Bifunctional biomorphic SiC ceramics embedded molten salts for ultrafast thermal and solar energy storage

Q. Xu, X. Liu*, Q. Luo, Y. Song, H. Wang, M. Chen, Y. Xuan, Y. Li, Y. Ding

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Phase change materials (PCMs) are regarded as one of the most promising candidates for thermal energy storage due to possessing large energy storage densities and maintaining nearly a constant temperature during charging/discharging processes. However, the intrinsically low thermal conductivity of PCMs has become a bottleneck for rapid energy transport and storage. Here, we present a strategy to achieve ultrafast solar and thermal energy storage based on biomorphic SiC skeletons embedded NaCl–KCl molten salts. A record-high thermal conductivity of 116 W/mK is achieved by replicating cellular structure of oak wood, leading to an ultrafast thermal energy storage rate compared with molten salts alone. By further decorating TiN nanoparticles on SiC skeletons, the solar absorptance is enhanced to be as high as 95.63% via exciting broadband plasmonic resonances. Excellent thermal transport and solar absorption properties enable designed composites to have bifunctional capabilities of harvesting both thermal energy and solar energy very rapidly. This work opens a new route for the design of bifunctional energy storage materials for ultrafast solar and thermal energy storage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100764
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Today Energy
Early online date20 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is mainly supported by National Key R&D Program of China (No. 2018YFA0702300 ) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51820105010 and 52076106 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Biomorphic silicon carbide
  • Ceramics
  • Solar energy
  • Thermal conductivity
  • Thermal energy storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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