Development and Evolution of the System Structure for Highly Efficient Solar Steam Generation from Zero to Three Dimensions

Jianhua Zhou, Yufei Gu, Pengfei Liu, Pengfei Wang, Lei Miao, Jing Liu, Anyun Wei, Xiaojiang Mu, Jinlei Li, Jia Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

240 Citations (Scopus)


Direct solar steam generation (DSSG) offers a promising, sustainable, and environmentally friendly solution to the energy and water crisis. In the past decades, DSSG has gained tremendous attention due to its potential applications for clean water production, desalination, wastewater treatment, and electric energy harvesting. Even though the solar–thermal conversion efficiency has approached 100% under 1 sun illumination (1 kW m−2) using various photothermal materials and systems, the optimization of the materials and system structure remains unclear because of the lack of evaluation methods in unity for the output efficiency. In this review, a few key concerns about different dimensional materials and systems that determine the characteristics of DSSG are explored. Quantitative analysis, including calculations and methods for the solar–thermal conversion efficiency, evaporation rate, and energy loss, is employed to evaluate the materials and systems from the point of view of ultimate utilization. This article focuses on the relationship between the system dimension and energy efficiency and notes opportunities for future system design and commercialization of DSSG.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1903255
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes


  • direct solar steam generation
  • interfacial system
  • nanofluids
  • photothermal materials
  • system dimension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biomaterials


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