Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

On the right track to super batteries

28.09.2012
Dr. Xinliang Feng, who is a research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, is working on novel materials for energy storage and conversion. Currently, the EU Commission promotes his research with 1.5 million euros.

The European Research Council awards the ERC Starting Grant for top-level early-career scientists to Xinliang Feng, who is employed at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P). With that the chemist receives development funds amounting to 1.5 million euros for the next five years in order to set up a research group.

These funds allow Dr. Feng to continue and intensify research on two-dimensional materials. These two-dimensional nanosheets which consist of one layer of atoms, have unique characteristics and can be considered for a wide range of applications. "Our research will concentrate on materials for energy storage and conversion but will not be limited to that. It is clear that possible areas of application may reach much further,” Dr. Feng is expecting.

Material synthesis on order

Since 2004, when Dr. Feng started his doctorate at the MPI-P, he has been working on synthesizing and studying these ultra-thin nanomaterials – especially graphene. This material, which is a layer of carbon atoms arranged in honey combs, is regarded as being promising in the future. Graphene excellently conducts electricity and heat, it is very light and elastic, however, as hard as diamond and hundred times more tearproof than steel. Its properties vary dependent on configuration and structure of the layer. Dr. Feng aims to produce these graphene materials by chemical synthesis as well as by mechanical exfoliation in order to adjust the properties to the functions and thus to the future applications. The chemist also aims to develop the synthesis of other nanosheets with tailored functions from metal oxides, polymers and organic compounds.

In this regard, not only single layers are interesting for Dr. Feng: He will develop strategies to combine several two-dimensional layers to compound materials, so-called composites. Again, this is how their properties can be specifically combined. Theoretically! This task that seems to be so easy requires comprehensive scientific know-how and experience in practice. Promising results have already been achieved at the MPI-P: The research group centered around director Klaus Müllen, where Dr. Feng belongs to as well, succeeded in developing a material composition for much more efficient lithium ions batteries amongst others. Instead of the storage material graphite, the scientists used metal oxides with significantly higher charge capacity. Due to the fact that these are not suitable for long term use, they were coated with graphene layers. The proceeding included some chemical tricks, but the prolonged battery life achieved indicates a great potential for countless users of mobile devices.

Practically based fundamental research

This was just the beginning for Xinliang Feng. The projects are still in their infancy; they must be optimized and standardized in order to allow the two-dimensional nanomaterials to develop from being hope to achieve performance in innovative applications. The European Research Council (ERC) honoured his results achieved so far, but also expresses high expectations for future developments.

ERC Starting Grants are among the most prestigious grants awarded by the European Research Council for world-class researchers. They give the opportunity for top-level early-career scientists to conduct fundamental research and establish or consolidate their own research team. According to ERC, the ERC 2012 promotes more than 500 research scientists and their projects with a total of about 800 million euros. All in all, more than 4,100 scientists applied for this grant.

Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research
Press and
Public Relations:
Stephan Imhof
Tel: 06131 379-132
Fax: 06131 379-330
pr@mpip-mainz.mpg.de
www.mpip-mainz.mpg.de

About the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research
The Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, which was founded in 1984, ranks among the world-wide leading research centers in the field of polymer research. The focus on so-called soft materials and macro-molecular materials has resulted in the worldwide unique position of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research and its research focus. Coworkers from Germany and abroad are conducting fundamental research on both production and characterization of polymers as well as analyzing their physical and chemical properties. The beginning of 2012 saw a total of 503 people working at the MPI-P, of whom 119 were supported by third-party funding and 70 were privately sponsored. The work force was made up of 109 scientists, 149 doctoral and diploma students, 70 visiting scientists and 175 technical, administrative and auxiliary staff.

Stephan Imhof | Max-Planck-Institut
Further information:
http://www.mpip-mainz.mpg.de

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Physicists gain new insights into nanosystems with spherical confinement
27.07.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz

nachricht Getting closer to porous, light-responsive materials
26.07.2017 | Kyoto University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Abrupt motion sharpens x-ray pulses

Spectrally narrow x-ray pulses may be “sharpened” by purely mechanical means. This sounds surprisingly, but a team of theoretical and experimental physicists developed and realized such a method. It is based on fast motions, precisely synchronized with the pulses, of a target interacting with the x-ray light. Thereby, photons are redistributed within the x-ray pulse to the desired spectral region.

A team of theoretical physicists from the MPI for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg has developed a novel method to intensify the spectrally broad x-ray...

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 3-D imaging reveals how human cell nucleus organizes DNA and chromatin of its genome

28.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heavy metals in water meet their match

28.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Oestrogen regulates pathological changes of bones via bone lining cells

28.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>