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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015, Article ID 140716, 20 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/140716
Review Article

Electrospinning of Nanofibers and Their Applications for Energy Devices

1Institute of Laser Engineering, Beijing University of Technology, 100 Pingle Yuan, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100241, China
2Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering, University of Tennessee, 1512 Middle Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA

Received 11 January 2015; Revised 21 April 2015; Accepted 29 April 2015

Academic Editor: Bala Vaidhyanathan

Copyright © 2015 Xiaomin Shi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

With the depletion of fossil fuels and the increasing demand of energy for economic development, it is urgent to develop renewable energy technologies to sustain the economic growth. Electrospinning is a versatile and efficient fabrication method for one-dimensional (1D) nanostructured fibers of metals, metal oxides, hydrocarbons, composites, and so forth. The resulting nanofibers (NFs) with controllable diameters ranging from nanometer to micrometer scale possess unique properties such as a high surface-area-to-volume and aspect ratio, low density, and high pore volume. These properties make 1D nanomaterials more advantageous than conventional materials in energy harvesting, conversion, and storage devices. In this review, the key parameters for e-spinning are discussed and the properties of electrospun NFs and applications in solar cells, fuel cells, nanogenerators, hydrogen energy harvesting and storage, lithium-ion batteries, and supercapacitors are reviewed. The advantages and disadvantages of electrospinning and an outlook on the possible future directions are also discussed.