© 2019 Materials Research Society MRS BULLETIN • VOLUME 44 • JANUARY 2019 • www.mrs.org/bulletin
Many communities worldwide suffer from a shortage of fresh
water resources ( Figure 1 a ). 1 In some cases, the water short-
age is caused by geography and climate, while in others, eco-
nomic reasons prevail, including the high cost of industrial
installation for energy production and water puriﬁ cation, and
the absence of available credit resources to invest in new
2 , 3 One of the most promising strategies to
address the challenges of providing renewable energy and fresh
water, especially to off-the-grid communities, is to make use
of the freely available sunlight as the renewable energy source
as well as the vast cold universe as the heatsink. Fortunately,
most of the regions with high water shortages have a natural
advantage of abundant solar-energy resources ( Figure 1b ).
Sunlight can be harnessed to fuel chemical reactions, gen-
erate electricity in solar cells, disinfect water, and produce heat
for terrestrial thermal engines, water desalination plants, and
5 – 8 In turn, passive cooling of roofs, solar cells,
and individuals via engineering solar absorptance and thermal
radiation properties of materials can save energy through
reduced use of air conditioning and other electricity-consuming
9 – 15 Passive cooling of surfaces
can also increase the efﬁ ciency of dew collection, helping
to extract fresh water from the atmosphere.
16 – 19 Examples of
nanomaterials developed to advance emerging technologies in
the energy-water nexus are shown in Figure 2 . 20 – 28 We discuss
some of them in detail next, while also referring the reader to
the available extensive review literature.
5 , 7 , 29 – 33
Solar harvesting and cooling
To harvest solar light and heat, materials need to be spectrally
engineered in the broad range of wavelengths ( Figure 3 a ),
covering both the solar spectrum ( ∼ 0.3–2.5 μ m wavelength)
and the infrared emission spectrum of terrestrial emitters
( ∼ 2–15 μ m, depending on the emitter temperature).
7 , 34 – 38 An
ideal absorber should possess high spectral absorptance in the
solar spectrum range, low infrared emittance to reduce radiative
heat losses, excellent durability at elevated temperature in air
and water, and low cost, combining inexpensive starting mate-
rials and scalable coating processes.
39 Nonselective blackbody
absorbers, including black fabrics, paints, and carbon-based
materials, can be relatively inexpensive and provide high
light absorption in a broad wavelength range.
40 – 42 However,
they also emit thermal radiation over a broad range, which
typically limits their use to either low-temperature appli-
cations such as conventional solar stills,
40 , 43 , 44 or applications
relying on concentrating sunlight to small areas with lenses
and reﬂ ectors.
6 , 34
Nanomaterials for the water-energy
Svetlana V. Boriskina , Aikifa Raza , TieJun Zhang , Peng Wang ,
Lin Zhou , and Jia Zhu
The water and energy sectors of an economy are inextricably linked. Energy is required in
water production, distribution, and recycling, while water is often used for energy generation.
In many geographical locations, the energy-water nexus is exacerbated by the shortage of
both fresh water resources and energy generation infrastructure. New materials, including
metamaterials, are now emerging to address the challenges of providing renewable energy
and fresh water, especially to off-the-grid communities struggling with water shortages. Novel
nanomaterials have fueled recent technology breakthroughs in solar water desalination, fog and
dew collection, and cloud seeding. Materials for passive thermal management of buildings
and individuals offer promising strategies to reduce the use of energy and water for heating
and cooling. While many challenges remain, emerging materials and technologies improve
sustainable management of water and energy resources.
Svetlana V. Boriskina , Department of Mechanical Engineering , Massachusetts Institute of Technology , USA ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Aikifa Raza , Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering , Masdar Institute , Khalifa University of Science and Technology , United Arab Emirates ; email@example.com
TieJun Zhang , Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering , Masdar Institute , Khalifa University of Science and Technology , United Arab Emirates ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Peng Wang , King Abdullah University of Science and Technology , Saudi Arabia ; email@example.com
Lin Zhou , College of Engineering and Applied Sciences , Nanjing University , China ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Jia Zhu , College of Engineering and Applied Sciences , Nanjing University , China ; email@example.com
NaNomaterials for the water-eNergy Nexus
60 MRS BULLETIN • VOLUME 44 • JANUARY 2019 • www.mrs.org/bulletin
Solar absorbers can be engineered by introducing metal nano-
structures, such as nanoparticles, nanopores, and nanodisks,
either on the absorber surface or inside its volume.8,35,38,39,45–48
Surface plasmon modes excited by incident sunlight on these
nanostructures facilitate efﬁcient absorption of solar photons
and conversion of their energy into heat. The nanostructured
solar absorbers can be tailored to simultaneously offer high
reﬂectance (i.e., low emittance) at longer wavelengths, thus
facilitating heat trapping.6,7,34,49–51
Other approaches to enhance solar absorptance rely on the
use of thin-ﬁlm, photonic-crystal, and graded-index coatings as
well as mesoscale structures combining photonic crystals and
thin ﬁlms with nanoparticles.37,45,52–56 Lithography-free fabri-
cation techniques yielding nanocomposite ﬁlms and coatings
are especially attractive for solar-thermal applications owing to
their cost effectiveness and scalability.39 An example of such
scalable ultrathin nanocomposite ﬁlm composed of silver (Ag)
and glass (SiO2) materials is shown in Figure 3b.57 This nano-
composite absorber traps sunlight in a broad frequency range
via excitation of multiple plasmonic resonances. These reso-
nances are excited at several frequencies overlapping with the
solar spectrum, and exhibit different spatial distributions of
electromagnetic ﬁeld, as shown in Figure 3b. Multifrequency
response of this absorber stems from its complex mesosale
internal structure. As surface plasmon resonances decay, their
energy is dissipated as heat, elevating the absorber temperature.
Furthermore, both sunlight and heat can be
trapped inside internally hot, externally cool
solar absorbers capped with optically transparent
yet thermally insulating materials (Figure 3c).
