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Capturing solar energy as heat for water treatment has become a substantial approach to obtain freshwater. To obtain higher performance, the understanding of the mechanism of how water molecules interact with the interface is particularly fundamental, because the migration process of water molecules on the evaporation interface will directly affect the performance of the device. Herein we regulate the number of hydroxyl groups on the surface of reduced graphene oxide quantitatively, to study the effect of different wettability of interfaces on the performance of solar water generators. The water evaporation performance displays a volcanic shape as increasing wettability. Calculated by the computational chemistry method, deviation from proper wetting humidity is not conducive to the migration of water molecules from the surface. The double-edged sword effect of wettability on performances is clarified, and the surface energy density is the key to break through the limit by the finite element method.

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Publication history

Received: 24 March 2021
Revised: 26 May 2021
Accepted: 30 May 2021
Published: 13 July 2021
Issue date: February 2022

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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

We acknowledge funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21871009 and 21527803), the Youth Science Foundation of Hubei University (No. 202011303000002) and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2018M641064).

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Reprints and Permission requests may be sought directly from editorial office.
Email: nanores@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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