This New Nanomaterial Acts As Both Battery And Supercapacitor

Posted: Aug 30 2016, 3:51am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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This New Nanomaterial Acts as Both Battery and Supercapacitor
The best of both worlds. A new nanomaterial acts as both battery and supercapacitor: A conductive polymer (green) formed inside the small holes of a hexagonal framework (red and blue) works with the framework to store electrical energy rapidly and efficiently. Credit: William Dichtel, Northwestern University
  • Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors

A novel nanomaterial stores electrical energy in a powerful manner. It is a complex amalgam of a battery and a supercapacitor.

A potent new material has been created that could make the process of charging electric vehicles faster. Also their driving range will be expanded thanks to this device.

Electric cars currently require batteries and supercapacitors to go the distance. Yet all that could change with the evolving times. This novel material not only stores large amounts of electrical energy, it can charge and discharge in quick succession like a supercapacitor.

The class act has been accomplished by combining a COF (covalent organic framework), which is a tensile, ram-rod straight polymer with small holes that store energy, with a highly conductive material.

What we get out of this in the end is a modified redox-active COF that bridges the gap with the obsolete porous carbon-based electrodes.

While COFs have a wonderful architectonic structure, they have a conductivity that is pretty low on the scale of values. Thus it is the conductivity that has received a little help from science. The result is a more practical COF that can get the job done in no time at all.

Besides this, modified COFs make commercial sense. The materials that comprise their very substance are cheap to make too. Carbon-based materials, on the contrary, are a very costly endeavor.

The capabilities of the new material were demonstrated via a coin-cell battery prototype contraption that lit up an LED for half a minute. This new material has amazing stability that had only been dreamt of up until now.

Over 10,000 charge discharge cycles take place within the context of the device. More experiments were carried out to show how the COF and conducting polymer (PEDOT) worked in tandem to store electrical energy.

An electrode surface was employed to serve as the matrix for the material. A bee’s honeycomb-like grid was made. Into the holes of this grid the conducting polymer was deposited. Each pore is 2.3 nanometers in width.

The COF has many such pores. Thus an extensive surface area was formed in a small amount of space. Even a small glass of COF powder has the surface area of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

The modified material can store 10 times the electrical energy of an unmodified COF. The very sight of this device working away like magic was an amazing lesson in the real-life miracles that have been wrought by modern science.

This study got published by the journal ACS Central Science.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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