Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 149 in category Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Applications (newest first):

 

New materials are powering the battery revolution

batteriesFor the most part, advances in energy storage will rely on the continuing development of materials science, pushing the limits of performance of existing battery materials and developing entirely new battery structures and compositions. The battery industry is already working to reduce the cost of lithium-ion batteries, including by removing expensive cobalt from their positive electrodes. Researchers also are looking at the possibilities of using two-dimensional materials, essentially extremely thin sheets of substances with useful electronic properties.

Oct 4th, 2018

Pushing atoms by picometers tunes nanoparticle catalysis

catalysisBy combining advanced high-precision electron microscopy and computational methods, researchers have shed new light on the role of strain in nanoparticle catalysis. Catalytic metal nanoparticles supported on oxide substrates are used on a large scale in technological applications such as production of chemicals, abatement of air pollution and sustainable energy systems. The overall performance and durability of these systems is influenced by a range of factors, and every improvement could result in noticeable environmental and economic benefits.

Jul 31st, 2018

Piezoelectric nanogenerators made from spider silk

spider_silkSpider silk fibers show nature's most outstanding mechanical properties, for example, excellent tensile strength and elasticity, and remarkable protein sequence structure. So far, it has remained completely unidentified how the mechanical properties of spider silk fibers effectively contribute to the performance of a piezoelectric nanogenerator. Now, researchers have successfully demonstrated by Piezoresponse Force Microscopy experiment that natural spider silk fibers have a definite vertical (out-of-plane) piezoelectric coefficient.

Jun 14th, 2018

Graphene-oxide-based membranes for large-scale energy storage systems

graphene_oxide_membraneAs a promising large-scale energy storage technology, redox flow batteries (RFBs) are attracting increasingly more research attention. For RFB separators, the essential requirement is achieving high ionic conductivity with minimal cross-over at low cost. Researchers now have demonstrated a proof-of-concept graphene oxide (GO) membrane as separator for large-scale energy RFBs. Their work shows that the two-dimensional nanochannel structure and low frictional water flow inside micrometer-thick GO laminates make this material an attractive candidate membrane for large-scale energy storage systems.

Apr 17th, 2018

Design of nanochannel interfaces is a key point in energy utilization

membraneThe ability of nanochannels to regulate transported substances in confined spaces is of great research interest in innovative applications, such as high-resolution sensing, filtering, and high-efficiency energy utilization. In the last area, research on nanochannels in energy-related areas continues to face challenges such as low efficiencies, complex preparation processes, and high fabrication costs. Overcoming these challenges is an important and difficult task in the field of energy conversion, energy conservation, and energy recovery.

Apr 10th, 2018

Contact lenses with built-in biofuel cells as power supply

contact_lensesEnzymatic biofuel cells (EBFCs) are bioelectronic devices that utilize enzymes as the electrocatalysts to catalyze the oxidation of fuel and/or the reduction of oxygen or peroxide for energy conversion to electricity. EBFCs have already been demonstrated as wearable epidermal tattoo biosensors and in new work, researchers report the fabrication flexible EBFCs with flexible nanoporous gold electrodes that were modified with lactate oxidase and bilirubin oxidase for use as a lactate/O2 biofuel cell.

Mar 6th, 2018

Promising electrolyte structure designs for solid-state lithium-ion batteries

nanofillerFinding low-cost solid materials capable of efficiently and safely replacing liquid electrolytes in lithium-ion batteries has been a considerable research interest over the past years. Of the various types of solid electrolytes that have been developed so far, composite polymer electrolytes exhibit acceptable Li-ion conductivity due to the interaction between nanofillers and polymer. By fabricating a pre-percolated network of ceramic filler instead of distributing particles in polymer, a 3D interconnected ceramic framework provides continuous pathways for ion conduction. This novel method will help to develop composite materials in a different but much improved way than conventional particle distributions.

Feb 28th, 2018

Fabricating 2D nanosheets from non-layered materials

2D_materialScientists report a systematic study involving theoretical and experimental approaches to evaluate the Li-ion storage capability in 2D atomic sheets of nonlayered MoO2. They describe a new process - polymer-assisted reduction - to make atomically flat 2D sheets of MoO2. Since MoO2 is not a 2D material, this process opens a new pathway to make 2D nanostructures from non-layered materials. By successfully making 2D atomic sheets of MoO2, the researchers fabricated a battery electrode in which the Li ion diffusion and electron transport are exceptionally fast.

Feb 15th, 2018