1st International Symposium on Singlet Fission and Photon Fusion, 18-21 April 2016

EES is pleased to support the 1st International Symposium on Singlet Fission and Photon Fusion, held on 18-21 April 2016.  This new conference series will cover all aspects of singlet fission and photon fusion including both molecular and heavy metal systems, as well as molecular solar thermal storage. Some of the most talented scientists in this exciting up-and-coming field, including chemists, physicists, spectroscopist and theoreticians are coming to present their most recent results. We are certain that this will promote highly stimulating and creative days in Gothenburg (Sweden).

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
Richard Friend, Cambridge
Felix Castellano, NC State
Stanislav Balouchev, MPI/Sofia
Timothy W. Schmidt, UNSW
Jennifer Dionne, Stanford
Jianzhang Zhao, Dalian University of Technology
Ferdinand Grozema, TU Delft

Confirmed Invited Speakers:
Michel R. Wasielewski, Northwestern
Justin Johnson, NREL
Lüis Campos, Columbia
Nobuo Kimizuka, Kyushu
Ana Morandeira, Uppsala
Michael J. Tauber, UCSD
Dirk Guldi, Erlangen
Christopher Bardeen, UC Riverside,
Yoan Simon, Fribourg
Francesco Meinardi, Milano
David Zhitomirsky, MIT

Due to the strong lineup of confirmed speakers we expect to have 200 participants coming to Gothenburg. The conference has high visibility within the photochemistry and materials science research community. The symposium covers all aspects of the interaction of light and matter, related to singlet fission and photon fusion including photochemistry, photophysics and spectroscopy, and materials science. More information is available at the symposium website.

Looking forward to see you all in Gothenburg!

Maria Abrahamsson and Kasper Moth-Poulsen, on behalf of the organizing committee.

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UK-Korea Symposium on Lithium and Sodium Batteries

We are excited to announce the upcoming UK-Korea Symposium on Lithium and Sodium Batteries which will take place in London from the 18th – 19th January 2016.

The symposium will be a joint meeting organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry and Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) and will be focussed upon covering all aspects of lithium-ion, sodium-ion and metal-air batteries (for e.g. Li, Na and Zn).

There will be talks showcasing some of the best research from Korea and the UK with opportunities to highlight recent developments and identify emerging and future areas of growth. There will also be a poster session with prizes and certificates awarded for the best poster presentations.

Further details about the symposium can be found here along with information on registration and abstract submission.

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Salting out artificial photosynthesis

Chemical engineers from the US have put forward a concept for a new type of artificial photosynthetic system to convert carbon dioxide into almost pure liquid ethanol fuel. It uses a saturated salt electrolyte, and, according to their calculations, the system would be capable of generating 15.27 million gallons of ethanol per year per square kilometre.

You can read the article written by William Bergius which was published recently by Chemistry World.

Read the original full article based on M R Singh and A T Bell, Energy Environ. Sci., 2016, DOI: 10.1039/c5ee02783g here.

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Status of Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting: Past, Present, and Future

EES are pleased to announce that the Status of Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting: Past, Present, and Future collection, organised by Shane Ardo (The University of California), is now online.

Photoelectrochemical water splitting represents a promising path toward renewable and economical hydrogen generation using sunlight and water as the only inputs. In order to rapidly advance this technology to market-ready status, “all hands on deck” are needed from the scientific and engineering communities.

The aim of this themed collection is to inform those in the photoelectrochemistry field of historical and notable research findings and demonstrations, and to discuss the opportunities and key barriers to achieving this ambitious goal.

The collection consists of five articles written by experts in the field, describing the current state-of-the-art demonstrations in solar water splitting, approaches to band-structure engineering of semiconductor materials for optimized performance, characterization on small length scales and fast time scales, and efficiency definitions.

Renewable hydrogen generation is a timely topic given the recent expansion of mass-produced, commercially available hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.  This, combined with environmental pressures to move toward a carbon-free energy supply, create an urgent need for rapid discovery, development, and growth of hydrogen generation technologies that are stable, efficient, inexpensive, and sustainable.

View the below articles or access the full collection here.


