Given the vast abundance and inexhaustibility of sunlight, tapping into solar energy to produce clean water seems a viable solution to current global challenges of water scarcity and clean energy shortage. Solar driven water evaporation, which uses photothermal materials to capture and convert sunlight to heat so to generate water vapor, is an ancient technology for solar powered clean water production. The old concept of utilizing solar-driven water evaporation to produce clean water resurfaced and was rejuvenated over the past five years because it uses only sunlight without any CO2 emissions during the operation. The rejuvenation of the photothermal processes in the new times gains very helpful hand from nanomaterials. In this presentation, various nano-enabled photothermal materials that are able to capture whole solar spectrum and convent it to heat with almost 100% efficiency will be covered. The recent development in rationally designed photothermal nanomaterials with proper heat loss management that has led to the solar-driven water evaporation efficiency being steadily and significantly improved in the last three years, from ~50% to a near 100%, will be presented.
Auditorium between Building 4 and 5
11:05 - 11:35