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Photochemical Conversion and Storage of Solar Energy

Article  in  ACS Energy Letters · January 2019


DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.8b02411

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Energy Focus
Cite This: ACS Energy Lett. 2019, 4, 405−410 http://pubs.acs.org/journal/aelccp

Photochemical Conversion and Storage of


Solar Energy
The first plenary lecture given by Michael Grätzel (É cole

T he 22nd International Conference on Photochemical


Conversion and Storage of Solar Energy (IPS-22) was
held in Hefei, China, July 29−August 2, 2018. “Every
two years, after the Olympic Games or after the FIFA World
Cup, IPS is held,” said Detlef W. Bahnemann (Leibniz
Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland)
provided an overview of the history of semiconductor
photoelectrochemistry since the 1970s when artificial photo-
synthesis was in its infancy. Later in 1991, following the
University of Hannover, Germany), Chairman of the 20th and progressive development of nanotechnology and synthetic dyes
21st IPS. This humorous statement about the meeting time also with broad spectral response, strategical coupling of mesoscopic
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demonstrates that the 44 year long tradition of the IPS TiO2 films with Ru dyes led to his great invention of the dye-
conference series has been once again continued. According to sensitized solar cell (DSC), and the engineering installation of
the recall of Prashant V. Kamat (University of Notre Dame, colorful semitransparent DSC panels in the SwissTech
U.S.A.), IPS-0 was initiated as a workshop on “The Current Convention Center on the EPFL campus was shown. Then
State of Knowledge of Photochemical Formation of a Fuel” in the recent advances in PSC materials and devices were
1974 and chaired by Norman N. Lichtin (Boston University, addressed in detail. The design concept was extended to the
U.S.A.).1,2 To date, the IPS series has been one of the most field of solar fuel synthesis, and high-efficiency photo-
important conferences in the fields of photochemistry and solar electrochemical cells for H2 generation and CO2 reduction
energy utilization, offering a brilliant platform to discuss the were highlighted.
latest advances in renewable energy research and to enhance The power conversion efficiency (PCE) of PSC increased
regional and international collaborations. sharply from 3.8% in 2009 to 23.3% in 2018, which is now
The IPS torch was passed to China again 26 years later after comparable to that of crystalline silicon solar cells, while stability
the ninth IPS conference in Beijing,2 1992, chaired by Songyuan remains an issue. From another angle, the presentation by
Dai (North China Electric Power University, China) and Jinhua Prashant V. Kamat ranged from semiconductor quantum dot
Ye (Tianjin University, China and National Institute for (QD) solar cells to hybrid and all-inorganic (CsPbBr3) PSCs.
Materials Science (NIMS), Japan). Figure 1 is a group photo The light-induced charge carrier generation and transport across
of the representatives of local organizers and international interfaces and the influences of the qualities of films and
organizing committee at the conference opening ceremony. IPS- interfaces on cell stability were discussed. In addition, perovskite
22 attracted over 800 delegates, 14 plenary talks, 35 keynote light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with strong and narrow emission
talks, 105 invited and oral presentations, and 233 poster were addressed for promising industrial applications.
presentations. A broad range of topics was covered and Hybrid Organic−Inorganic Perovskite Solar Cells. In this
organized into the following sessions: highlighted session of IPS-22, the golden triangle, namely,
1. Solar water splitting and CO2 conversion efficiency, cost, and stability, of hybrid pervoskite solar cells was
2. Environmental and synthetic photocatalysis comprehensively discussed. Efficiency was the hottest subject,
3. Photoelectrochemical conversion and devices and a world record of 23.3% has been reached. The cell
4. Molecular and biomimetic photosynthesis efficiency value can be independently certified by different
5. Photoinduced charge carrier transfer, mechanism, and bodies. However, the definition of stability has not been
modeling standardized. Various different measurement conditions have
6. Hybrid organic−inorganic perovskite solar cells been reported. Ultimately, survival of the device at a high
7. Dye-sensitized solar cells/organic solar cells temperature in sunlight is the only relevant condition, and
8. Semiconductor quantum dots and perovskite materials Michael Grätzel set that hurdle as 1000 h at 60 °C, the practical
for luminescence temperature of a solar cell in use.
9. Novel photovoltaic materials and devices Sang-Il Seok shared his experiences in high-efficiency PSC
10. Energy storage materials, devices, and applications fabrication. During the past years, he has set several world record
Sessions 1−5 focused on photo(electro)catalysis, while topics performances. Both Nam-Gyu Park and Liyuan Han presented
6−9 were mainly about photoelectrochemical devices, typically their fabrication techniques for large-area perovskite films and
novel thin-film solar cells. Regarding session 10, it is the first time modules with low defect density. A large-area, stable, and
that IPS listed it as an individual topic, in view of particular hysteresis-free PSC has been produced by Park through the
importance of solar energy storage. Perovskite solar cells (PSCs, combination of a Lewis acid−base adduct, interfacial engineer-
session 6) were the dominant topic of IPS-22 due to their rapid ing, and coating techniques. Han reported the development of a
rise as a promising future photovoltaic technology. Besides, new graded heterojunction structure of PSCs using formami-
research on semiconductor photocatalysis for solar fuel synthesis
and environmental applications (sessions 1 and 2) retained Received: December 11, 2018
strong interest. Figure 2 gives a snapshot of a plenary talk at IPS- Accepted: December 24, 2018
22.

