Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is a powerful vibrational spectroscopy technique that allows for highly sensitive structural detection of low concentration analytes through the amplification of electromagnetic fields generated by the excitation of localized surface plasmons. SERS has progressed from studies of model systems on roughened electrodes to highly sophisticated studies, such as single molecule spectroscopy. We summarize the current state of knowledge concerning the mechanism of SERS and new substrate materials. We highlight recent applications of SERS including sensing, spectroelectrochemistry, single molecule SERS, and real-world applications. We also discuss contributions to the field from the Van Duyne group. This review concludes with a discussion of future directions for this field including biological probing with UV-SERS, tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, and ultrafast SERS.
Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), as low-cost photovoltaic devices compared to conventional silicon solar cells, have received widespread attention in recent years; although much work is required to reach optimal device efficiencies. This review highlights recent developments in DSSCs and their key components, including the photoanode, sensitizer, electrolyte and counter electrode.
As the performance in terms of power conversion efficiency and operational stability for polymer and organic solar cells is rapidly approaching the key 10–10 targets (10 % efficiency and 10 years of stability) the quest for efficient, scalable, and rational processing methods has begun. The 10–10 targets are being approached through consistent laboratory research efforts, which coupled with early commercial efforts have resulted in a fast moving research field and the dawning of a new industry. We review the roll-to-roll processing techniques required to bring the magnificent 10–10 targets into reality, using quick methods with low environmental impact and low cost. We also highlight some new targets related to processing speed, materials, and environmental impact.
In recent years, reducing friction and wear-related mechanical failures in moving mechanical systems has gained increased attention due to friction's adverse impacts on efficiency, durability, and environmental compatibility. Accordingly, the search continues for novel materials, coatings, and lubricants (both liquid and solid) that can potentially reduce friction and wear. Despite intense R&D efforts on graphene for a myriad of existing and future applications, its tribological potential as a lubricant remains relatively unexplored. In this review, we provide an up-to-date survey of recent tribological studies based on graphene from the nano-scale to macro-scale, in particular, its use as a self-lubricating solid or as an additive for lubricating oils.
Organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells represent an exciting class of renewable energy technology; they are lightweight and flexible, and have a low production cost. Over the last two decades, the efficiency of these devices has improved significantly, in particular through the development of solution-processed bulk heterojunction (BHJ) OPV cells. While fullerenes have been the most intensively studied acceptor materials in BHJ OPVs, research is currently underway in several groups investigating non-fullerene molecular acceptors. In this review, initial breakthroughs and recent progress in the development of polymer donor-polymer acceptor (all-polymer) BHJ OPVs are highlighted.
Distinctive from their 1D and 0D counterparts, 2D nanomaterials (2DNs) exhibit surface corrugations (wrinkles and ripples) and crumples. Thermal vibrations, edge instabilities, thermodynamically unstable (interatomic) interactions, strain in 2D crystals, thermal contraction, dislocations, solvent trapping, pre-strained substrate-relaxation, surface anchorage and high solvent surface tension during transfer cause wrinkles or ripples to form on graphene. These corrugations on graphene can modify its electronic structure, create polarized carrier puddles, induce pseudomagnetic field in bilayers and alter surface properties. This review outlines the different mechanisms of wrinkle, ripple and crumple formation, and the interplay between wrinkles’ and ripples’ attributes (wavelength/width, amplitude/height, length/size, and bending radius) and graphene's electronic properties and other mechanical, optical, surface, and chemical properties. Also included are brief discussions on corrugation-induced reversible wettability and transmittance in graphene, modulation of its chemical potential, enhanced energy storage and strain sensing via relaxation of corrugations. Finally, the review summarizes the future areas of research for 2D corrugations and crumples.
Graphene is at the center of an ever growing research effort due to its unique properties, interesting for both fundamental science and applications. A key requirement for applications is the development of industrial-scale, reliable, inexpensive production processes. Here we review the state of the art of graphene preparation, production, placement and handling. Graphene is just the first of a new class of two dimensional materials, derived from layered bulk crystals. Most of the approaches used for graphene can be extended to these crystals, accelerating their journey towards applications.
