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A storm over crops

How Agricultural Research Can Navigate the Perfect Storm

Delivering water, energy and food for all in a sustainable and equitable way is a major challenge faced by society. The water-energy-food nexus concept aims to address this by better understanding how interactions between water, energy and food are shaped by environmental, economic, social and political changes and how the synergies and trade-offs among them can be better planned and managed.

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Panchromatic All‐Polymer Photodetector with Tunable Polarization Sensitivity

In this report, a high‐performance all‐polymer organic photodetector that is sensitive to linearly polarized light throughout the visible spectrum is demonstrated. The active layer is a bulk heterojunction composed of an electron donor polymer PBnDT‐FTAZ and acceptor polymer P(NDI2OD‐T2) that have complementary spectral absorption resulting in efficient detection from 350 to 800 nm.

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This image depicts F4-TCNQ

Revealing the Impact of F4‐TCNQ as Additive on Morphology and Performance of High‐Efficiency Nonfullerene Organic Solar Cells

Fluorinated molecule 2,3,5,6‐tetrafluoro‐7,7,8,8‐tetracyanoquinodimethane (F4‐TCNQ) and its derivatives have been used in polymer:fullerene solar cells primarily as a dopant to optimize the electrical properties and device performance. However, the underlying mechanism and generality of how F4‐TCNQ affects device operation and possibly the morphology is poorly understood, particularly for emerging nonfullerene organic solar cells.

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This image depicts the two structures

The finale of a trilogy: comparing terpolymers and ternary blends with structurally similar backbones for use in organic bulk heterojunction solar cells

Building on our previous works that compared the efficacy of terpolymers vs. ternary blends in improving the performance of bulk heterojunction organic solar cells, the final piece of this series of studies focuses on comparing terpolymer and ternary blends constructed with two polymers with structurally similar backbones (monoCNTAZ and FTAZ) yet markedly different open circuit voltage (Voc) values. Terpolymers and ternary blends of five different ratios were studied and the results demonstrate that while the overall performance of both the systems is similar, the ternary blends exhibit higher short circuit current (Jsc) values, while the terpolymers exhibit higher Voc values.

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Automatic Identification of Center Pivot Irrigation Systems from Landsat Images Using Convolutional Neural Networks

Being hailed as the greatest mechanical innovation in agriculture since the replacement of draft animals by the tractor, center pivot irrigation systems irrigate crops with a significant reduction in both labor and water needs compared to traditional irrigation methods, such as flood irrigation. In the last few decades, the deployment of center pivot irrigation systems has increased dramatically throughout the United States. Monitoring the installment and operation of the center pivot systems can help: (i) Water resource management agencies to objectively assess water consumption and properly allocate water resources, (ii) Agro-businesses to locate potential customers, and (iii) Researchers to investigate land use change.

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This image shows the Lower Mekong Basin along with the Tonle Sap Dai fishery

Response to Comments on “Designing river flows to improve food security futures in the Lower Mekong Basin”

Sabo et al. presented an empirically derived algorithm defining the socioecological response of the Tonle Sap Dai fishery in the Cambodian Mekong to basin-scale variation in hydrologic flow regime. Williams suggests that the analysis leading to the algorithm is flawed because of the large distance between the gauge used to measure water levels (hydrology) and the site of harvest for the fishery.

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Memory of Irrigation Effects on Hydroclimate and Its Modeling Challenge

Irrigation modifies land-surface water and energy budgets, and also influences weather and climate. However, current earth-system models, used for weather prediction and climate projection, are still in their infancy stage to consider irrigation effects. This study used long-term data collected from two contrasting (irrigated and rainfed) nearby maize-soybean rotation fields, to study the effects of irrigation memory on local hydroclimate.

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Measuring Temperature-Dependent Miscibility for Polymer Solar Cell Blends: An Easily Accessible Optical Method Reveals Complex Behavior

In bulk-heterojunction polymer solar cells (PSC), the molecular-level mixing between conjugated polymer donors and small-molecule acceptors plays a crucial role in obtaining a desirable morphology and good device stability. It has been recently shown that the thermodynamic limit of this mixing can be quantified by the liquidus miscibility, the composition of the small-molecule acceptor in amorphous phases in the presence of small-molecule crystals, and then converted to the Flory–Huggins interaction parameter χ.

