Nanoscience and technology for energy applications


International Journal of Energy Research is one of the founding journals in energy science. Since 1977 it has provided a timely platform for important issues in energy research. The journal has always been dedicated to provide a multidisciplinary forum for the discussion of issues arising in energy research without the constraints imposed by aiming at a restricted audience. Archival work published e.g. on biofuels, energy system modelling or solar-hydrogen has proved to be cornerstones of mainstream scientific and technological development in the field. The journal has contained Nobel laureate level contributions. In recent years the journal has encouraged, in particular, interdisciplinary subjects in novel energy systems and applications, and it was one of the first to concentrate on micro and nanoenergy systems, publishing a double issue, Volume 31, Issue 6–7, in 2007.

Recognizing the rapid progress in nanoscience and technology, we felt it is timely to touch the nanoenergy theme again. Nanotechnology will offer huge opportunities for applications in the energy field and for the development of clean energy systems, which will be very important in the light of the enormous challenges ahead with the climate change and energy. For example, advanced materials based on nanoscience may provide large energy savings in a whole range of end-use energy applications. New materials could lead to breakthroughs in solar cells, fuel cell, or hydrogen storage, just to mention a few applications that have large energy relevance. This special issue on ‘Nanoscience and Technology for Energy Applications’ follows the long tradition of the International Journal of Energy Research to tackle with novel developments in energy.

The special issue is based on high-quality original contributions from internationally recognized research groups from all around the world. The papers cover different energy technology fields and demonstrate the wide spectrum of energy applications where nanoscience can be applied. Several of the papers deal with applying new nanoscale materials to energy devices or related applied material research, but also more fundamental theoretical work and practical applications are presented. Altogether 11 papers and one book review are included in the special issue. Review papers are also included to give a broader view on the progress and issues in some key technology areas. The special issue as a whole should be of high interest e.g. to scientists, engineers, technology developers, and students interested in the energy relevant nanotechnology.

With this special issue of the International Journal of Energy Research we want not only to demonstrate progress in nanoscience for energy or to present exciting applications employing nanotechnology, but also to solicit new high-level research papers from scientists and researchers working in this field. Nanoenergy systems and technologies are increasingly important subject areas for the journal. We look forward to an increasing number of high-quality research papers from this field to be submitted to the journal.

Finally, I would like to extend my warmest thanks to all authors and contributors of this special issue.