Owing to the hierarchical structure of cellulose, nanoparticles can be extracted from this naturally occurring polymer. Multiple mechanical shearing actions allow the release of more or fewer individual microfibrils. Longitudinal cutting of these microfibrils can be achieved by a strong acid hydrolysis treatment, allowing dissolution of amorphous domains. The impressive mechanical properties, reinforcing capabilities, abundance, low density, and biodegradability of these nanoparticles make them ideal candidates for the processing of polymer nanocomposites. With a Young's modulus in the range 100–130 GPa and a surface area of several hundred m g , new promising properties can be considered for cellulose.
The rapid development of faster, cheaper, and more powerful computing has led to some of the most important technological and societal advances in modern history. However, the physical means associated with enhancing computing capabilities at the device and die levels have also created a very challenging set of circumstances for keeping electronic devices cool, a critical factor in determining their speed, efficiency, and reliability. With advances in nanoelectronics and the emergence of new application areas such as three-dimensional chip stack architectures and flexible electronics, now more than ever there are both needs and opportunities for novel materials to help address some of these pressing thermal management challenges. In this paper a number of cubic crystals, two-dimensional layered materials, nanostructure networks and composites, molecular layers and surface functionalization, and aligned polymer structures are examined for potential applications as heat spreading layers and substrates, thermal interface materials, and underfill materials in future-generation electronics.
Every day thousands of surgical procedures are performed to replace or repair tissue that has been damaged through disease or trauma. The developing field of tissue engineering (TE) aims to regenerate damaged tissues by combining cells from the body with highly porous scaffold biomaterials, which act as templates for tissue regeneration, to guide the growth of new tissue. This article describes the functional requirements, and types, of materials used in developing state of the art of scaffolds for tissue engineering applications. Furthermore, it describes the challenges and where future research and direction is required in this rapidly advancing field.
In the last 15 years, more than 50,000 papers with zinc oxide (ZnO) in the title are listed within ISI database. The outstanding popularity of ZnO has many reasons; the most important one appears to be its multi-functionality, resulting in applications in physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, material science, energy, textile, rubber, additive manufacturing, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical or medicine, as well as the ease to grow all kinds of nano- and microstructures. A key structure is the tetrapod-shaped ZnO (T-ZnO), which we want to focus on in this mini-review to demonstrate the remarkable properties and multifunctionality of ZnO and motivate why even much more research and applications are likely to come in near future. As T-ZnO came into focus again mainly during the last 10 years, the big data problem in T-ZnO is not as severe as in ZnO; nevertheless, a complete overview is impossible. However, this brief T-ZnO overview attempts to cover the scopes toward advanced technologies; nanoelectronics/optoelectronics sensing devices; multifunctional composites/coatings; novel biomedical engineering materials; versatile energy harvesting candidates; and unique structures for applications in chemistry, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food, agriculture, engineering technologies, and many others. The 3D nanotechnology is a current mainstream in materials science/nanotechnology research, and T-ZnO contributes to this field by its simple synthesis of porous networks as sacrificial templates for any desired new cellular materials.
Bulk heterojunction (BHJ) photovoltaics represent one of the most promising technologies in low-cost, high-throughput, environmentally friendly energy conversion. Morphological control is one pillar of the recent remarkable progress in power conversion efficiency. This review focuses on morphological control by processing with solvent additives, which has been extensively adopted and exhibits promising compatibility with large-scale processing. Recent investigations including material selection, morphological variations at various length scales, and interpretations of the interaction among additives and BHJ materials will be discussed. Insights into the role of solvent additives represent an important resource for further improvement in materials and processing designs.
Graphene quantum dots (GQDs) are a kind of 0D material with characteristics derived from both graphene and carbon dots (CDs). Combining the structure of graphene with the quantum confinement and edge effects of CDs, GQDs possess unique properties. In this review, we focus on the application of GQDs in electronic, photoluminescence, electrochemical and electrochemiluminescence sensor fabrication, and address the advantages of GQDs on physical analysis, chemical analysis and bioanalysis. We have summarized different techniques and given future perspectives for developing smart sensing based on GQDs.