Highly porous aerogels and foams are excel-
lent candidates for thermally insulating absorber
coatings due to their extra-low thermal con-
ductivity values. They can be made optically
transparent for the solar light by reducing the
size of the pores to the nanoscale,43,58,59 and
can increase efﬁciency of blackbody absorb-
ers such as carbon black particles. The infrared
camera image shown in Figure 3c illustrates
the use of optically transparent silica aerogel
insulation to trap heat inside a solar-thermal
receiver illuminated by artiﬁcial sunlight from
a solar simulator.60,61
Spectrally selective coatings are also ﬁnd-
ing use in daytime radiative cooling applica-
tions.62–64 Thermal spectra of terrestrial emitters
peak in the mid-infrared range (∼7–15 μm).
The earth’s atmosphere is transparent within this
range, known as the “atmospheric transparency
window” (Figure 3a). Mid-infrared photons can
escape through this window into outer space,
thus causing cooling. Most materials, including
vegetation and commercial paints, have high
emittance in the mid to far-infrared range, allow-
ing for nighttime radiative cooling.12,65
Daytime radiative cooling is more challenging, as the ther-
mal radiation process has to compete with heating via sunlight
absorption. Recently, this challenge has been met by the
development of spectrally selective surfaces that efﬁciently
reﬂect sunlight and simultaneously emit efﬁciently in the
mid-infrared. The refractive index engineering of multilay-
ered structures consisting of hafnia (Hf O2) and silica (SiO2)
glasses resulted in daytime radiative cooling below the ambient
temperature.10,66,67 Glass-polymer hybrid metamaterials as
well as metal-lined polymer ﬁlms have also been developed
for daytime radiative cooling.13,14,16 Optically transparent
polymers such as polyethylene and poly(methyl methacrylate)
(PMMA) offer opportunities to create inexpensive, lightweight,
and large-scale ﬁlms for practical applications.
Wearable technologies can also be adapted to incorporate
passive radiative cooling functionality. Since human skin is an
almost ideal blackbody emitter in the infrared spectral range,
fabrics that exhibit a transparency window in the same spectral
range can help skin cool via the thermal radiation mechanism
(Figure 3d).68 Polyethylene is a polymer that exhibits uniquely
low mid-infrared absorptance and high transmittance for ther-
mal radiation from the skin. Polyethylene fabrics that com-
bine visible opaqueness with infrared transparency have been
theoretically predicted15 and later demonstrated to achieve
skin temperature reduction by 1–2°C relative to conventional
textiles.69–73 Visible opaqueness of the PE fabrics stems from
Figure 1. (a) Global water scarcity map. Many communities worldwide experience
year-round water shortages. Adapted with permission from Reference 1. © 2016 AAAS.
(b) Global solar irradiation map. Regions with water shortages typically have higher-
than-average solar resources.4
NaNomaterials for the water-eNergy Nexus
MRS BULLETIN • VOLUME 44 • JANUARY 2019 • www.mrs.org/bulletin
light scattering by their internal microstructure comprised of
either ﬁbers or pores of 1–20 μm in size.
Solar heat trapped by selective absorbers can be used for
solar-driven water puriﬁcation.74 Vapor generation for water
distillation in solar stills is an ancient technology5 whose com-
mercial adoption for large-scale applications has long been
stymied by higher cost relative to membrane-based water
puriﬁcation techniques. However, passive solar technology
offers an attractive solution for small-scale off-grid applica-
tions, especially in economically disadvantaged geographical
locations or disaster zones. Recently, the interfacial solar vapor
generation approach revived interest in solar distillation.75–83
Interfacial evaporation occurs on the surface of water and
can be achieved by using a solar absorber ﬂoating on the water
surface (Figure 4a).40,84–86 To maintain high efﬁciency of
the evaporation process, parasitic heat losses from the absorber
should be minimized. These include optical loss (reﬂection) as
well as thermal loss (heat conduction, convec-
tion, and radiation). To reduce all the losses, the
absorber needs to be engineered to provide not
only spectral selectivity, but also low thermal
conductivity for vertical heat localization; a
porous microstructure with high wettability for
water transport; thermal, humidity and chemi-
cal stability; and opportunities for low-cost and
After demonstrations of the concept of heat
localization for interfacial solar evaporation in
high concentration plasmonic opto-nanoﬂuids
(i.e., suspensions of silica-core gold-coated
nanoshells in water) and ﬂoating porous carbon
foam absorbers,75,76,87 many solar still designs
and materials were reported. These included
noble-metal nanospheres, nanoshells and
nanorods,55,78,81,88–92 less expensive carbon-based
black absorbers,21,43,93–95 and other exotic and
nature-inspired materials, including paper, car-
bonized wood, leaves, and mushrooms.79,96–98
For example, the structure of mushrooms offers
a restricted vertical water pathway, which was
utilized in the development of efﬁcient solar
evaporators based on natural carbonized mush-
rooms (Figure 4b).85 High-temperature solar
steam is of special interest for solar sterilization
of food, waste, or medical equipment in off-grid
locations,99 and can typically only be achieved
under concentrated sunlight and in pressurized
systems. However, lateral thermal concen-
tration86 (Figure 4c) can increase vapor temper-
ature up to the water boiling point by enlarging
the ratio of solar absorption area to the evapora-
tion area. Even higher steam temperatures can
be reached in contactless solar stills, where a
porous solar absorber is separated from the water surface by
an air gap; it heats the water and the water vapor radiatively
by emitting infrared photons.100
Overall, passive solar-thermal desalination has high
potential for applications in decentralized water puriﬁcation
and zero-liquid discharge desalination, especially for high-
concentration brine treatment that presents signiﬁcant chal-
lenges for membrane-based ﬁltration technologies.101–103 Solar
stills can be used for recycling valuable chemicals dissolved in
brine and also produce water, and in combination with power
generators104 or solar-fuel generation systems,80 they show great
promise for urgent survival needs in areas with both water and
energy shortages. To avoid fouling of ﬂoating solar still materi-
als with salts left behind by the evaporation process, optimum
combinations of hydrophilic wicking and hydrophobic insulat-
ing materials have been proposed (Figure 4d).40,94
Owing to many improvements in materials and design
strategies, single-stage solar still technology is gradually
approaching the production rate of mature ﬁltration-based
Figure 2. Examples of nano- and mesoscale materials developed to advance emerging
technologies in the energy-water nexus. From the top, clockwise: solar water splitting
(FeP/Ni2P nanoparticles on a Ni foam),20 solar evaporation (electrospun nylon/carbon
bers),21 atmospheric water collection (dew drops on spider silk bers),22 cloud seeding
(TiO2 shell–NaCl core particles),23 membrane water desalination and waste water treatment
(nanoporous carbon composite membrane),24 deicing of surfaces (silicon micropillars
covered with Ti nanowires),25 passive radiative cooling (nanoporous polyethylene lm),26
oil-water separation for treating produced water (nanostructured CuO mesh),27 and
solar microbial disinfection (vertically aligned MoS2 nanolms).28
NaNomaterials for the water-eNergy Nexus
62 MRS BULLETIN • VOLUME 44 • JANUARY 2019 • www.mrs.org/bulletin
technologies (40–400 L/m2/day for seawater ﬁltration), with a
solar vaporization rate of 18–23 L/m2/day recently demon-
strated under natural sunlight with a hierarchically nanostruc-
tured gel based on poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and polypyrrole
(PPy).105 This high evaporation rate exceeds the photothermal
efﬁciency limit, indicating that the phase-change enthalpy
of water in nanoscale-conﬁned space can be reduced, which
is of both fundamental and applied importance.