Particle suspension reactors and materials for solar-driven water splitting
David M. Fabian, Shu Hu, Nirala Singh, Frances A. Houle, Takashi Hisatomi, Kazunari Domen, Frank E. Osterloh and Shane Ardo
Energy Environ. Sci., 2015, 8, 2825-2850
DOI: 10.1039/C5EE01434D


Methods of photoelectrode characterization with high spatial and temporal resolution
Daniel V. Esposito, Jason B. Baxter, Jimmy John, Nathan S. Lewis, Thomas P. Moffat, Tadashi Ogitsu, Glen D. O’Neil, Tuan Anh Pham, A. Alec Talin, Jesus M. Velazquez and Brandon C. Wood
Energy Environ. Sci., 2015, 8, 2863-2885
DOI: 10.1039/C5EE00835B

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RSC Books on energy and environmental science

Lindsay Stewart, RSC Commissioning Editor for books, writes about our recent publications

Books in the RSC Energy and Environment Series provide up-to-date and critical perspectives reflecting the wealth of chemical ideas and concepts that have the potential to make an important impact in mankind’s search for a sustainable energy future. Books in the Series have covered energy crops, photoelectron chemical water splitting, solid oxide fuel cells and biomass conversion.

Spanning a broad range of research interests and experiences in this field, the international Series Board comprises:

Laurie Peter, University of Bath, UK, Editor-in-Chief

Heinz Frei, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA, Series Editor

Roberto Rinaldi, Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, Germany, Series Editor

Tim S. Zhao, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, Series Editor

Recent publications:

Materials Challenges: Inorganic Photovoltaic Solar Energy, edited by Stuart J C Irvine – an authoritative reference on the various aspects of materials science that will impact the next generation of photovoltaic module technology.

Catalytic Hydrogenation for Biomass Valorization, edited by Roberto Rinaldi – as the biorefinery industry expands to meet the latest discoveries in biomass conversion, this book provides a thorough grounding in the subject.

Advanced Concepts in Photovoltaics, edited by Arthur J. Nozik, Gavin Conibeer, Matthew C Beard – describing the diverse range of materials and fabrication methods now available to take photovoltaic systems into the third generation.

Titles you may have missed:

Solar Energy Conversion, edited by Piotr Piotrowiak – a state-of-the art review on experimental and theoretical approaches to the study of interfacial electron and excitation transfer processes which are so crucial to solar energy conversion.

Biological Conversion of Biomass for Fuels and Chemicals, edited by Jianzhong Sun, Shi-You Ding, Joy D Peterson – covers biomass modification to facilitate the industrial degradation processing and and new technologies for the conversion of lignocelluloses into biofuels and other products.

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, edited by Meng Ni, Tim S. Zhao – an overview of the SOFC technology with a focus on the recent developments in new technologies and new ideas for addressing the key issues of SOFC development.

You can now keep up-to-date with the latest books published from the Royal Society of Chemistry with our eBook Table of Content Email Alerts. Sign up today by selecting RSC eBook Collection in the Book Alerts section on the Email Alerts Service Form.

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HOT Articles in EES

The following HOT articles have been highlighted by the reviewers of the articles as being particularly interesting or significant pieces of research. These are all free to access until 30/9/2015. The order they appear in the list has no meaning or ranking.


Sodium intercalation chemistry in graphite
Haegyeom Kim, Jihyun Hong, Gabin Yoon, Hyunchul Kim, Kyu-Young Park, Min-Sik Park, Won-Sub Yoon and Kisuk Kang
Journal Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5EE02051D, Paper

C5EE02051D GA


Broadband and ultrahigh optical haze thin films with self-aggregated alumina nanowire bundles for photovoltaic applications
Gumin Kang, Kyuyoung Bae, Minwoo Nam, Doo-Hyun Ko, Kyoungsik Kim and Willie J. Padilla
Journal Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5EE01757B, Communication

C5EE01757B GA


Functional integration of Ni–Mo electrocatalysts with Si microwire array photocathodes to simultaneously achieve high fill factors and light-limited photocurrent densities for solar-driven hydrogen evolution
Matthew R. Shaner, James R. McKone, Harry B. Gray and Nathan S. Lewis
Journal Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5EE01076D, Paper

C5EE01076D GA


Reducing the charging voltage of a Li–O2 battery to 1.9 V by incorporating a photocatalyst
Yang Liu, Na Li, Shichao Wu, Kaiming Liao, Kai Zhu, Jin Yi and Haoshen Zhou
Journal Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5EE01958C, Communication

