Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 9 - 16 of 169 in category Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Applications (newest first):

 

Intercalation energy tuning improves performance of multivalent ion batteries

interlayer_spacingAqueous rechargeable batteries based on earth abundant materials are promising alternatives to lithium-ion batteries, which are plagued by safety and environmental concerns. These batteries utilize water-based electrolytes, which are safe, low-cost, and environment-friendly, but also possess a much higher ionic conductivity than that of the organic electrolytes. In new work, researchers report an effective and general strategy to transform inactive intercalation hosts into efficient zinc ion storage materials through intercalation energy tuning.

Apr 26th, 2019

Triboelectric nanogenerators for next-generation wearable health monitoring

nanogeneratorDozens of nanotechnology research groups worldwide are working on the development of triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) for harvesting energy from mechanical vibrations. The huge interest in TENGs stems from their ability to convert ambient mechanical energy into electricity for powering wearable electronics, energy generation using sound, sensor networks, removing air pollution with nanogenerator-enhanced air filters, implantable medical devices, and other small systems. A recent article comprehensively reviews the recent advances in TENG-based health monitoring.

Apr 12th, 2019

'Air chargeable' zinc-ion energy storage devices

air-gap-batteryResearchers propose a highly integrated system of an 'air charging' zinc-ion capacitor/battery. By scavenging energy from pervasive air, a zinc-ion capacitor/battery can be conveniently and easily charged without applying an additional power source. The system possesses a simply structure that consists of a flexible bifunctional U-shaped electrode (with the dual function of energy harvesting and storage), a zinc-metal electrode in middle, and two different polyelectrolytes (PAM and PANa) sandwiched between the metal zinc and the electrode.

Apr 5th, 2019

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