The efﬁciency of the solar evaporation process can also be
increased by environmental energy harvesting82 and radiation
loss recycling106 strategies, as well as strategies to recover the
latent heat of water vaporization, which is typically released
into the environment once the vapor condenses in the fresh
water collector.107,108 A multistage solar still has been recently
demonstrated, which recovers and reuses the latent heat sev-
eral times prior to its release to the environment at lower tem-
perature.109 This still enjoys both advantages of thermal-based
desalination and membrane-based ﬁltration processes, and
uses commercial spectrally selective coating (TiNOX) for solar
absorption as well as polyethylene ﬁlms for thermal insulation.
Such a multistage system yields a large-scale
puriﬁed water production rate of 72 L/m2/day,
which is one magnitude higher than that achiev-
able with single-stage solar stills.
Atmospheric water extraction
The atmosphere holds 12,900 billion tons of
fresh water, equivalent to ∼10% of the water
in all of the lakes and six times the water in
all rivers on Earth.110 Harvestable atmospheric
water, including water vapor and water drop-
lets in fog, is present even in very dry des-
ert regions.11 0 Atmospheric water harvesting is
emerging as an alternative approach for arid
regions, landlocked, and remote communi-
ties.111 Fog harvesting is the most ancient way
of collecting air water, which has been used by
plants, animals, and humans worldwide to har-
vest fresh water. Many modern nanostructured
materials used in fog harvesting actually mimic
biological systems of plants and insects.112–116
However, fog harvesting necessitates consis-
tently high (close to 100%) relative humidity
(RH) in air, which makes it a viable solution
only in some locations.117,118 In regions with
fresh water scarcity, harvesting water vapor
from air is a more meaningful approach.119
Active refrigeration is currently the most
popular way to extract water from the atmos-
phere.120,121 The method uses an engineered cold
surface to cool the adjacent air mass below the
dew point to produce water droplets via con-
densation.17,18,121,122 A sorption-based approach
for atmospheric water vapor harvesting is also
gaining popularity (Figure 5), in which a water
sorbent, such as metal–organic framework (MOF), anhydrate
salts, deliquescent salts, is used to harvest water vapor from
air, and it is then heated with assistance from photothermal
material to release and subsequently condense the water.122–125
Effective photothermal materials, such as carbon nanotubes,
carbon black particles, and graphene, have been utilized to
directly tap sunlight to drive the water vapor release out of the
water vapor sorbents.105 The solar-photothermal process along
with an effective water vapor sorbent has recently delivered
fully solar energy-driven autonomous atmospheric water gen-
An efﬁcient vapor sorbent should be capable of absorbing
large amounts of water, even from air with reasonably low RH,
and releasing most of the water at a relatively low tempera-
ture (60–80°C) achieved under sunlight illumination.76,127,128
Conventional desiccants, such as silica gel, zeolite, and acti-
vated alumina have a wide water vapor sorption window, but
require high temperatures (>160°C) to efﬁciently release most
of the captured water.129–131 Recently, new material candidates
have emerged that are capable of operation under sunlight.
Figure 3. (a) Wavelength spectra of solar radiation (red) and atmospheric transparency
(yellow). Terrestrial objects emit thermal radiation in the mid to far-infrared spectral
range, which overlaps with the transparency window in the atmospheric spectrum,
allowing for their passive cooling via radiation into the ultra-cold of outer space. (b) Local
electromagnetic eld intensity distribution at two separate wavelengths within the visible
spectrum in a broadband solar absorber that combines thin-lm interference and localized
surface plasmon resonance effects in an Ag-SiO2 nanocomposite structure.57 (c) Local
temperature distribution in the internally hot, externally cool solar absorber utilizing carbon
foam as the blackbody absorber and a transparent silica aerogel60 as thermal insulation
material. (d) Optical (left) and infrared (right) images of a human hand covered with wearable
fabrics, which are either blocking infrared emission from the skin (cotton, bottom) or
