The “CAST International Young Scientists Salon on Future Technologies for Carbon Neutrality” took place on Jinnan Campus of Nankai University from October 13 to 14. In response to China’s goal of “carbon peaking and carbon neutrality” and the world’s scientific and technological frontiers, the salon focuses on the research areas such as new high-efficiency solar cells, water splitting for hydrogen production, carbon dioxide reduction and conversion, and green ammonia synthesis. It brings together outstanding young scholars from around the world for discussions of future solutions to carbon neutrality. Chen Jun, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Vice President of Nankai University, delivered an opening speech online. Luo Jingshan, a professor at Nankai University, served as the executive chair of the salon.
Academician Chen Jun delivered an opening speech online
At the salon, 28 young experts and scholars from well-known universities and research institutes at home and abroad gave wonderful talks on the research progress of future technologies for carbon neutrality, and interacted with offline attendees and online audiences.
In terms of perovskite solar cells, You Jingbi, a researcher at the Institute of Semiconductors of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, introduced the influencing factors of high-efficiency devices and shared methods for improving device performance. Wolfgang Tress, a professor at Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland, gave a report on the use of advanced characterization tools, advanced modeling and other strategies, to explore the loss mechanism of perovskite cells during operation. Jesper Jacobsson, a professor at Nankai University, gave a talk on the use of artificial intelligence to screen perovskite components. Professor Zhang Fei of Tianjin University introduced the application of low-dimensional perovskite materials to the interface construction and stability improvement for three-dimensional perovskite cells. Professor Bi Dongqin of Sun Yat-sen University gave a report on the use of interface modifications and perovskite layer optimization strategies to improve the efficiency and stability of perovskite solar cells. Yi Chenyi, an associate professor at Tsinghua University, gave a report on the preparation of high-efficiency and large-scale perovskite cells using vacuum evaporation process. Professor Li Xiong of Huazhong University of Science and Technology gave a report on the preparation of efficient, stable perovskite cell components using collaborative molecular engineering strategy.
In terms of water splitting for hydrogen production, Professor Sun Xiaoming of Beijing University of Chemical Technology introduced the analysis of bubble growth kinetics in the process of water splitting using spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulation. Gong Ming, a young professor at Fudan University, introduced the use of weak interface interaction to regulate the performance of electrocatalysts. Peter Cendula, an assistant professor at University of Žilina in Slovakia, explored the limiting factors of photoelectrode and photovoltage as well as catalyst interface reaction kinetics through device simulation analysis. Nestor Guijarro, an associate professor at the University of Alicante, Spain, talked about his research on the selective crushing of lignocellulosic biomass into simple aromatic hydrocarbons through photooxidation system. Deng Dehui, a professor at Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, introduced the construction of long-life, low-cost water electolyser for hydrogen production based on non-precious metal “chainmail for catalyst”. Fatwa F. Abdi, an associate professor at City University of Hong Kong, analyzed the current cost of solar-powered water splitting for hydrogen production, and introduced his research on the preparation of high-value-added chemicals through hydrogenation directly coupled with biomass materials during in-situ hydrogen production.
In terms of carbon dioxide reduction, Professor Zheng Gengfeng of Fudan University gave a talk on the highly selective generation of ethylene, acetic acid and other products that was realized by controlling the spacing of copper sites. Wang Lei, an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore, introduced the optimization and selectivity of copper-silver catalysts for carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide reduction reaction products. Professor Xu Bingjun of Peking University introduced the impact of uneven copper sites on the carbon dioxide reduction process. Wang Guoxiong, a professor at Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, introduced the idea of designing tandem reactor based on solid oxide electrolytic cells and room temperature membrane electrode cells. Yanwei Lum, an assistant professor at National University of Singapore, introduced the sustainable preparation of high-value fuels/chemicals through the series connection of cathodic reaction and anodic reaction in electrocatalysis for carbon dioxide reduction. Yun Jeong Hwang, an associate professor at Seoul National University, and Jiang Kun, a young researcher at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, analyzed the influence of local microenvironment on carbon dioxide reduction reaction. Zhang Tierui, a professor at the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, gave a talk on the effect of design and preparation of defective and nanostructured LDH photocatalysts for carbon dioxide reduction. Li Hongliang, an associate professor at University of Science and Technology of China, introduced the heterogeneous hydrogenation reaction of carbon dioxide. Mojtaba Abdi-Jalebi, an associate professor at the University of London, gave a talk on next-generation electrochemical systems and advanced functional materials for the use of solar energy.
In terms of ammonia synthesis, Alexandr Simonov, an associate professor at Monash University in Australia, and Dr. Fu Xianbiao of the Technical University of Denmark introduced proton sources for lithium-mediated ammonia synthesis, the optimization of reaction interface, different types of proton shuttles and the mediation roles of different alkali metals, respectively. Xiao Jianping, a professor at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, explained the reverse artificial nitrogen cycle from the perspectives of reaction network, kinetics and electric potential effects based on the theoretical model. Professor Yu Yifu of Tianjin University introduced the alternating magnetic field-assisted ammonia synthesis, as well as the design of electrochemical nitrogen oxidation and nitrate reduction catalysts. Zhao Yunxuan, a professor at the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, discussed the challenges in photocatalytic nitrogen fixation, standardized test procedures and catalyst design.
During the meeting, the speakers also visited the Institute of Photoelectronic Thin Film Devices and Technology of Nankai University.
The salon, which was held both offline and online, was hosted by the China Association for Science and Technology, organized by Nankai University, and co-organized by the National University of Singapore, Monash University in Australia, and the University of Alicante in Spain, with support from platforms such as the eScience journal of Nankai University. It attracted the attention of researchers and students in the field of carbon neutrality. Nearly 100 faculty and students participated in the conference offline, and the online livestreaming attracted over 80,000 views.
（Edited and translated by Nankai News Team.)