© XXXX American Chemical Society 405 DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.8b02411


ACS Energy Lett. 2019, 4, 405−410
ACS Energy Letters Energy Focus

Figure 1. Local organizer and international organizing committee members at the conference opening ceremony, IPS-22 meeting in Hefei,
China. (Photo courtesy of Xin Xia.)

Figure 2. Prof. Michael Grätzel delivering the Plenary Lecture at the IPS-22 meeting, Hefei, China. (Photo courtesy of Xin Xia.)

dinum perovskite (PCE of 19.2%) and fabricated large-area based multication perovskite cells yield PCEs over 21% and Voc
perovskite films via a soft-cover deposition method. The values above 1.15 V and in ambient air exhibit thermal stability
research of Yi-Bing Chen has been focused on chemical in a wide temperature range (−80 to 100 °C). Such performance
modification and charge recombination of the interface between enables perovskite devices to work as a power source of high-
the perovskite layer and the hole transport material (HTM) output voltage even under weak light.
layer. It was suggested that the band alignment at the Joseph Luther produced cubic-phase CsPbI3 QDs with a high
perovskite−HTM interface can be tuned to improve the solar open-circuit voltage of >1.2 V and PCE over 13%, which has
cell efficiency via adsorption of para-substituted benzenethiol potential application in both photovoltaics and LEDs.
molecules on the surface of the perovskite layer. A PCE of 20.2% As well as competing on the PCE and thermal stability,
can be achieved through this method, and more importantly,
removing the lead is another important issue that may affect the
benzenethiol modification resulted in a significant improvement
acceptance of PSCs. Shuzi Hayase proposed halogenated SnPb
in stability of PSCs. A state of art PSC with a certified PCE of
22.7% was achieved through manipulation of the defects at grain and SnGe PSCs to reduce the use of Pb. The lead-free SnGe
boundaries and engineering of the interconnecting hetero- mixed metal PSC shows good stability in ambient atmosphere
junction, as presented by Yang Yang. and yields a PCE of 7.9%, while the SnPb PSC offers an energy
In consideration of thermal stability and output voltage, efficiency of 18.9%. Eric Wei-Guang Diau and his group
Tsutomu (Tom) Miyasaka proposed that metal oxide electron investigated the role of ethylenediammonium diiodide (EDI2)
transport layers (ETLs) could significantly benefit the thermal additives in FASnI3 perovskite. They concluded that the
stability and elevate the output voltage of the PSC. TiO2 ETL- presence of EDI2 can serve to control the film morphology,
406 DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.8b02411
ACS Energy Lett. 2019, 4, 405−410
ACS Energy Letters Energy Focus

minimize the Sn2+/Sn4+ oxidation, and reduce the defect states attracted a lot of attention, with the recognition that the
at the surface for better charge separation. classical spiro from the organic photovoltaic (OPV) era is both
Several speakers discussed the degradation of PSC devices in too expensive and unstable. Both organic and inorganic hole
more detail under the extrinsic conditions of high temperature, conductors were demonstrated, some going back to the early
strong light, oxygen, and moisture and the intrinsic conditions of days of solid-state DSCs at EPFL, with the likely winners coming
phase changes, surface chemistry, grain boundaries, twinning, from inorganic candidates such as CuSCN and LiCoO2 and
and composition variation. A variable in the design of the cells high-stability organics such as the phthalocyanines, maybe
was the range of structures, p−i−n planar, p−i−n mesoporous, compounded with nickel. However, the door is still wide open
and n−i−p inverted. From an intrinsic viewpoint, the for new candidates. These alternatives also eliminate the need to
mesoporous designs were seen as less stable due to the higher protect the Au conductor from metal ion migration through the
surface area susceptible to recombination and chemical HTM. However, more appropriate treatment may be to
degradation, while there were a range of inert capping concepts eliminate gold as the conductor and replace it with a cheap
and materials suggested to protect the PSC such as perylene. and stable alternative such as either Cu or carbon, even though
However, it was recognized that the classical MAPbI3 and the initial “hero” efficiency may suffer. The promoters of high
FAPbI3 formulations may be inherently unstable as a result of stability for outdoor long life contend that stable PSCs at 20%
the breakdown of the molecules when subject to attack by will compete effectively in the electricity market. At this
moisture, a likely event over long-term exposure to the conference, there was not much attention on low light
atmosphere. This breakdown explained why additional PbI2 advantages of PSCs that make it such a good candidate for
can enhance or partially stabilize efficiency as the formation of BIPV and any city condition for which the conference major
this compound is the first step in humidity-based degradation. sponsor SunGrow is developing systems.
The second degradation step of formation of HI from the MAI Several talks addressed manufacturing, including the recog-
leads to creation of iodine that is mobile in the structure. Hence, nition that spin coating with only about 1% material utilization
there were some presenters who effectively proposed that every and non/continuous deposition must be replaced by blade or
component of the most well-known formulation, MAPbI3, is slot die printing and that the coating solutions must be resistant
unstable. This was the reasoning behind the significant number to atmospheric conditions. One approach is to utilize solvents
of papers dealing with solid-state devices. Here the Goldschmidt such as acetonitrile that have a high vapor pressure to displace
tolerance factor was the subject of discussion along with water. Antisolvents also attracted attention as did soft-cover
recognition that the cubic phase of the perovskite is the technology in both cases to produce smooth perovskite films of
preferred phase for high stability. Meanwhile, Wanjian Yin controlled thickness. However, it seems that the current
proposed an additional criterion, the octahedral factor, the technology status depends on capping of the perovskite with a
relationship between the radii of the B and X ions. Songyuan Dai hydrophobic organic material or with a thin layer of an inorganic
systematically studied the mechanism of the instability of the such as lead sulfate.
APbI3 compounds and designed and prepared new mixed- In statistical summary, the number of papers currently
dimensional [(NH4)2.4(FA)n−1PbnI3n+1.4]0.85(MAPbBr3)0.15 hy- published on PSCs is more than 9000 and still growing rapidly.
brid perovskites and used these as an absorber in solar cells. It seems that AI will become a necessary tool to analyze the
Notably, when the unsealed mixed-dimensional perovskite relationships between the vast array of materials, designs, and
device was stored under humidity over 90% for 24 days, the processes.
PCE showed no apparent decrease, demonstrating an excellent Photocatalysis, Photoelectrochemical Conversion, and Devices
long-term stability under this test condition. With the long-term were extensively discussed in sessions 1−5. Six plenary
stability and high-efficiency properties, the mixed-dimensional presentations were delivered by Michael R. Hoffman, Detlef
perovskites might replace the traditional perovskite materials W. Bahnemann, Wonyong Choi, Licheng Sun, James R.
and show good commercialization prospects. Durrant, and Bunsho Ohtani, respectively. Michael R. Hoff-
Returning to performance enhancement, those who had a man’s lecture emphasized the use of atomic layer deposition
previous history in DSC could recognize some well-known (ALD) in precisely tuning the surface charge densities of
chemical techniques to improve both efficiency and stability electrocatalysts for efficient oxygen and chlorine evolution
such as tBP and guanadimium. Those who based their designs reactions (OER and CER). Bahnemann addressed the urgent
on the tolerance factor had found that addition of K+ to the A site challenges in photocatalytic organic synthesis. The key issue lies
helped to stabilize and enhance the performance. A number of in how to control the interfacial charge transfer process so as to
other cation modifications were reported, particularly by those achieve a high selectivity and yield. Especially, a nonselective
who had based the perovskite on tin as an alternative to the more photo-oxidation process by a hole and derivatives should be well
toxic lead, in which case one of the challenges to be addressed is controlled. Choi presented strategies for designing coupled
to stop the oxidation of the divalent tin. From the wide selection semiconductors with heterojunctions at the interface for
of component ions presented, there are still many openings for efficient photo(electro)catalytic solar fuel synthesis and environ-
perovskite compositions, including modifying the X component mental remediation, with special emphasis on the photo-
by partially or fully removing the iodide, with bromide being reductive O2 activation for H2O2 production. Sun summarized
currently the preferred alternative, while performance suffers. their research progress in artificial photosynthesis during the
Of course, the PSC is not simply the perovskite layer, and each past 20 years in Sweden with his colleagues. A range of dye
other element, electron conductor, ETL, hole transport layer molecules were synthesized for various photochemical con-
(HTL), and hole conductor (HTM) attracted the attention of version systems. Durrant provided illumination on photo-
speakers. Enhancement of the interface connection to the ETL catalysis kinetics based on LEDs, rather than lasers. Transient
involved a distinctly broad range of additives, coatings, and absorption spectroscopy (TAS) has been employed to measure
dopants, with no particular winner in this race yet, though the the photogenerated hole lifetime and investigate the kinetic
argument for polystyrene was persuasive. The HTM has dependences of photocatalysis in TiO2 films of varying
407 DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.8b02411
ACS Energy Lett. 2019, 4, 405−410
ACS Energy Letters Energy Focus

