Nanomaterials Frontier Towards Hydrogen Energy

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The urgency of reducing our reliance on fossil fuels to achieve carbon neutrality motivates the exploration of clean and sustainable energy resources. Among the proposed solutions, harvesting renewable energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen represents an important energy utilization pattern. This is because hydrogen is considered the most promising energy carrier, featuring high energy density, sustainability, and earth abundance. Additionally, hydrogen is the basis for the hydrogen economy alternative to the hydrocarbon economy. To this end, the development of an efficient method for clean hydrogen production is an essential prerequisite.

Photocatalysis, photoelectrocatalysis, and electrocatalysis are three prospective pathways to obtain hydrogen from water splitting by exploiting renewable energy. Although great stride has been made in recent decades, there is still a long way ahead for clean and affordable hydrogen production in consideration of the moderate efficiency, high cost, and ambiguity in catalytic mechanism. Nano scope or even atomic scope catalyst design with in-depth understanding of the fundamental principles underlying water splitting reaction is a valuable strategy to address these challenges. This issue will focus on the current status of nano catalyst development for clean hydrogen generation, including the new catalytic systems fabricated from inorganic to organic-based materials, the key factors that affect the performance of the nano catalyst, as well as the key gaps that need to be circumvented.

    Guest Editors

    Portrait of Samuel S. MaoDr. Samuel S. Mao
    University of California, Berkeley, USA

    Dr. Samuel S. Mao received his Ph.D. degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 2000. Immediately after his graduation, he started his academic career, and later promoted to the position of career staff scientist, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In 2004, he returned to UC Berkeley campus as a faculty member, rising through the ranks of assistant, associate, and full professor in the dual-appointment adjunct professor series, where he established Clean Energy Engineering Laboratory that has spun off a non-profit international institution dedicated to the development and commercialization of sustainable technologies. Currently he is professor of practice of Khalifa University,  honorary professor of the University of Queensland, as well as adjunct professor of the University of California at Berkeley. He has published nearly 200 scientific articles (with about 50,000 citations), and is an inventor of more than 80 patents. He co-chaired Materials Research Society (MRS) annual meeting in the spring of 2011, and the International Conference on Clean Energy in 2012 and 2017. He was the recipient of the prestigious “R&D 100” Award for his clean-tech innovation, and the UC Berkeley MEGSCO faculty teaching award for his dedication to education. He is co-founder of eight high-tech companies, including the one that developed the world’s first hybrid electric heavy-duty vehicles.

    Portrait of Shaohua ShenDr. Shaohua Shen
    Xi’an Jiaotong University, China

    Dr. Shaohua Shen obtained his Bachelor degree in Applied Chemistry in 2004 and PhD degree in Thermal Engineering in 2010 from Xi'an Jiaotong University. During 2008-2009 and 2011-2012, he worked as a guest researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently a full professor at Xi'an Jiaotong University, China, and the receipt of National Top-notch Young Professionals and Young Scholars of the Yangtze River in China. His research interests include synthesis of nanomaterials and development of devices for photocatalytic and photoelectrochemical solar energy conversion. He has published more than 100 papers in Nature Energy, Nature Photonics, Chemical Reviews, Advanced Materials, Nano Letters, etc., that have received more than 10000 citations. He is the Editor of Science Bulletin, Carbon Neutrality, Battery Energy and the Youth Editor of Chinese Chemical Letters, eScience, Nano Research. 

    Portrait of Rengui LiDr. Rengui Li
    Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinses Academy of Sciences, China

    Dr. Rengui Li received his PhD degree from Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP), Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2014. He worked as a visiting research associate in Prof. K. Domen’s group at the University of Tokyo in 2011 and Prof. Harry Atwater’s group at California Institute of Technology from 2019 to 2020. In 2014, he began to work at State Key Laboratory of Catalysis in DICP as an associate Professor. Since 2018, he was promoted as a full professor at DICP. His research interest is mainly focused on the photocatalytic solar energy conversion. He has published more than 60 scientific papers on Joule, Nature Commun., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., Adv. Mater. Energy Environ. Sci., etc. with more than 4700 citations. Dr. Rengui Li won various awards including Young Scientist Prize at International Congress on Catalysis and Rising Star in Catalysis of China. At present, he serves as the editorial board member of “Chinese Journal of Catalysis”, “Chinese Chemical Letters” and “Journal of Applied Chemistry”.

    Portrait of Zheng WangDr. Zheng Wang
    Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

    Dr. Zheng Wang received his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Molecular Engineering at Kyoto University in 2015. Since 2015, he joined the Japan Technological Research Association of Artificial Photosynthetic Chemical Process (ARPChem) as a postdoctoral researcher and worked on overall water splitting at The University of Tokyo and Shinshu University (Japan). In 2020, he started a research group focusing on greenhouse gas conversion and photocatalysis at Research center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, CAS. He is interested in the utilization and conversion of greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4) and the water splitting for hydrogen production based on the photocatalysis, photothermal catalysis and photoelectrochemical process.

      Table of Contents

      Layered Double Hydroxides for Oxygen Evolution Reaction towards Efficient Hydrogen Generation

      Xin Wan, Yingjie Song, Hua Zhou, Mingfei Shao

      Energy Material Advances, vol. 2022, Article ID 9842610, 17 pages, 2022

      Crystal Facet-Dependent Intrinsic Charge Separation on Well-Defined Bi4TaO8Cl Nanoplate for Efficient Photocatalytic Water Oxidation

      Abraham Adenle, Ming Shi, Xiaoping Tao, Yue Zhao, Bin Zeng, Na Ta, Rengui Li

      Energy Material Advances, vol. 2022, Article ID 9897860, 9 pages, 2022

      Expediting H2-evolution over MAPbI3 with a non-noble metal cocatalyst Mo2C under visible light

      Jinxing Yu, Xiaoxiang Xu

      Energy Material Advances, vol. 2022, Article ID 9836095, 10 pages, 2022