Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 158 in category Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Applications (newest first):


Vitamins are good for your multi-energy nanogenerator

spectrometerResearchers report a simple, innovative and inexpensive design of a vitamin-based hybrid biocompatible nanogenerator with energy harvesting ability from various energy sources in a single device. This is the first time that inexpensive and biocompatible vitamin B2 has been used as a novel and effective beta-phase stabilizer to enhance the piezoelectric performance of PVDF. The attractiveness of using vitamin B2 is that it is biodegradable and biocompatible, thermodynamically stable, low-cost, has delocalized pi-electrons, contains multiple numbers of hydroxyl groups, carbonyl groups and amino groups in its backbone.

Feb 28th, 2019

Applications of carbon materials derived from metal-organic frameworks (MOFs)

MOFsDirectly carbonizing from organic precursors is the most frequently used method to prepare nanoporous carbons, widely used as electrode materials, due to its flexibility and simplicity. These materials present certain drawbacks, though, such as low surface areas, disordered structures, and non-uniform sizes, which will greatly limit their applications. However, researchers found that carbon materials derived from metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) could overcome these limitations. A review summarizes the applications of MOF-derived carbon materials.

Feb 20th, 2019

Defect-free graphene might solve lithium-metal batteries' dendrite problem

electrode_dendriteThe formation of dendrites on the metal electrodes of lithium metal batteries causes safety and performance concerns. To avoid dendrites, researchers are experimenting with new battery electrolyte chemistries, new separator technologies, and new physical hosts for the lithium metal. Researchers now have discovered a key design rule for Li metal batteries: If you want to suppress dendrites, you have to use a defect-free host. More generally, carbon defects catalyze dendrite growth in metal anodes.

Feb 13th, 2019

Printing solar cells and batteries on paper

Over the past ten years, paper has emerged as a focus area for researchers developing innovative techniques for printed basic electronics components. The goal of this research is to replace plastic substrates with low-cost, versatile and sustainable materials. The main advantages of investing in paper for electronics and energy storage devices are the low cost of the technology; the potentiality to recover device components and recycle the substrate as well as the active materials; and the production of environmentally harmless and biocompatible devices.

Feb 7th, 2019

Super-stable antinomy carbon composite anodes to boost potassium storage performance

electrode_materialPotassium-ion batteries (PIBs) have been considered as promising alternatives to lithium-ion batteries due to the rich natural abundance of potassium and similar redox potential with Li+/Li. Recently, researchers have designed and fabricated a novel antimony carbon composite PIB anode via a facile and scalable electrospray-assisted strategy and found that this anode delivered super high specific capacities as well as cycling stability in a highly concentrated electrolyte. These encouraging results will significantly promote the deep understanding of the fundamental electrochemistry in Potassium-ion batteries as well as rational development of efficient electrolyte systems for next generation high-performance Potassium-ion batteries.

Jan 21st, 2019

Nanowire meshes to improve electrochemical devices

nanomeshBy re-designing interconnected nanowire networks, researchers fabricated novel nanostructured current collectors, which are the first to combine very high surface area, high porosity, substantially large pores and mechanical flexibility. Thanks to its ordered microstructure, the material can uniquely combine high porosity of cellular metal foams with high surface area of state-of-the-art nanoporous dealloyed metals, which allowed it to surpass the electrochemical performance of up to 300-thicker commercial electrodes.

Jan 18th, 2019

The stressful life of high-capacity electrodes

microcantilever_arrayOne of the persistent challenges associated with electrode degradation and battery failure is the stress induced by ion intercalation, companied by large volume fluctuation of electrode materials. Although researchers have developed numerous in situ microscopy and spectrometry technologies that provided valuable insights into the impacts of the stress buildup and release, the strength of the localized stress at the micro- and nanoscale remains poorly understood. In new work, researchers have developed an in situ solution to quantitatively measure the localized stress on electrodes.

Jan 10th, 2019

Scalable engineering of 2D porous carbons from solid-state mechanical grinding/ball milling

2D_carbonDue to the unique physical and chemical characteristics, such as good electrical conductivity, low weight, large surface areas, high electrochemical activity, and facile doping of heteroatoms or inorganic species, there are increasing demands of fabricating two-dimensional (2D) porous carbon for lithium-ion batteries, supercapacitors, electrochemical catalysts and many other emerged applications in energy storage and conversion. Researchers now have developed a fast, scalable, and eco-friendly active-salt-templating strategy to engineer different types of 2D porous carbons.

Dec 21st, 2018