allowing it to pass through (polyethylene, top).68
NaNomaterials for the water-eNergy Nexus
MRS BULLETIN • VOLUME 44 • JANUARY 2019 • www.mrs.org/bulletin
These include MOFs such as Zr6O4(OH)4(fumarate)6,122,123
anhydrous and hydrated salt couples (CuCl2, CuSO4 and
MgSO4),126 and hydrogels.132 It is expected that other sorbent
materials will emerge in the near future with large water sorp-
tion capacities and easy water release. As research on photo-
thermal conversion materials progresses, higher temperatures
may be produced under natural sunlight, which
would broaden the water sorbent materials
As new technologies for water-energy nexus
applications are developed and mature, they
will inspire developments of new materials
and application areas. Materials for daytime
radiative cooling that help reduce the amount
of energy needed for cooling buildings also
ﬁnd use in atmospheric water capture and dew
collection.16,18 On the other hand, light and heat
trapping/spreading concepts and composite
materials developed for solar water desalination
technologies are now being adapted to engineer
ice-phobic surfaces that use solar energy to pre-
vent and mitigate ice formation.133,134 New com-
posite material systems are emerging to replace
the commonly used table salt in cloud-seeding
applications.23,135,136 Many nanostructured mate-
rials used to address the challenges in the water-
energy nexus continue to draw inspiration from
existing natural solutions to engineering spec-
tral selectivity, water wicking, vapor harvest-
ing, and other functionalities.71,79,96,97,113,137–144
Many challenges in materials engineering still
remain, with the focus shifting to passive solar-
driven operation, self-cleaning capabilities, and
1. M.M. Mekonnen, A.Y. Hoekstra, Sci. Adv. 2, e1500323
2. M. Elimelech, W.A. Phillip, Science 333, 712 (2011).
3. M.A. Shannon, P.W. Bohn, M. Elimelech, J.G. Georgiadis,
B.J. Mariñas, A.M. Mayes, Nature 452, 301 (2008).
5. G.N. Tiwari, H.N. Singh, R. Tripathi, Sol. Energy 75,
6. L.A. Weinstein, J. Loomis, B. Bhatia, D.M. Bierman,
E.N. Wang, G. Chen, Chem. Rev. 115, acs.chemrev.5b00397
7. S.V. Boriskina, M.A. Green, K. Catchpole, E. Yablonovitch,
M.C. Beard, Y. Okada, S. Lany, T. Gershon, A. Zakutayev,
M.H. Tahersima, V.J. Sorger, M.J. Naughton, K. Kempa,
M. Dagenais, Y. Yao, L. Xu, X. Sheng, N.D. Bronstein,
J. Rogers, A.P. Alivisatos, R.G. Nuzzo, J.M. Gordon, D.M. Wu,
M.D. Wisser, A. Salleo, J. Dionne, P. Bermel, J.-J. Greffet,
I. Celanovic, M. Soljacic, A. Manor, C. Rotschild, A. Raman,
L. Zhu, S. Fan, G. Chen, J. Opt. 18, 073004 (2016).
8. P. Bermel, K. Yazawa, J.L. Gray, X. Xu, A. Shakouri, Energy
Environ. Sci. 3, 2123 (2016).
9. L. Zhu, A.P. Raman, S. Fan, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
112, 12282 (2015).
10. A.P. Raman, M.A. Anoma, L. Zhu, E. Rephaeli, S. Fan,
Nature 515, 540 (2014).
11. C.G. Granqvist, J. Appl. Phys. 52, 4205 (1981).
12. T.S. Eriksson, C.G. Granqvist, Appl. Opt. 21, 4381 (1982).
13. Y. Zhai, Y. Ma, S.N. David, D. Zhao, R. Lou, G. Tan, R. Yang, X. Yin, Science
355, 1062 (2017).
14. J. Kou, Z. Jurado, Z. Chen, S. Fan, A.J. Minnich, ACS Photonics 4, 626 (2017).
15. J.K. Tong, X. Huang, S.V. Boriskina, J. Loomis, Y. Xu, G. Chen, ACS Photonics
2, 769 (2015).
Figure 4. (a) Thermodynamic processes and energy balance in a oating solar still.84
(b, c) Thermal management and water path design strategies can increase solar still efciency.
(b) Vertical thermal isolation in mushroom structures reduces thermal losses.85 (c) Lateral
thermal concentration in perforated oating stills enables water boiling under illumination
by sunlight without any external optical concentrators.86 (d) Optimizing the ratio of wicking
and insulating surfaces mitigates effects of salt fouling and yields self-cleaning solar stills.40
Figure 5. Schematics of the working principle of an atmospheric water generator,126
based on the use of water sorbent materials such as metal–organic frameworks,
anhydrate salts, or deliquescent salts.
NaNomaterials for the water-eNergy Nexus
64 MRS BULLETIN • VOLUME 44 • JANUARY 2019 • www.mrs.org/bulletin
16. D. Beysens, M. Muselli, I. Milimouk, C. Ohayon, S. Berkowicz, E. Soyeux,
M. Mileta, P. Ortega, Energy 31, 2303 (2006).
17. T. Nilsson, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells 40, 23 (1996).
18. H. Guan, M. Sebben, J. Bennett, Urban Water J. 11, 175 (2014).
19. M.A. Al-Nimr, O. Haddad, Renew. Energy 13, 323 (1998).
20. F. Yu, H. Zhou, Y. Huang, J. Sun, F. Qin, J. Bao, W.A. Goddard, S. Chen,
Z. Ren, Nat. Commun. 9, 2551 (2018).
21. Y. Jin, J. Chang, Y. Shi, L. Shi, S. Hong, P. Wang, J. Mater. Chem. A (2018),
22. Y. Chen, Y. Zheng, Nanoscale 6, 7703 (2014).
23. Y. Tai, H. Liang, A. Zaki, N. El Hadri, A.M. Abshaev, B.M. Huchunaev,
S. Grifﬁths, M. Jouiad, L. Zou, ACS Nano 11, 12318 (2017).
24. W. Chen, S. Chen, T. Liang, Q. Zhang, Z. Fan, H. Yin, K.-W. Huang, X. Zhang,
Z. Lai, P. Sheng, Nat. Nanotechnol. 13, 345 (2018).
25. T. Maitra, M.K. Tiwari, C. Antonini, P. Schoch, S. Jung, P. Eberle, D. Poulikakos,
Nano Lett. 14, 172 (2014).
26. P.-C. Hsu, C. Liu, A.Y. Song, Z. Zhang, Y. Peng, J. Xie, K. Liu, C.-L. Wu,
P.B. Catrysse, L. Cai, S. Zhai, A. Majumdar, S. Fan, Y. Cui, Sci. Adv. 3,
27. H. Liu, A. Raza, A. Aili, J. Lu, A. AlGhaferi, T. Zhang, Sci. Rep. 6, 25414
28. C. Liu, D. Kong, P.-C. Hsu, H. Yuan, H.-W. Lee, Y. Liu, H. Wang, S. Wang, K. Yan,
D. Lin, P.A. Maraccini, K.M. Parker, A.B. Boehm, Y. Cui. Nat. Nanotechnol. 11,
29. J.B. Lee, S. Choi, J. Kim, Y.S. Nam, Nano Today 16, 61 (2017).
30. S. Chen, T. Takata, K. Domen, Nat. Rev. Mater. 2, 17050 (2017).
31. J.K. Stolarczyk, S. Bhattacharyya, L. Polavarapu, J. Feldmann, ACS Catal.
8, 3602 (2018).