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cover of remote sensing

Deriving High Spatiotemporal Remote Sensing Images Using Deep Convolutional Network

Due to technical and budget limitations, there are inevitably some trade-offs in the design of remote sensing instruments, making it difficult to acquire high spatiotemporal resolution remote sensing images simultaneously. To address this problem, this paper proposes a new data fusion model named the deep convolutional spatiotemporal fusion network (DCSTFN), which makes full use of a convolutional neural network (CNN) to derive high spatiotemporal resolution images from remotely sensed images with high temporal but low spatial resolution (HTLS) and low temporal but high spatial resolution (LTHS).

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Kinetic model for surfactant-induced pore wetting in membrane distillation

Appendix CMembrane pore wetting is a unique and important technical challenge for membrane distillation (MD). While the general principle of pore wetting is well known, the detailed mechanism of pore wetting induced by surfactants that can actively adsorb onto membrane pore surface has not been theoretically elucidated. In this study, we developed a theoretical model, based on surfactant transport in a partially wetted membrane pore under the pseudo-steady state assumption, to quantify the kinetics of pore wetting.

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Water–energy–food nexus: a platform for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals

Tight interconnections exist between water, energy, and food systems. As stresses on these
resource systems continue to increase, there is a growing need to better quantify and
understand the trade-offs associated with their future planning and management (Figure 1).
Water is used to produce hydropower and to cool thermal power plants. Groundwater is
impacted by hydraulic fracturing: the extraction of oil and gas carries the collateral danger of
contaminating neighbouring aquifers and affecting the supply of water for drinking . . .

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Sustainability Cover Photo

Developing Socio-Techno-Economic-Political (STEP) Solutions for Addressing Resource Nexus Hotspots

Proposing solutions to address different resource hotspots must be multi-faceted and need to acknowledge the multiple dimensions of the biophysical water, energy, and food systems, and the players connected with them. This commentary first explores the multiple dimensions of water, energy, and food systems as these relate to government, business, and society. It then identifies contemporary critical questions at the interface of these stressed resource systems.

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Mechanism of Pore Wetting in Membrane Distillation with Alcohol vs. Surfactant

Pore wetting is a unique and important technical challenge that can lead to process failure in membrane distillation (MD) using hydrophobic membranes. While it is well known that both low-surface-tension and water miscible liquids, such as alcohols, and amphiphilic molecules, such as surfactants, are effective wetting agents, the detailed mechanisms for these agents to induce pore wetting remain unclear. In particular, the role of surface adsorption in surfactant-induced wetting remains to be elucidated.

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In Bold green and black font " Environmental Science & Technology"

Phosphatase-Mediated Hydrolysis of Linear Polyphosphates

Polyphosphates are a group of phosphorus (P) containing molecules that are produced by a wide range of microorganisms and human activities. Although polyphosphates are ubiquitous in aquatic environments and are of environmental significance, little is known about their transformation and cycling. This study characterized the polyphopshate-hydrolysis mechanisms of several representative phosphatase enzymes and evaluated the effects of polyphosphate chain length, light condition, and calcium (Ca2+).

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Enhancing the performance of the electron acceptor ITIC-Th via tailoring its end groups

We choose the high-performance nonfullerene acceptor ITIC-Th as an example, and incorporate electron-donating methoxy and electron-withdrawing F groups onto the terminal group 1,1-dicyanomethylene-3-indanone (IC) to construct a small library of four fused-ring electron acceptors. With this series, we systematically investigate the effects of the substituents on the end-groups on the electronic properties, charge transport, film morphology, and photovoltaic properties of the ITIC-Th series.

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This article can be found in Vol. 30 No. 8 of Advanced Materials

Surpassing 10% Efficiency Benchmark for Nonfullerene Organic Solar Cells by Scalable Coating in Air from Single Nonhalogenated Solvent

The commercialization of nonfullerene organic solar cells (OSCs) critically relies on the response under typical operating conditions (for instance, temperature and humidity) and the ability of scale‐up. Despite the rapid increase in power conversion efficiency (PCE) of spin‐coated devices fabricated in a protective atmosphere, the efficiencies of printed nonfullerene OSC devices by blade coating are still lower than 6%.

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Enhancing the performance of a fused-ring electron acceptor via extending benzene to naphthalene

We compared an indacenodithiophene(IDT)-based fused-ring electron acceptor IDIC1 with its counterpart IHIC1 in which the central benzene unit is replaced by a naphthalene unit, and investigated the effects of the benzene/naphthalene core on the optical and electronic properties as well as on the performance of organic solar cells (OSCs). Compared with benzene-cored IDIC1, naphthalene-cored IHIC1 shows a larger π-conjugation with stronger intermolecular π–π stacking.

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