morphology. Ohtani developed reversed double-beam photo- • two very interesting applications in the biological field,
acoustic spectroscopy as a powerful characterization tool for production of rare sugars and improvement of germina-
charge carriers (using TiO2 photocatalysis as the baseline). He tion of seeds, both using photocatalysis by Kazuya Nakata.
captivated the audience through a personal image analogy with
Steve Jobs, how the current criteria for defining a photocatalyst Nanostructured photoelectrochemical electrodes were also
is inadequate, concluding that active photocatalysts are all alike fabricated for solar water splitting. Photocathodes of Cu2O-
but every inactive one is inactive in its own way. modified or -coupled TiO2 and α-Fe2O3 photoanodes,
At IPS-22, several presentations concentrated on the active Cu3Nb2O8, nanostructured p-type Si, and photoanodes of
photocatalysts and related strategies to photocatalytic activity SrTaO2N, LaTaO2N, β-Fe2O3, YFeO3, and Ta3N4 were
enhancement. TiO2 and its coupled systems were still the most presented. Tandem cells based on Si, PSC, and DSC for solar
popular photocatalysts. Fundamental studies mainly focused on water splitting were developed to improve the solar to hydrogen
crystal and band engineering, surface modification, charge conversion efficiency. A heated discussion about the photo-
carrier transfer, and the underlying photocatalytic reaction induced charge carrier transfer mechanism occurred.
mechanism. Their applications in photocatalytic solar fuel DSCs and OPVs. DSC, a low-cost solar cell belonging to the
production, CO2 reduction, and environmental purification group of thin-film solar cells, has been widely considered as a
were comprehensively discussed, and novel characterization suitable option for low-density applications. Malapaka Chan-
techniques have been developed to improve the deep under- drasekharam from CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technol-
standing of the relationship between surface properties and the ogy (IICT) spoke about synthesis and evaluation of stable and
photocatalytic mechanism of nanosized TiO2. Polymeric g-C3N4 efficient new metal-free organics, phthalocyanine as well as
was another hot photocatalyst owing to its metal-free nature, ruthenium-based dyes, as sensitizers for DSC application. Their
nontoxicity, processability, and stability. Photocatalytic Cr(VI) work achieved a certified world record efficiency of 11.40%
reduction, organic degradation, CO2 reduction, H2 generation, employing a small organic molecule, designed and developed at
and bacterial inactivation were addressed by several scientists. IICT, as the coadsorbent in a black dye-based device.
Bi-containing (e.g., BiVO4, Bi2O3, Bi2Sn2O7, BiOBr, and BiOCl) Kyungkon Kim demonstrated colorful, semitransparent OPVs
photocatalysts attracted attention. with a single broad-band-absorbing active material of fixed
It may be easy to see that using single-component thickness using Ag−TiOx−Ag color filters (CFs). The CF
photocatalysts is insufficient to achieve high photocatalytic enables the OPV to transmit spectrally pure colors with peak
activity. Several novel coupling systems have been developed to transmission efficiencies surpassing 25% and allows the colors to
suppress the large quantity of charge carrier recombination be freely tuned without disturbing the charge transport
widely occurring in single semiconductor systems. Various properties such that the device performance stays consistent.
narrow-band semiconductors, plasmonic metal nanoclusters, Wenping Hu introduced newly developed applications of 2D