32. M.G. Walter, E.L. Warren, J.R. McKone, S.W. Boettcher, Q. Mi, E.A. Santori,
N.S. Lewis, Chem. Rev. 110, 6446 (2010).
33. D. Dsilva Winfred Rufuss, S. Iniyan, L. Suganthi, P.A. Davies, Renew. Sustain.
Energy Rev. 63, 464 (2016).
34. S.V. Boriskina, J.K. Tong, W.-C. Hsu, B. Liao, Y. Huang, V. Chiloyan, G. Chen,
Nanophotonics 5, 134 (2016).
35. P. Bermel, J. Lee, J.D. Joannopoulos, I. Celanovic, M. Soljacic, Annu. Rev.
Heat Transf. 15, 231 (2012).
36. P. Bermel, S.V. Boriskina, Z. Yu, K. Joulain, Opt. Express 23, A1533 (2015).
37. F. Cao, Y. Huang, L. Tang, T. Sun, S.V. Boriskina, G. Chen, Z. Ren, Adv. Mater.
28, 10659 (2016).
38. A. Mojiri, R. Taylor, E. Thomsen, G. Rosengarten, Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev.
28, 654 (2013).
39. F. Cao, K. McEnaney, G. Chen, Z. Ren, Energy Environ. Sci. 7, 1615 (2014).
40. G. Ni, S.H. Zandavi, S.M. Javid, S.V. Boriskina, T.A. Cooper, G. Chen. Energy
Environ. Sci. 11, 1510 (2018).
41. A.E. Kabeel, S.A. El-Agouz, Desalination 276, 1 (2011).
42. V. Siva Reddy, S.C. Kaushik, K.R. Ranjan, S.K. Tyagi, Renew. Sustain. Energy
Rev. 27, 258 (2013).
43. G. Ni, N. Miljkovic, H. Ghasemi, X. Huang, S.V. Boriskina, C.T. Lin, J. Wang,
Y. Xu, Md M. Rahman, T.J. Zhang, G. Chen, Nano Energy 17, 290 (2015).
44. P.I. Cooper, Sol. Energy 15, 205 (1973).
45. J.B. Chou, Y. Xiang, Y. Yoonkyung, E. Lee, A. Lenert, V. Rinnerbauer, I. Celanovic ,
M. Soljacˇic´, N.X. Fang, E.N. Wang, S.-G. Kim, Adv. Mater. 26, 8041 (2014).
46. D. Kraemer, K. McEnaney, F. Cao, Z. Ren, G. Chen, Sol. Energy Mater. Sol.
Cells 132, 640 (2015).
47. T.P. Otanicar, S. Theisen, T. Norman, H. Tyagi, R.A. Taylor, Appl. Energy 140,
48. C. Fei Guo, T. Sun, F. Cao, Q. Liu, Z. Ren, Light Sci. Appl. 3, e161 (2014).
49. M. Peters, J.C. Goldschmidt, P. Löper, B. Groß, J. Üpping, F. Dimroth,
R.B. Wehrspohn, B. Bläsi, Energies 3, 171 (2010).
50. Y.X. Yeng, J.B. Chou, V. Rinnerbauer, Y. Shen, S.-G. Kim, J.D. Joannopoulos,
M. Soljacic, I. Celanovic´, Opt. Express 22, 21711 (2014).
51. D. Kraemer, B. Poudel, H.-P. Feng, J.C. Caylor, B. Yu, X. Yan, Y. Ma, X. Wang,
D. Wang, A. Muto, K. McEnaney, M. Chiesa, Z. Ren, G. Chen, Nat. Mater. 10,
52. M.A. Kats, S.J. Byrnes, R. Blanchard, M. Kolle, P. Genevet, J. Aizenberg,
F. Capasso, Appl. Phys. Lett. 103, 101104 (2013).
53. J.-Q. Xi, M.F. Schubert, J.K. Kim, E.F. Schubert, M. Chen, S.-Y. Lin, W. Liu,
J.A. Smart, Nat. Photonics 1, 176 (2007).
54. J.Y. Lu, S.H. Nam, K. Wilke, A. Raza, Y.E. Lee, A. AlGhaferi, N.X. Fang, T. Zhang ,
Adv. Opt. Mater. 4, 1255 (2016).
55. L. Zhou, Y. Tan, J. Wang, W. Xu, Y. Yuan, W. Cai, S. Zhu, J. Zhu, Nat. Photonics
10, 393 (2016).
56. L. Zhou, Y. Tan, D. Ji, B. Zhu, P. Zhang, J. Xu, Q. Gan, Z. Yu, J. Zhu, Sci. Adv.
2, e1501227 (2016).
57. J.Y. Lu, A. Raza, S. Noorulla, A.S. Alketbi, N.X. Fang, G. Chen, T. Zhang,
Adv. Opt. Mater. 5, 1700222 (2017).
58. T.M. Tillotson, L.W. Hrubesh, J. Non. Cryst. Solids 145, 44 (1992).
59. L. Zhao, S. Yang, B. Bhatia, E. Strobach, E.N. Wang, AIP Adv. 6, 025123
60. L.A. Weinstein, K. McEnaney, E. Strobach, S. Yang, B. Bhatia, L. Zhao,
Y. Huang, J. Loomis, F. Cao, S.V. Boriskina, Z. Ren, E.N. Wang, G. Chen,
Joule 2, 962 (2018).
61. K. McEnaney, L. Weinstein, D. Kraemer, H. Ghasemi, G. Chen, Nano Energy
40, 180 (2017).
