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Nanotechnology. 2019 Jul 19;30(29):295402. doi: 10.1088/1361-6528/ab0ed8. Epub 2019 Mar 12.

Enhancing the efficiency of energy harvesting from salt gradient with ion-selective nanochannel.

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Wuhan National Research Center for Optoelectronics, School of Optical and Electronic Information, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430074, People's Republic of China.


The development of a nanofluidic energy harvesting system plays a fundamental role in harvesting osmotic power from Gibbs free energy within the salt concentration gradient, which is considered to be a clean and renewable energy source for the future. In this study, a silica-nanochannel based nanofluidic energy harvesting system was fabricated and the output power density reached 705 W m-2 under suitable KCl concentration bias which exceeded-by almost two orders of magnitude-the results obtained by previous work. The enhancement of energy harvesting was mainly ascribed to the appropriate length of nanochannel that provides a good balance between the desirable ion selectivity and the unfavorable large resistance from the nanochannel. This high-performance nanofluidic energy device could be used in a variety of applications, including to power tiny biomedical devices or for constructing future clean-energy recovery plants.


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