January 12, 2009

Layers make better nanotube batteries

Carefully build up of layers of multiwall carbon nanotubes and you have highly efficient electrodes for fuel cells, batteries and supercapacitors.

The layering technique involves attaching molecules to the multiwall carbon nanotubes that make the nanotubes either positively or negatively charged. The thin films don't require polymer binders because alternating layers of positively and negatively charged nanotubes stick to each other. The pure nanotube thin films store and conduct electricity better than thin films that contain polymers.

The layered multiwall nanotube thin films also store more electricity than thin films of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes.

The layering method allows precise control of the thin films' properties, which makes it easier to tailor the films for different types of electrodes.

Research paper:
Layer-by-Layer Assembly of All Carbon Nanotube Ultrathin Films for Electrochemical Applications
Journal of the American Chemical Society, December 23, 2008

Researchers' homepages:
Hammond Research Group
Yang Shao-Horn

Related stories and briefs:
Atom-thin carbon material stores big charge -- related research
Carbon nanosheets hold more electricity -- related research (note comment)

Back to ERN January 12/19, 2009



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