62. H.-Y. Chan, S.B. Riffat, J. Zhu, Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 14, 781 (2010).
63. E. Rephaeli, A. Raman, S. Fan, Nano Lett. 13, 1457 (2013).
64. M.M. Hossain, M. Gu, Adv. Sci. 3, 1500360 (2016).
65. T.S. Eriksson, E.M. Lushiku, C.G. Granqvist, Sol. Energy Mater. 11, 149
66. L. Zhu, A. Raman, K.X. Wang, M.A. Anoma, S. Fan, Optica 1, 32 (2014).
67. Z. Chen, L. Zhu, A. Raman, S. Fan, Nat. Commun. 7, 13729 (2016).
68. S.H. Zandavi, Y. Huang, G. Ni, R. Pang, R.M. Osgood III, P. Kamal, A. Jain,
G. Chen, S.V. Boriskina, in Frontiers in Optics 2017, OSA Technical Digest
Series (online) (Optical Society of America, 2017), paper FM4D.6, doi:10.1364/
69. P.-C. Hsu, A.Y. Song, P.B. Catrysse, C. Liu, Y. Peng, J. Xie, S. Fan, Y. Cui.
Science 353, 1019 (2016).
70. S.V. Boriskina, Science 353, 986 (2016).
71. S.V. Boriskina, H. Zandavi, B. Song, Y. Huang, G. Chen, Opt. Photonics News
28, 26 (2017).
72. Y. Peng, J. Chen, A.Y. Song, P.B. Catrysse, P.-C. Hsu, L. Cai, B. Liu, Y. Zhu,
G. Zhou, D.S. Wu, H.R. Lee, S. Fa, Y. Cui, Nat. Sustain. 1, 105 (2018).
73. S. Jafar-Zanjani, M.M. Salary, H. Mosallaei, ACS Photonics 4, 915 (2017).
74. A. Raza, J.-Y. Lu, S. Alzaim, H. Li, T.J. Zhang, Energies 11, 253 (2018).
75. O. Neumann, A.S. Urban, J. Day, S. Lal, P. Nordlander, N.J. Halas, ACS Nano
7, 42 (2013).
76. H. Ghasemi, G. Ni, A.M. Marconnet, J. Loomis, S. Yerci, N. Miljkovic, G. Chen,
Nat. Commun. 5, 1 (2014).
77. L. Zhang, B. Tang, J. Wu, R. Li, P. Wang, Adv. Mater. 27, 4889 (2015).
78. C. Chang, C. Yang, Y. Liu, P. Tao, C. Song, W. Shang, J. Wu, T. Deng, ACS Appl.
Mater. Interfaces 8, 23412 (2016).
79. S. Zhuang, L. Zhou, W. Xu, N. Xu, X. Hu, X. Li, G. Lv, Q. Zheng, S. Zhu,
Z. Wang, J. Zhu, Adv. Sci. 5, 1700497 (2018).
80. M. Gao, P.K.N. Connor, G.W. Ho, Energy Environ. Sci. 495, 305 (2016).
81. X. Wang, Y. He, X. Liu, G. Cheng, J. Zhu, Appl. Energy 195, 414 (2017).
82. X. Li, J. Li, J. Lu, N. Xu, C. Chen, X. Min, B. Zhu, H. Li, L. Zhou, S. Zhu,
T.J. Zhang, J. Zhu, Joule 2, 1331 (2018).
83. C. Liu, J. Huang, C.-E. Hsiung, Y. Tian, J. Wang, Y. Han, A. Fratalocchi,
Adv. Sustain. Syst. 1, 1600013 (2017).
84. P. Wang, Environ. Sci. Nano 5, 1078 (2018).
85. N. Xu, X. Hu, W. Xu, X. Li, L. Zhou, S. Zhu, J. Zhu, Adv. Mater. 29, 1606762
86. G. Ni, G. Li, S.V. Boriskina, H. Li, W. Yang, T. Zhang, G. Chen, Nat. Energy
1, 16126 (2016).
87. N.J. Hogan, A.S. Urban, C. Ayala-Orozco, A. Pimpinelli, P. Nordlander,
N.J. Halas, Nano Lett. 14, 4640 (2014).
88. Z. Wang, Y. Liu, P. Tao, Q. Shen, N. Yi, F. Zhang, Q. Liu, C. Song, D. Zhang,
W. Shang, T. Deng, Small 10, 3234 (2014).
89. L. Tian, J. Luan, K.-K. Liu, Q. Jiang, S. Tadepalli, M.K. Gupta, R.R. Naik,
S. Singamaneni, Nano Lett. 16, 609 (2015).
90. D. Zhao, H. Duan, S. Yu, Y. Zhang, J. He, X. Quan, P. Tao, W. Shang, J. Wu,
C. Song, T. Deng, Sci. Rep. 5, 17276 (2015).
91. S.V. Boriskina, T.A. Cooper, L. Zeng, G. Ni, J.K. Tong, Y. Tsurimaki, Y. Huang,
L. Meroueh, G. Mahan, G. Chen, Adv. Opt. Photonics 9, 775 (2017).
92. S.V. Boriskina, H. Ghasemi, G. Chen, Mater. Today 16, 375 (2013).
93. A.S. Nafey, M. Abdelkader, A. Abdelmotalip, A.A. Mabrouk, Energy Convers.
Manag. 43, 937 (2002).
94. Y. Liu, J. Chen, D. Guo, M. Cao, L. Jiang, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 7,
95. Y. Ito, Y. Tanabe, J. Han, T. Fujita, K. Tanigaki, M. Chen, Adv. Mater. 27,
96. K.-K. Liu, Q. Jiang, S. Tadepalli, R. Raliya, P. Biswas, R.R. Naik, S. Singamaneni,
ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 9, 7675 (2017).
97. F. Chen, A.S. Gong, M. Zhu, G. Chen, S.D. Lacey, F. Jiang, Y. Li, Y. Wang, J. Dai,
Y. Yao, J. Song, B. Liu, K. Fu, S. Das, L. Hu, ACS Nano 11, 4275 (2017).
98. S. Hong, Y. Shi, R. Li, C. Zhang, Y. Jin, P. Wang, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces
10, 28517 (2018).
99. O. Neumann, C. Feronti, A.D. Neumann, A. Dong, K. Schell, B. Lu, E. Kim, M.
Quinn, S. Thompson, N. Grady, P. Nordlander, M. Oden, N.J. Halas, Proc. Natl.
Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 110, 11677 (2013).
100. T.A. Cooper, S.H. Zandavi, G.W. Ni, Y. Tsurimaki, Y. Huang, S.V. Boriskina,
G. Chen, Nat. Commun. 9, 5086 (2018).
101. K.J. Ferrar, D.R. Michanowicz, C.L. Christen, N. Mulcahy, S.L. Malone,
R.K. Sharma, Environ. Sci. Technol. 47, 3472 (2013).
NaNomaterials for the water-eNergy Nexus
MRS BULLETIN • VOLUME 44 • JANUARY 2019 • www.mrs.org/bulletin
102. T. Sirivedhin, L. Dallbauman, Chemosphere 57, 463 (2004).
103. B. Van der Bruggen, C. Vandecasteele, Environ. Pollut. 122, 435 (2003).
104. P. Yang, K. Liu, Q. Chen, J. Li, J. Duan, G. Xue, Z. Xu, W. Xie, J. Zhou,
Energy Environ. Sci. 10, 1923 (2017).
105. F. Zhao, X. Zhou, Y. Shi, X. Qian, M. Alexander, X. Zhao, S. Mendez, R. Yang,
L. Qu, G. Yu, Nat. Nanotechnol. 13, 489 (2018).
106. Y. Shi, R. Li, Y. Jin, S. Zhuo, L. Shi, J. Chang, S. Hong, K.-C. Ng, P. Wang,
Joule 2, 1171 (2018).
107. P.D. Dongare, A. Alabastri, S. Pedersen, K.R. Zodrow, N.J. Hogan, O. Neumann,
J. Wu, T. Wang, A. Deshmukh, M. Elimelech, Q. Li, P. Nordlander, N.J. Halas,
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 114, 6936 (2017).
108. A. Politano, P. Argurio, G. Di Proﬁo, V. Sanna, A. Cupolillo, S. Chakraborty,
H.A. Arafat, E. Curcio, Adv. Mater. 29, 1603504 (2017).
109. E. Chiavazzo, M. Morciano, F. Viglino, M. Fasano, P. Asinari, arXiv:1702.05422v3
110. S.H. Schneider, T.L. Root, M.D. Mastrandrea, Encyclopedia of Climate and
Weather, 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press, New York, 2011).
111. WWAP (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme), The United
Nations World Water Development Report 2015: Water for a Sustainable World
(UNESCO, Paris, 2015).
112. L. Zhang, J. Wu, M.N. Hedhili, X. Yang, P. Wang, J. Mater. Chem. A 3,
113. J. Ju, H. Bai, Y. Zheng, T. Zhao, R. Fang, L. Jiang, Nat. Commun. 3,
114. K.-C. Park, S.S. Chhatre, S. Srinivasan, R.E. Cohen, G.H. McKinley, Langmuir
29, 13269 (2013).
115. Y. Wang, X. Wang, C. Lai, H. Hu, Y. Kong, B. Fei, J.H. Xin, ACS Appl. Mater.
Interfaces 8, 2950 (2016).
116. Y. Hou, Y. Chen, Y. Xue, Y. Zheng, L. Jiang, Langmuir 28, 4737 (2012).
117. M.J. Estrela, J.A. Valiente, D. Corell, M.M. Millán, Atmos. Res. 87, 324
118. J. Olivier, C. de Rautenbach, Atmos. Res. 64, 227 (2002).
119. T.A. McHugh, E.M. Morrissey, S.C. Reed, B.A. Hungate, E. Schwartz,
Sci. Rep. 5, 13767 (2015).
120. R.V. Wahlgren, Water Res. 35, 1 (2001).
121. E.D. Wikramanayake, O. Ozkan, V. Bahadur, Energy 138, 647 (2017).
122. H. Kim, S.R. Rao, E.A. Kapustin, L. Zhao, S. Yang, O.M. Yaghi, E.N. Wang,
Nat. Commun. 9, 1191 (2018).
123. H. Kim, S. Yang, S.R. Rao, S. Narayanan, E.A. Kapustin, H. Furukawa,
A.S. Umans, O.M. Yaghi, E.N. Wang, Science 356, 430 (2017).
124. J.G. Ji, R.Z. Wang, L.X. Li, Desalination 212, 176 (2007).
125. J.Y. Wang, J.Y. Liu, R.Z. Wang, L.W. Wang, Appl. Therm. Eng. 127, 1608
126. R. Li, Y. Shi, L. Shi, M. Alsaedi, P. Wang, Environ. Sci. Technol. 52, 5398 (2018).
127. R. Li, L. Zhang, L. Shi, P. Wang, ACS Nano 11, 3752 (2017).
128. Y. Liu, S. Yu, R. Feng, A. Bernard, Y. Liu, Y. Zhang, H. Duan, W. Shang,
P. Tao, C. Song, T. Deng, Adv. Mater. 27, 2768 (2015).
129. H.T. Chua, K.C. Ng, A. Chakraborty, N.M. Oo, M.A. Othman, J. Chem. Eng. Data
7, 1177 (2002).
130. Y. Wang, M.D. LeVan, J. Chem. Eng. Data 54, 2839 (2009).
131. R. Desai, M. Hussain, D.M. Ruthven, Can. J. Chem. Eng. 70, 699 (2009).
132. D.K. Nandakumar, S.K. Ravi, Y. Zhang, N. Guo, C. Zhang, S.C. Tan, Energy
Environ. Sci. 11, 2179 (2018).
133. E. Mitridis, T.M. Schutzius, A. Sicher, C.U. Hail, H. Eghlidi, D. Poulikakos,
ACS Nano 12, 7009 (2018).
134. S. Dash, J. de Ruiter, K.K. Varanasi, Sci. Adv. 4, eaat0127 (2018).
135. J.R. French, K. Friedrich, S.A. Tessendorf, R.M. Rauber, B. Geerts,
R.M. Rasmussen, L. Xue, M.L. Kunkel, D.R. Blestrud, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.
U.S.A. 115, 1168 (2018).
136. J.M. Fisher, M.L. Lytle, M.L. Kunkel, D.R. Blestrud, N.W. Dawson, S.K.
Parkinson, R. Edwards, S.G. Benner, Adv. Meteorol. 2018, 7293987 (2018).
