Water evaporation systems with solar energy as the primary driving energy have received extensive attention in recent years. This work studies the preparation method and performance of hydrogel evaporators using chitosan and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as a framework and carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) as the photothermal material. The evaporation rate of CPC (chitosan/PVA and CNPs) hydrogel obtained reaches 2.28 kg m−2 h−1. Simultaneously, a three-dimensional structure is designed based on the two-dimensional double-layer evaporation system in this study. An evaporator with a tiny-pool structure and a hydrogel with a dome-arrayed structure is designed. These two structures achieve highly efficient evaporation rates of 2.28 kg m−2 h−1 and 3.80 kg m−2 h−1, respectively. These optimized designs improve the evaporation rate of the overall system by ~ 66.7%. The developed evaporation devices provide a promising pathway for developing the double-layer evaporators, which promote the new development of water purification with a solar-driven evaporation system.
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