surface grafting, Ru-complex sensitizers, cobalt sulfide, and form nanostructures in optoelectronic devices. Zhen Li
phosphosulfide were developed to extend the light absorption delivered a lecture about the structure-packing and functionality
spectrum and to improve the charge carrier separation. relationship of π-molecules with different optoelectronic
Typically, when two different band structure semiconductors properties.
are coupled, a heterojunction, p−n homojunction, and Z- Quantum Dots and Luminescence. Regarding semiconductor
scheme photocatalyst can be built up. The last mentioned QDs for luminescence applications, all-inorganic perovskite
presents a new class of photocatalyst in which charge carriers cesium lead halide has been extensively discussed as a promising
separate through recombination between electrons in the lower material for next-generation light-emitting diode QDs. This is
conduction band and holes in the higher valence band, and these due to the outstanding photoluminescence (PL) properties of
were heatedly discussed by Akihiko Kudo, Jiaguo Yu, Hiroshi this type of material and benefits from quantum effects. Jianjun
Irie, Ji-Jun Zou, Xiwang Zhang, Qiuye Li, and Zaicheng Sun. Tian reported the synthesis of core−shell structured cubic
However, the methodology of the underlying interfacial charge CsPbBr3(α-CsPbBrx) perovskite QDs via a facile hot injection
carrier transfer was still ambiguous. Moreover, 2D nanomateri- method and centrifugation process. The core−shell structure
als, such as the graphene family and MoS2, were used as electron QDs showed a record blue emission PL quantum yield (PLQY)
collectors for coupled photocatalysts, efficient water splitting, of 84%. By transformation of the crystal structure into a highly
CO2 reduction, and environmental disinfection by Xiwang crystallized γ phase, the record blue PLQY can rise to 91% at 480
Zhang, Jungang Hou, and Xuanhua Li. nm. However, the development of metal halide perovskite LEDs
Potential applications of TiO2 photocatalysis discussed were has been impeded by their fast carrier diffusion and poor stability
largely in the environmental area, which included: in bias conditions. A 2D core−shell structure (i.e., quasi-2D
• metal inks photodeposited on the surface of various CsPbBr 3 quantum well homogeneously surrounded by
commercial TiO2 films for metal micropatterns and inorganic crystalline Cs4PbBr6 of large bandgap) was designed
photocatalytic activity assessments by Andrew Mills and synthesized by Zhijun Ning to facilitate radiative
recombination with a high PLQY and improve the device
• self-cleaning and plasmon-free surface-enhanced Raman operational lifetime. Longwei Yin reported the extra long term
scattering (SERS) and substrate fabrication by grafting stable cubic CsPbI3 prepared by polymer polyvinylpyrrolidone-
chiral carbon nanotubes with TiO2 nanocrystals by induced surface passivation engineering. Such obtained cubic-
Jinlong Zhang CsPbI3 PSCs exhibit an extra long carrier diffusion length, high
PCE, and excellent thermal/moisture stability.
• conversion of ethylbenzene to (R)-1-phenylethanol with Besides exploring the PL properties of novel metal halide
highly selective activation of C−H bonds by strategic perovskites, several presentations were focused on how to
cooperation of photocatalytic-generated H2O2 with achieve unconventional properties and high performance by
enzymes by Jonathan Z. Bloh engineering conventional PL materials, e.g., CdSe and CdS, at
408 DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.8b02411
ACS Energy Lett. 2019, 4, 405−410
ACS Energy Letters Energy Focus

the nanoscale probe/film interface, another important issue • Guozhong Cao compared the electrochemical properties
raising general interest. Chaodan Pu and Xiaogang Peng from of Mn-based (MnO, MnS, and MnNCN) electrodes for
Zhejiang University had identified common electron and hole Li-ion capacitors. MnO mesocrystals as promising anodes
traps on typical QDs and reported the synthesis approach of offer a high capacity of 637 mAh/g at 100 mA/g and
monodisperse colloidal CdSe/CdS core−shell QDs with nearly excellent cycling performance against degradation. For
100% radiative decay in the intrinsic PL decay channel. Jinxing MnNCN, the more covalent bonding nature of Mn−N
Zhang proposed a novel nanoscale bandgap engineering leads to a lower discharge potential in Li-ion batteries.
approach via visible light excitation across the inhomogeneous Metastable MnS was demonstrated to be a better choice
BiFeO3 ferroelectric interface. The high photoelectric perform- for Li-ion battery anodes than the stable MnS.
ance in this complex oxide indicates that the induced • Shihe Yang presented preparation strategies in interfacing
photovoltaic, photoemission, and photocatalyst effects applied and assembling various nanostructures by solution
in the visible light region may be integrated with future processes. The resulting architectures have been explored
microelectronic devices. as electrocatalysts and photoelectrochemical electrodes.
Novel Photovoltaic Materials. To supplement sessions 6−8, • Guoxiu Wang presented their progress in materials
some other novel photovoltaic materials and devices have been nanoarchitecture design of graphene nanosheets, tin-
discussed under this theme, among which, colloidal quantum graphene and silicon-graphene nanocomposites for high-
dot (CQD) solar cell devices based on PbS are a compelling idea rate or high-capacity lithium/sodium/potassium batter-
owing to their tunable bandgap, broad light adsorption ies.
spectrum, solution processablility, low loss, and high stability • Jana Timm shared their cell and stack design for their
(though toxic). Chengwu Shi deposited novel compact PbS QD newly developed photoelectrocatalytic redox flow bat-
thin films on TiO2 nanorod arrays and demonstrated a teries by strategically integrating the technologies of TiO2
considerably high conversion efficiency. Wanli Ma developed photoelectrocatalysis and vanadium redox batteries.
CQD solar cells using both PbS and emerging CsPbI3 perovskite
• Yanglong Hou delivered a talk to introduce the rational
QDs with PCEs up to 12.55%. Haibin Wang combined PbS QD design of carbon nanoarchitectures as cathodes for
and ZnO nanowire structures to promote carrier transport and lithium−sulfur batteries. A high sulfur loading up to
light absorption in the near-infrared region. By employing a PbS 90% was achieved for novel hollow graphene nanoshells,
sensitized solar cell and TeO2 capping layer, Xiaoliang Zhang with very stable cycling life.
composed stable semitransparent QD solar cells with a PCE of
8.4%. • Haobin Wu discussed the application of nanostructured
As well as PbS, Sb2Se3, ZCISe, and CZTSSe also attracted materials derived from metal−organic frameworks
(MOFs) as electrode materials for batteries and electro-
great attention for their promising photovoltaic properties and
catalysts for generation of fuels, as well as composite
QD applications. Jiang Tang reviewed their recent progress in
electrolytes developed with the assistance of MOFs.
Sb2Se3 thin-film photovoltaics, including the basic chemical and
optoelectronic properties of Sb2Se3; 7.6% CdS/Sb2Se3 solar cells • Weiqing Yang utilized two novel materials of hierarchical
with a Sb2Se3 layer were produced by vapor transfer deposition, tubular carbon nanotubes and 2D Ti3C2Tx as electrodes
and a 5.9% ZnO/Sb2Se3 device was demonstrated to present of a flexible microsupercapacitor.
outstanding stability. Xinhua Zhong developed a capping ligand- • Ying Wang showed a porous heterostructured MoO2/
induced self-assembly approach for the deposition of Zn−Cu− Mo2N nanobelt cathode for rechargeable zinc-ion
In−Se (ZCISe) alloy QDs on a TiO2 electrode, offering a batteries.
certified PCE of 11.6%. Yi Zhang investigated the interface of Prospects and Conclusions. A prosperous picture of solar energy
Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 (CZTSSe) thin-film solar cells. Dai-Bin Kuang utilization and its related research was shown at IPS-22. It is no
proposed a lead-free Cs2AgBiBr6 double perovskite nanocrystal doubt that PSCs caught the spotlight. Meanwhile, more
structure that exhibited excellent stability and performed conventional topics such as photocatalysis and photochemical
photocatalytic CO2 reduction. In addition, a novel cone-shaped conversion are still bursting with vitality and reserving new
Si nanohole (SiNH) structure has been designed and fabricated potentials. A few topics may become marginally important
to enhance the interface contact between SiNHs and an organic compared with their popularity in the previous years. However,
layer using an advanced metal-assisted chemical etching good science does not concern popularity; the emerging hot
method, as presented by Shanglong Peng. There are abundant topics are rather new sprouts developed from old roots. The
material options still to explore for QD solar cells. organizer of each IPS conference has to have a balance between
Energy Storage Materials and Batteries. It was the first time for the hot spots and fundamental questions of solar energy
IPS series to launch an individual session for energy storage conversion.
technology, considering “energy storage could be the most At IPS-22, a very condensed and well-organized schedule was
critical part of the future of photovoltaics” (as John Bell carefully planned by the local conference organizer. A number of
mentioned in his talk). A wide range of electrochemical devices awards, including young talents and poster awards, were granted
for energy storage including Li-ion batteries, Li−S batteries, to recognize research students and young scholars for their
redox flow batteries, supercapacitors, and solar fuels were participation and excellence. The local government of Anhui
covered and discussed in this session. Providence and Hefei City offered tremendous support for this
international event. In a sense, this reflects the recognition by the
• Hong Li summarized current developments in energy Chinese government of the essential role of solar cell technology
storage technology at the Institute of Physics, Chinese and photochemistry for a green energy future. Promoting
Academy of Sciences. A long-term effort has been devoted renewable energy and a green economy has become the main
to the commercialization of their solid-state lithium ion objective of China’s science and technology policy in recent
battery. years. The nation made great efforts to shift away from energy
409 DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.8b02411
ACS Energy Lett. 2019, 4, 405−410
ACS Energy Letters Energy Focus

generated from fossil fuels. The PV industry is one of the key Laboratory of Novel Thin Film Solar Cells, and Beijing Key
fields that is still striving to upgrade the technology. In this Laboratory of Energy Safety and Clean Utilization.
context, IPS-22 provided a great opportunity to promote
regional research cooperation and foster new collaborations and
partnerships between academia and industry for solar energy
■ REFERENCES
(1) Bolton, J. R. The Photochemical Conversion and Storage of Solar
utilization. Energy: An Historical Perspective. Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 1995, 38,
We are grateful to all of the wonderful speakers and generous 543−554.
sponsors. Owing to their support, IPS-22 can be regarded as a (2) Kamat, P. V. A Scientific Journey − Autobiographical Notes of
big success in all aspects. IPS-23 will be chaired by Mohammad Prashant V. Kamat. J. Phys. Chem. C 2018, 122, 13207−13209.
Khaja Nazeeruddin and held at EPFL, Switzerland. We are
looking forward to a most successful IPS-23.
Xin Xia†
Jia Hong Pan*,†
Xu Pan‡
Linhua Hu‡
Jianxi Yao†
Yong Ding†
Defa Wang§
Jinhua Ye*,§,∥
Songyuan Dai*,†

State Key Laboratory of Alternate Electrical Power System
with Renewable Energy Sources, North China Electric Power
University, Beijing 102206, China

Key Laboratory of Photovoltaic and Energy Conservation
Materials, Institute of Applied Technology, Hefei Institutes
of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei
230031, China
§
TJU−NIMS International Collaboration Laboratory,
Tianjin University, 92 Weijin Road, Tianjin 300072, China

International Center of Materials Nanoarchitectonics
(WPI−MANA), National Institute for Materials Science
(NIMS), 1-1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0044, Japan

■ AUTHOR INFORMATION
Corresponding Authors
*E-mail: pan@ncepu.edu.cn (J.H.P.).
*E-mail: jinhua.ye@nims.go.jp (J.Y.).
*E-mail: sydai@ncepu.edu.cn (S.D.).
ORCID
Xu Pan: 0000-0003-3770-7918
Linhua Hu: 0000-0002-0513-2999
Defa Wang: 0000-0001-7196-6898
Jinhua Ye: 0000-0002-8105-8903
Songyuan Dai: 0000-0001-5710-9208
Notes
Views expressed in this Energy Focus are those of the authors
and not necessarily the views of the ACS.
The authors declare no competing financial interest.

■ ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors gratefully acknowledge support of the National
Basic Research Program of China (2016YFA0202400,
2014CB239300), the K.C. Wong Education Foundation,
Hong Kong, and the National “111” Project (No. B16016).
This work is supported by the National Natural Science
Foundation of China (No. 51572080, 51772094, U1705256,
51702096, 51772095), Fundamental Research Funds for the
Central Universities (No. JB2018ZD07, JB2016004), Beijing
Natural Science Foundation (No. 2172052), Beijing Key
410 DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.8b02411
ACS Energy Lett. 2019, 4, 405−410

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