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Keywords:

  • energy conversion;
  • energy storage;
  • materials science;
  • nanostructures
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The cover picture shows an idealized membrane reactor which utilizes solar energy to drive chemical reactions to produce hydrogen and convert CO2 into useful chemicals. Oriented nanomaterials have demonstrated great potential in photovoltaics, batteries, supercapacitors, and thermoelectrics, as J. Liu, G. Z. Cao, Z. Yang et al. discuss in their Review on page 676 ff. Such oriented nanostructures also provide ideal platforms for next-generation energy-conversion and -storage devices. For a device such as the idealized membrane reactor to function, efficient semiconductors to harvest sunlight as well as efficient catalysts have to be developed and integrated with electron- and proton-conductive membranes. Although such an efficient and integrated membrane reactor has not yet been demonstrated, self-assembled and oriented nanoporous arrays have the desired architecture to potentially construct such a device.