Open Access Research Article Just accepted
DNA-based recyclable moist-electric generator
Available online: 19 June 2024

Recently developed moist-electric generator (MEG) can spontaneously produce electricity after absorbing water from the air, delivering an interesting and novel power harvesting process. The employment of environment-friendly biological substrates in MEGs has demonstrated the favorable electricity generation capacity, however, which always requires a careful cultivation process or gentle storage environment. In this regard, the extremely abundant DNA formed porous membrance is fabricated to construct a novel recyclable DNA based MEG (DNA-MEG) which produces a stable voltage of ca. 0.3 V with a current density of ca. 1.2 mA cm-2, as well as a maximum power density of 0.36 μW cm-2 at ~ 90 % relative humidity air. Interestingly, benefited from excellent water-solubility, this freeze-drying DNA membrance can be easily recycled after DNA-MEG damaged and the reborned device still shows favorable electricity generation performance. In addition, several DNA-MEGs in parallel or series can power up light-emitting diodes and so on for applications. This stable and recyclable DNA-MEG will provide new insights for moisture power generation device design and enlarge the practical regions greatly.

Review Article Issue
Carbon-based functional materials for atmospheric water utilization
Nano Research 2023, 16 (11): 12491-12505
Published: 17 October 2023

Atmospheric water, as one of the most abundant natural resources on Earth, has attracted huge research interest in the field of water harvesting and energy harvesting and conversion owing its environmental friendliness and easy access. The developments of new materials have seen advanced technologies that can extract water and energy out of this long-neglected resource, suggesting a promising and sustainable approach to address the water and energy crises over the world. Carbon-based functional materials have been considered to be indispensable materials for atmospheric water utilization due to their large surface area, excellent adsorption performance, and higher surface activity. In this review, first, we analyze the interaction between carbon-based functional materials and atmospheric water molecular. Then, technologies developed in recent years for atmospheric water utilization based on carbon-based functional materials are reviewed, mainly focusing on atmospheric water harvesting, moisture-enabled electricity generation, and moisture-responsive actuation. Finally, the remaining challenges and some tentative suggestions possibly guiding developments are proposed, which may pave a way for a bright future of carbon-based functional material in the utilization of atmospheric water.

Review Article Issue
Promising thermal photonic management materials for sustainable human habitat
Nano Research 2024, 17 (1): 112-131
Published: 25 August 2023

The spectral characteristics of outdoor structures, such as automobiles, buildings, and clothing, determine their energy interaction with the environment, from broad-spectrum absorption of light energy to high-efficiency thermal emission. Recently developed spectrally selective absorption (SSA) materials permit the reduction of energy loss from human habitat eco-system in the sustainable way and further reduce the utilization of fossil energy to achieve carbon neutrality. Here we review recent advances in SSA materials that enable rational and efficient management of thermal energy and provide new solutions for the resource base that supports human life like comfortable heat management, electricity production, and water supply. The basic principles of thermal photonic management, the regulation of SSA materials, and functional properties are summarized. An outlook discussing challenges and opportunities in SSA material energy management for comfortable living environments is finally presented, which expects the enormous potential of this interdisciplinary research in solving growing resource-shortage of human society.

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