137. Q. Fu, F. Ansari, Q. Zhou, L.A. Berglund, ACS Nano 12, 2222 (2018).
138. H. Liu, C. Chen, H. Wen, R. Guo, N.A. Williams, B. Wang, F. Chen, L. Hu,
J. Mater. Chem. A 6, 18839 (2018).
139. H. Zhu, Z. Guo, W. Liu, Chem. Commun. 52, 3863 (2016).
140. N.N. Shi, C.-C. Tsai, F. Camino, G.D. Bernard, N. Yu, R. Wehner, Science
349, 298 (2015).
141. Q. Willot, P. Simonis, J.-P. Vigneron, S. Aron, M. Rassart, T. Seldrum, PLoS One
11, e0152325 (2016).
142. L. Cortese, L. Pattelli, F. Utel, S. Vignolini, M. Burresi, D.S. Wiersma,
Adv. Opt. Mater. 3, 1337 (2015).
143. A. Ruiz-Clavijo, Y. Tsurimaki, O. Caballero-Calero, G. Ni, G. Chen, S.V.
Boriskina, M. Martín-González, ACS Photonics 5, 2120 (2018).
144. L. Zhai, M.C. Berg, F.Ç. Cebeci, Y. Kim, J.M. Milwid, M.F. Rubner, R.E. Cohen,
Nano Lett. 6, 1213 (2006).
145. Y. Zeng, J. Yao, B.A. Horri, K. Wang, Y. Wu, D. Li, H. Wang, Energy Environ.
Sci. 4, 4074 (2011).
Svetlana V. Boriskina is a research scientist in
the Department of Mechanical Engineering at
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She
received her PhD degree in physics and mathe-
matics from Kharkiv National University, Ukraine.
She previously worked as a research fellow at The
University of Nottingham, UK, and Boston Uni-
versity. Her research focuses on the develop-
ment of smart fabrics for thermal comfort, new
metamaterials to manipulate light in unusual
ways, and solar-harvesting platforms to provide
clean energy and fresh water to off-grid and
disaster-stricken communities. Boriskina has
authored 110 publications, served as the princi-
pal investigator (PI) or co-PI on multiple US Department of Defense, US Depart-
ment of Energy, and NATO-funded projects, and holds many patents on sensor,
energy-conversion, and desalination systems. She is currently a director-at-
large at The Optical Society, and an associate editor of Optics Express and the
Journal of Optics. Boriskina can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aikifa Raza is a research scientist in the
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engi-
neering of the Masdar Institute, Khalifa Univer-
sity of Science and Technology, United Arab
Emirates. Her research interests include nano-/
microfabrication and characterization for solar-
thermal applications and the characterization of
interfacial adhesive forces between different
materials using the quantum nanomechanical
atomic force microscopic approach. She has
published more than 30 peer-reviewed papers
and ﬁve book chapters. Raza can be reached by
email at email@example.com.
TieJun (TJ) Zhang is an associate professor
of mechanical and materials engineering at the
Masdar Institute, Khalifa University of Science
and Technology, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
He was a visiting assistant professor at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a
postdoctoral research associate at the Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute. He received the UAE
National Research Foundation University-Industry
Research Collaboration Award, and served as
the PI of multiple research projects on energy
and micro/nanotechnologies. He has authored
more than 130 publications on phase-change
heat transfer and microﬂuidics, nanomaterials
synthesis and advanced microfabrication, solar-power generation and refrigera-
tion cooling, subsurface multiphase ﬂow and water treatment, and energy process
dynamics and control. He is a member of The American Society of Mechanical
Engineers (ASME) NanoEngineering for Energy and Sustainability Steering
Committee and ASME Heat Transfer Division K18 Technical Committee. Zhang
can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peng Wang is an associate professor of environ-
mental science and engineering at King Abdullah
University of Science and Technology (KAUST),
Saudi Arabia. He is afﬁliated with the Water
Desalination and Reuse Center and KAUST Solar
Center. His research interests include nano-
photothermal material-assisted solar desalination,
atmospheric water harvesting, smart materials-
enabled solar cooling, oil/water separation, and
energy harvesting. He has published more than
70 papers in prestigious journals and three
academic books, and is on the advisory board
of Advanced Sustainable Systems. Wang can be
reached by email at email@example.com.
NANOMATERIALS FOR THE WATER-ENERGY NEXUS
66 MRS BULLE TIN • VOLUME 44 • JANUARY 2019 • www.mrs.org/bulletin
Lin Zhou is an associate professor of quantum
electronics and optics engineering in the College
of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Nanjing
University, China. She is also a research scientist
at Columbia University. Her research interests lie in
nanophotonics, plasmonics, and related energy-
conversion systems. Her current research focus-
es on nanophotonics design of plasmonic micro-
structures for solar-thermal conversion, and
emerging materials for solar absorbers, solar
desalination, and solar thermo-photovoltaics.
She has published more than 40 peer-reviewed
papers and one book chapter. Zhou can be
reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Jia Zhu is a professor in the College of Engineer-
ing and Applied Sciences at Nanjing University,
China. He received his MS and PhD degrees in
electrical engineering from Stanford University,
and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Uni-
versity of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory. His scientiﬁ c
research interests lie in the areas of nanomate-
rials, nanophotonics, and nanoscale heat transfer.
Zhu has received several prestigious awards,
including the OSA Young Investigator Award
(2017), Dupont Young Professor Award (2016),
MIT Technology Review TR35 Award (2016), and
the Recruitment Program of Global Experts
(2014). He has published more than 60 papers and delivered more than 40 keynote/
invited lectures at leading research institutions, international conferences, and the
US Department of Energy. He is an advisory board member of Molecular Systems
Design & Engineering . Zhu can be reached by email at email@example.com .
2019 MRS Fall
Meeting & Exhibit
XXVIII International Materials
2019 Meetings and Workshops Organized, Co-sponsored and/or Managed by the Materials Research Society
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
International Workshop on
Gallium Oxide and Other
Related Material (IWGO)*
Ann Arbor, Michigan
on Nitride Semiconductors
2019 MRS Spring
Meeting & Exhibit
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Universal Themes of