Seawater desalination by interfacial solar vapor generation method using plasmonic heating nanocomposites

Zhourui Xu, Nanxi Rao, Chak Yin Tang, Wing Cheung Law

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


With the ever-growing demand in fresh water supply, great efforts have been devoted to developing sustainable systems which could generate fresh water continuously. Solar vapor generation is one of the promising strategies which comprise an unlimited energy source and efficient solar-to-heat generators for overcoming fresh water scarcity. However, current solar vapor generation systems suffer either from inefficient utilization of solar energy or an expensive fabrication process. In this paper, we introduced a nano-plasmonic approach, i.e., a floatable nanocompoiste where copper sulfide nanorods (Cu2-xS NRs) are embedded in a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) matrix, for solar-to-vapor generation. A high solar vapor generation efficiency of ~87% and water evaporation rate of 1.270 kg m-2 h-1 were achieved under simulated solar irradiation of 1 sun. With the illumination of natural daylight, seawater was purified using Cu2-xS NRs-PVA gel, with high purity, as distilled drinking water. The plasmonic nanocomposites demonstrated here are easy to fabricate and highly efficient for solar vapor generation, illustrating a potential solution for future seawater desalination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2588
Number of pages13
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Nanorod
  • Plasmonic heating
  • Solar vapor generation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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