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Posted: Dec 12, 2012

Carbon nanotube production and application in energy storage

(Nanowerk News) In order to enhance the application of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in electrochemical energy storage, researchers from Tsinghua University in Beijing reviewed the production and purification technology of CNTs, as well as the application in Li-ion battery, supercapacitors, and asymmetric supercapacitors ("Carbon nanotube production and application in energy storage").
In detail, the formation mechanism, the effects influencing the diameter, diameter distribution, yield and growth rate of CNTs, and the reactor technology for scale up were thoroughly discussed. And the purity, the type of impurities and factors influencing the formation of impurities, and the purification method of CNTs were summarized on the basis of the requirements in the electrochemical use.
Finally, the performance of CNTs used in energy storage systems and the challenge for the commercialization were analyzed. The review provides abundant information for better understanding of the relationship between the structure, property of CNTs and its performance.
As the reviewers write in their introduction:
"Owing to its perfect seamless tubular structure constructed by Sp2 hybridized carbon, carbon nanotubes (CNTs), in theory, were free of dangling bonds on the side wall and, consequently, exhibited extraordinary excellent mechanical and electrical properties.
"In the past two decades, numerous efforts were made to understand its property, to prepare them in a controllable and scalable manner, and to find potential applications in nanodevice, composites, and energy storage. Especially, the recent burst in the investigation of clean energy storage systems, such as the secondary batteries and supercapacitor (SC), provided new opportunity to use CNTs to replace the conventional activated carbon or carbon black as electrode material or conductive filler.
"Definitely, the performance of CNTs in these systems with different requirements depends on the properties of materials available in the current stage.
"It, therefore, is essential to review the synthesis and purification technology of CNTs and to summarize their performance in electrochemical energy storage, for deep understanding of the relationship between the structure, purity and their electrochemical performance, the advantages, as well as the challenges in application."
Source: Wiley
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