Research Topic

Boride, Carbide, and Nitride Nanostructures in Renewable Energy

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About this Research Topic

Fossil energy is being consumed at an increasing pace due to human activities. In order to avoid the resulting energy and environmental crisis, various green renewable-energy techniques have been developed, such as collecting solar energy by way of the photovoltaic and photocatalytic effects, and recovering waste heat through the thermoelectric effect. Functional nanostructuress have played an important role in the renewable energy conversions as well. Noble metals (such as platinum) and elements with a high atomic number (such as cobalt) are typically utilized in these nanostructures, leading to a high cost in the functional materials, environmental pollution, and low energy density per unit mass of related devices. It is thus necessary to produce green, economical, and light-weight renewable-energy nanostructures. Indeed, green renewable-energy nanostructures are critical for avoiding secondary pollution during the production of clean energy.

Boron, carbon, and nitrogen are light elements as well as earth-abundant and environmentally friendly. Therefore, light-weight, economical, and pollutant-free renewable-energy nanostructures are possible through the development of boron-, carbon-, and nitrogen-based compounds. Additionally, boride, carbide, and nitride materials have novel properties: gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC), for instance, are third-generation semiconductors and have played an essential role in blue lasers and white lighting, whereas boron carbide (B4C) and cubic boron nitride (BN) are the hardest known materials aside from diamonds. Their remarkable thermal and chemical stabilities, high melting points, super optical band structures and electrical properties, as well as light mass-densities, make them widely applicable in military, industrial, and commercial products. Recently, their applications in renewable energy, such as electrocatalysts, field-effect transistors, fuel cells, batteries, supercapacitors, and solar cells, have been widely investigated. Boron-, carbon-, and nitrogen-based light-weight functional nanostructures are expected to replace current renewable-energy compounds.

The aim of the current Research Topic is to reflect recent progress in this field, covering syntheses, characterizations, and applications of various boride, carbide, and nitride nanostructures. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to, the following:

 • Synthesis and characterization of boride, carbide, and nitride nanostructures
 • Renewable energy applications of boride, carbide, and nitride nanomaterials
 • Reusability of light-element nanostructures
 • Rational use of light-element compounds in catalysis, electrocatalysis, photocatalysis, photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, electronics, and optoelectronics


Keywords: Nitride, Carbide, Boride, Nanomaterial, Energy


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Fossil energy is being consumed at an increasing pace due to human activities. In order to avoid the resulting energy and environmental crisis, various green renewable-energy techniques have been developed, such as collecting solar energy by way of the photovoltaic and photocatalytic effects, and recovering waste heat through the thermoelectric effect. Functional nanostructuress have played an important role in the renewable energy conversions as well. Noble metals (such as platinum) and elements with a high atomic number (such as cobalt) are typically utilized in these nanostructures, leading to a high cost in the functional materials, environmental pollution, and low energy density per unit mass of related devices. It is thus necessary to produce green, economical, and light-weight renewable-energy nanostructures. Indeed, green renewable-energy nanostructures are critical for avoiding secondary pollution during the production of clean energy.

Boron, carbon, and nitrogen are light elements as well as earth-abundant and environmentally friendly. Therefore, light-weight, economical, and pollutant-free renewable-energy nanostructures are possible through the development of boron-, carbon-, and nitrogen-based compounds. Additionally, boride, carbide, and nitride materials have novel properties: gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC), for instance, are third-generation semiconductors and have played an essential role in blue lasers and white lighting, whereas boron carbide (B4C) and cubic boron nitride (BN) are the hardest known materials aside from diamonds. Their remarkable thermal and chemical stabilities, high melting points, super optical band structures and electrical properties, as well as light mass-densities, make them widely applicable in military, industrial, and commercial products. Recently, their applications in renewable energy, such as electrocatalysts, field-effect transistors, fuel cells, batteries, supercapacitors, and solar cells, have been widely investigated. Boron-, carbon-, and nitrogen-based light-weight functional nanostructures are expected to replace current renewable-energy compounds.

The aim of the current Research Topic is to reflect recent progress in this field, covering syntheses, characterizations, and applications of various boride, carbide, and nitride nanostructures. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to, the following:

 • Synthesis and characterization of boride, carbide, and nitride nanostructures
 • Renewable energy applications of boride, carbide, and nitride nanomaterials
 • Reusability of light-element nanostructures
 • Rational use of light-element compounds in catalysis, electrocatalysis, photocatalysis, photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, electronics, and optoelectronics


Keywords: Nitride, Carbide, Boride, Nanomaterial, Energy


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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