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Nanotechnology Spotlight

Behind the buzz and beyond the hype:
Our Nanowerk-exclusive feature articles

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Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 9 - 16 of 134 in category Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Applications (newest first):


Electrochemical energy storage with porous one-dimensional (1D) nanomaterials

1D_nanomaterialThe development of porous one-dimensional (1D) nanomaterials with designed properties and architectures has led to significant advances in electrochemical energy storage. A recent review article highlights the state-of-the-art on porous 1D nanostructures, from methodologies for rational and controllable synthesis (electrospinning, liquid phase method, template-assisted method, chemical deposition method, and chemical etching) to their successful application in different types of energy storage devices.

Posted: May 24th, 2017

Anionic regulated electrocatalysts for water oxidation

anionic_regulationResearchers have proposed and proved an innovative strategy of anionic regulation. The construction of active sites with intrinsic oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is of great significance to overcome the limited efficiency of abundant sustainable energy devices such as fuel cells, rechargeable metal-air batteries, and in water splitting. Anionic regulation of electrocatalysts by modulating the electronic structure of active sites significantly promotes OER performance.

Posted: May 18th, 2017

Tuning crystallinity to realize high energy density in supercapacitors

nanoparticlesSupercapacitors, a rapidly emerging type of energy storage device, hold great potential due to their interesting characteristics: high power density, fast charge and discharge rates, and long-term cycling life. However, the use of supercapacitors is severely limited by their low energy density, which is one to two magnitudes lower in comparison with Li-ion batteries. In new work, researchers have developed a low-crystalline FeOOH nanoparticle anode with excellent comprehensive electrochemical performances at both low and high mass loadings as potential replacements for carbon negative electrodes in full supercapacitor devices.

Posted: May 15th, 2017

Design of lithium plating matrix for a dendrite-free lithium metal battery

electrodeLithium metal anodes with ultrahigh theoretical specific capacity and the lowest negative electrochemical potential, have been considered the most promising electrode for next-generation rechargeable batteries, including rechargeable Li-S, Li-air batteries, and even Li metal batteries which utilize intercalation compounds as cathodes. Designing a Li plating matrix with a high surface area and lithiophilic surface maybe can help gain a dendrite-free metal anode.

Posted: May 5th, 2017

Defects in graphene enable selective permeability of gases

graphene_defectsDespite their potential, the practical use of Li-O2 batteries is seriously limited by the corrosion of Li metal by ambient water vapor from air. One way to circumvent this issue is to use an oxygen selective membrane that allows only oxygen into the battery while stopping or slowing water vapor intake. The membrane must be mechanically robust and yet sufficiently thin and light so as to not increase deadweight of the battery. Researchers now have discovered a way to make the thinnest possible oxygen selective membrane using graphene.

Posted: Apr 25th, 2017

Sodium-ion batteries become fully stretchable

battery_electrodeResearchers have demonstrated an all-stretchable-component sodium-ion full battery, designed and manufactured by integrating stretchable graphene-modified PDMS sponge current collector, sodium-ion conducting gel polymer separator, and elastic PDMS substrate. This first-of-its-kind battery design maintains better mechanical properties compared with most reported designs using one or more rigid components that fail to meet the stretchability requirement for the entire device.

Posted: Apr 20th, 2017

A self-healing rechargeable battery with ultralong cycling life

cathode_materialIn new work, scientists describe a lithium-sulfur battery prototype using commercially viable micron-sized sulfur as cathode materials but with unprecedented cycling life that has never been achieved before. This success in achieving exceptionally long battery life is ascribed to a concept of self-healing. By mimicking a biological self-healing process, fibrinolysis, the team introduced an extrinsic healing agent, polysulfide, to enable the stable operation of sulfur microparticle (SMiP) cathodes.

Posted: Apr 19th, 2017

A giant leap towards inexpensive and large-scale fabrication of triboelectric nanogenerators for sustainable energy

diodesNotwithstanding the progress in extracting renewable energy from many natural resources through nanotechnologies, some 60 research groups worldwide have now begun to develop triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) for harvesting energy from 'good (mechanical) vibrations' including human walking and ocean waves, which are otherwise wasted. Nanostructuring the materials in a TENG device amplifies the produced energy by increasing the contact area of the surfaces. Researchers have found a new way to scalably manufacture large area TENGs with a very high-throughput using off-the-shelf materials.

Posted: Apr 12th, 2017