Carbon nanotubes — tiny tubular structures composed of a single layer of carbon atoms—could lengthen the life of batteries, according to new research. Findings published in the current issue of Physical Review Letters suggest that the diminutive tubes can hold twice as much energy as graphite, the form of carbon currently used as an electrode in many rechargeable lithium batteries.
The reduction and oxidation reactions that occur at the electrodes of batteries produce a flow of electrons that generate and store energy. Conventional graphite electrodes can reversibly store one lithium ion for every six carbon atoms. To investigate the storage capacity of carbon nanotubes, Otto Zhou and colleagues at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, first created bundles of the single-walled straws. They then shortened the tubes and opened their ends by immersing them in strong acids. Subsequent tests of their energy-holding potential, conducted using electrochemistry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, revealed an electrical storage capacity approximately double that of graphite. In explanation, the scientists note that the tubes’ open ends facilitated the diffusion of lithium atoms into their interiors. Indeed, the tiny straws managed to reversibly store one charged ion for every three carbon atoms.
As with many findings in the nascent field of nanotechnology, commercial devices based on the work remain a ways off. "We’ll have to work on and overcome other practical issues before we can make real devices," Zhou says, "but we are very optimistic."
Sarah Graham | Scientific American
Did you know that infrared heat and UV light contribute to the success of your barbecue?
27.07.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH
Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion
24.07.2017 | Vanderbilt University
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...
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...
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...
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...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
27.07.2017 | Life Sciences
27.07.2017 | Life Sciences
27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine