skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Zhu, Kai"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2025
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  3. Kafafi, Zakya (Ed.)
    Abstract In hybrid perovskite solar cells (PSCs), the reaction of hydrogens (H) located in the amino group of the organic A-site cations with their neighboring halides plays a central role in degradation. Inspired by the retarded biological activities of cells in heavy water, we replaced the light H atom with its abundant, twice-as-heavy, nonradioactive isotope, deuterium (D) to hamper the motion of H. This D substitution retarded the formation kinetics of the detrimental H halides in Pb-based PSCs, as well as the H bond-mediated oxidation of Sn2+ in Sn–Pb-based narrow-bandgap PSCs, evidenced by accelerated stability studies. A computational study indicated that the zero point energy of D-based formamidinium (FA) is lower than that of pristine FA. In addition, the smaller increase in entropy in D-based FA than in pristine FA accounts for the increased formation free energy of the Sn2+ vacancies, which leads to the retarded oxidation kinetics of Sn2+. In this study, we show that substituting active H with D in organic cations is an effective way to enhance the stability of PSCs without sacrificing photovoltaic (PV) performance. This approach is also adaptable to other stabilizing methods. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  4. Abstract Mountain treelines are thought to be sensitive to climate change. However, how climate impacts mountain treelines is not yet fully understood as treelines may also be affected by other human activities. Here, we focus on “closed‐loop” mountain treelines (CLMT) that completely encircle a mountain and are less likely to have been influenced by human land‐use change. We detect a total length of ~916,425 km of CLMT across 243 mountain ranges globally and reveal a bimodal latitudinal distribution of treeline elevations with higher treeline elevations occurring at greater distances from the coast. Spatially, we find that temperature is the main climatic driver of treeline elevation in boreal and tropical regions, whereas precipitation drives CLMT position in temperate zones. Temporally, we show that 70% of CLMT have moved upward, with a mean shift rate of 1.2 m/year over the first decade of the 21st century. CLMT are shifting fastest in the tropics (mean of 3.1 m/year), but with greater variability. Our work provides a new mountain treeline database that isolates climate impacts from other anthropogenic pressures, and has important implications for biodiversity, natural resources, and ecosystem adaptation in a changing climate. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  7. Forest restoration is increasingly heralded as a global strategy to conserve biodiversity and mitigate climate change, yet long-term studies that compare the effects of different restoration strategies on tree recruit demographics are lacking. We measured tree recruit survival and growth annually in three restoration treatments—natural regeneration, applied nucleation and tree plantations—replicated at 13 sites in southern Costa Rica—and evaluated the changes over a decade. Early-successional seedlings had 14% higher survival probability in the applied nucleation than natural regeneration treatments. Early-successional sapling growth rates were initially 227% faster in natural regeneration and 127% faster in applied nucleation than plantation plots but converged across restoration treatments over time. Later-successional seedling and sapling survival were similar across treatments but later-successional sapling growth rates were 39% faster in applied nucleation than in plantation treatments. Results indicate that applied nucleation was equally or more effective in enhancing survival and growth of naturally recruited trees than the more resource-intensive plantation treatment, highlighting its promise as a restoration strategy. Finally, tree recruit dynamics changed quickly over the 10-year period, underscoring the importance of multi-year studies to compare restoration interventions and guide ambitious forest restoration efforts planned for the coming decades. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Understanding forest landscape restoration: reinforcing scientific foundations for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’. 
    more » « less
  8. This article is a Commentary onParket al. (2023),239: 2153–2165.

    more » « less
  9. Abstract

    The combined effects of compact TiO2(c‐TiO2) electron‐transport layer (ETL) are investigated without and with mesoscopic TiO2(m‐TiO2) on top, and without and with an iodine‐terminated silane self‐assembled monolayer (SAM), on the mechanical behavior, opto–electronic properties, photovoltaic (PV) performance, and operational‐stability of solar cells based on metal‐halide perovskites (MHPs). The interfacial toughness increases almost threefold in going from c‐TiO2without SAM to m‐TiO2with SAM. This is attributed to the synergistic effect of the m‐TiO2/MHP nanocomposite at the interface and the enhanced adhesion afforded by the iodine‐terminated silane SAM. The combination of m‐TiO2and SAM also offers a significant beneficial effect on the photocarriers extraction at the ETL/MHP interface, resulting in perovskite solar cells (PSCs) with power‐conversion efficiency (PCE) of over 24% and 20% for 0.1 and 1 cm2active areas, respectively. These PSCs also have exceptionally long operational‐stability lives: extrapolatedT80 (duration at 80% initial PCE retained) is ≈18 000 and 10 000 h for 0.1 and 1 cm2active areas, respectively.Postmortemcharacterization and analyses of the operational‐stability‐tested PSCs are performed to elucidate the possible mechanisms responsible for the long operational‐stability.

    more » « less