C5EE01958C GA


Biomass oxidation to formic acid in aqueous media using polyoxometalate catalysts – boosting FA selectivity by in-situ extraction
Jenny Reichert, Birgit Brunner, Andreas Jess, Peter Wasserscheid and Jakob Albert
Journal Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5EE01706H, Paper

C5EE01706H GA


Balancing the bioeconomy: supporting biofuels and bio-based materials in public policy
Jim Philp
Journal Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5EE01864A, Opinion

C5EE01864A GA


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Battery Buffer: Layered oxide that shrinks when ions intercalated

Battery electrodes are typically made from layered oxide materials. However, these layered oxides often undergo a positive ’strain effect’ or expansion when ions are incorporated into their structure. This can leads to inferior long-term cycling stability and reduced battery safety. However, scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, have synthesised a negative strain layered oxide, Na0.5NbO2, which exhibits high stability, a long cycling life and an impressive rate performance. This material shrinks on intercalation of sodium ions which is thought to be a result of enhanced interlayer Na–O interactions and weakened Nb–Nb and Nb–O bonding. The researchers have also found that the material is suitable as an independent electrode material and as a buffer in composite electrodes, yet the high cost of niobium and the difficulty of synthesis may limit its future application. The lattice shrinks upon intercalation of sodium ions

Want to know more?

Read the full article in Chemistry World by Laura Fisher.

Or, take a look at the original article which is free to access until 9th September 2015:

Anti-P2 structured Na0.5NbO2 and its negative strain effect” by X. Wang et al.DOI:10.1039/C5EE01745A

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Water splitting using a single catalyst

Electrochemical water splitting typically requires two catalysts, one to evolve oxygen and one for hydrogen. However, scientists lead by Xile Hu at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland, have discovered that nickel phosphide can act as a catalyst, evolving both hydrogen oxygen from water simultaneously. Nickel phosphide was loaded onto a carbon electrode in an alkaline electrolyser which lead to the material adopting a core-shell structure, with a nickel phosphide core and an active nickel oxide species on the outside. The team observed successful water splitting, with the evolution of both hydrogen and oxygen and a current density of 10mA/cm2 at a low water splitting potential of 1.63V.

Want to know more?

Read the full article in Chemistry World by Osman Mohamed.

Or, take a look at the original article which is free to access until 7th August 2015:

Ni2P as a Janus catalyst for water splitting: the oxygen evolution activity of Ni2P nanoparticles” by L-A. Stern et al., DOI: 10.1039/C5EE01155H

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EES 2015 Readers’ Choice Lectureship

EES was delighted to present the 2015 Energy & Environmental Science Readers’ Choice Lectureship to Dr Miguel A. Modestino of EPFL, Switzerland, at the International Symposium on Energy Conversion and Storage that took place between 31 May-1st June at the Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IPE-CAS), Beijing, China.

Dr Modestino was awarded the lectureship as his Energy & Environmental Science publication, ‘Design and cost considerations for practical solar-hydrogen generators‘, was one of the most downloaded articles in 2014. Dr Modestino gave a presentation entitled ‘Unconventional water splitting approaches towards scalable solar-hydrogen generators’ which followed on from the work outlined in this article.

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EES Poster Prizes at the International Symposium on Energy Conversion and Storage

We recently awarded a number of Energy & Environmental Science poster prizes at the International Symposium on Energy Conversion and Storage that took place between 31 May-1st June at the Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IPE-CAS), Beijing, China. The symposium was organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry and was hosted by  Energy & Environmental Science Advisory Board member Dan Wang and attended by Executive Editor Anna Simpson.

The winners:

Yu Xin Zhang, Chongqing University, China

Hao Ren, IPE-CAS, China

Jiangyan Wang, IPE-CAS, China

Mingyuan Ma, University of Science and Technology in Beijing, China

Ruiqin Wang, China University of Petroleum (East China), China

Junqiang Zhang, China University of Petroleum (East China), China

Rui Zhang, Humboldt-Universität zu Berli, Germany

Yue Lu, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Haonan Si, University of Science and Technology in Beijing, China

Hongjie Tang, University of Science and Technology in Beijing, China

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