NiSe and CoSe Topological Nodal-Line Semimetals: A Sustainable Platform for Efficient Thermoplasmonics and Solar-Driven Photothermal Membrane Distillation

Shir Abramovich, Debasis Dutta, Carlo Rizza, Sergio Santoro, Marco Aquino, Anna Cupolillo, Jessica Occhiuzzi, Mauro Francesco La Russa, Barun Ghosh, Daniel Farias, Andrea Locatelli, Danil W. Boukhvalov, Amit Agarwal, Efrem Curcio, Maya Bar Sadan, Antonio Politano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The control of heat at the nanoscale via the excitation of localized surface plasmons in nanoparticles (NPs) irradiated with light holds great potential in several fields (cancer therapy, catalysis, desalination). To date, most thermoplasmonic applications are based on Ag and Au NPs, whose cost of raw materials inevitably limits the scalability for industrial applications requiring large amounts of photothermal NPs, as in the case of desalination plants. On the other hand, alternative nanomaterials proposed so far exhibit severe restrictions associated with the insufficient photothermal efficacy in the visible, the poor chemical stability, and the challenging scalability. Here, it is demonstrated the outstanding potential of NiSe and CoSe topological nodal-line semimetals for thermoplasmonics. The anisotropic dielectric properties of NiSe and CoSe activate additional plasmonic resonances. Specifically, NiSe and CoSe NPs support multiple localized surface plasmons in the optical range, resulting in a broadband matching with sunlight radiation spectrum. Finally, it is validated the proposed NiSe and CoSe-based thermoplasmonic platform by implementing solar-driven membrane distillation by adopting NiSe and CoSe nanofillers embedded in a polymeric membrane for seawater desalination. Remarkably, replacing Ag with NiSe and CoSe for solar membrane distillation increases the transmembrane flux by 330% and 690%, respectively. Correspondingly, costs of raw materials are also reduced by 24 and 11 times, respectively. The results pave the way for the advent of NiSe and CoSe for efficient and sustainable thermoplasmonics and related applications exploiting sunlight within the paradigm of the circular blue economy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2201473
Issue number31
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • nodal-line semimetals
  • optical anisotropy
  • solar membrane distillation
  • thermoplasmonics
  • topological materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials


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