“The most crucial result of this work is the correlation between form and function in supercapacitor materials,” states first author Dina Ibrahim Abouelamaiem. She elaborates that “our research is driven by the need for a greener future and improved energy systems”, which is why their Sustainable Energy Fuels paper focuses on understanding how the 3D structure affects the supercapacitor properties of biocarbon-based materials derived from plant cellulose. These materials could provide an environmentally-friendly alternative to precious metals and toxic chemicals currently used in top-performing supercapacitors.
Powering the future
Supercapacitors are devices full of potential, often quite literally, as they are charged to exhibit high power densities and long lifetimes. Due to these properties, supercapacitors are able to bridge the gap in device performance between batteries and fuel cells. Understanding the nanostructure in depth and over multiple length scales is paramount to optimize performance and design better devices. By combining an extensive set of complementary techniques, Ibrahim and her colleagues have shed light on the complex synergy between structure and performance, and show what electrode materials really need a hierarchical porous network to function most effectively.
In their study, biocarbon electrodes activated using potassium hydroxide act as a model system, and the findings are also tested against commercial materials to demonstrate wider applicability. To form a complete picture of the materials the researchers exploited a range of characterization methodologies, such as SEM (scanning electron microscopy), BET (Brunauer-Emmett-Teller theory for nitrogen adsorption), XPS (X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy), and X-ray CT (X-ray computed tomography). This long list of techniques (and associated large number of acronyms) covers a wide range of length scales, which means the researchers were able to analyse nano-, micro-, meso- and macro-pores altogether.
Image Credit: Dina Ibrahim Abouelamaiem and Dina Mohammadieh
News This Week
Modern Approaches to Augmentation of Brain Function Available from Springer Press This book covers recent advances in neural technology that provide for enhancements for brain function. It addresses a broad range of neural phenomena [...]
Although the currently available COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective, limited manufacturing capacity and the need for cold-chain storage hinder their global distribution. A recent study tested the efficacy of a new adeno-associated virus (AAV) [...]
Fully vaccinated people were 11 times less likely to die of COVID and 10 times less likely to be hospitalized compared to the unvaccinated since highly contagious Delta became the most common variant, US [...]
The highly-infectious Delta coronavirus variant has spread to at least 174 countries worldwide, from the US to Australia, causing a surge in COVID-19 cases. The variant has mutations that help it partially escape the immune response produced by [...]
Fragile mRNA molecules used in COVID-19 vaccines can’t get into cells on their own. They owe their success to lipid nanoparticles that took decades to refine. Messenger RNA (mRNA) is having a moment. This [...]
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed critical knowledge gaps and assumptions concerning how respiratory viruses spread between hosts. Traditionally thought to be spread mainly through large respiratory droplets produced by the coughs and sneezes of sick individuals, [...]
SARS-CoV-2 is just one of nonillions of viruses on our planet, and scientists are rapidly identifying legions of new species. Mya Breitbart has hunted novel viruses in African termite mounds, Antarctic seals and water [...]
As a team of South African researchers we have identified a new lineage of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. A lineage represents a genetically distinct virus population with a common ancestor. This virus may be designated as a variant [...]
Citing the possibility of another serious pandemic, the Biden administration on Friday laid out a plan to transform the nation’s ability to respond to major biological threats. As staggering as the COVID-19 pandemic has been, [...]
How doctors can predict which patients are more likely to die of COVID Several studies have come out about the COVID prognosis. As a result, we now have a powerful way to predict [...]
Though Delta continues to be the dominant COVID-19 strain, the World Health Organization (WHO) now says there's a new variant to keep your eye on. The B.1.621 variant, also called Mu, has just been [...]
Being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 not only cuts the risk of catching it, but also of an infection turning into long Covid, research led by King's College London suggests. It shows that in the [...]
Moderna Inc.’s Covid vaccine generated more than double the antibodies of a similar shot made by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE in research directly comparing immune responses to the inoculations. A study of almost [...]
A coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa 'could be more infectious' than other mutations and have the potential to 'evade vaccines', scientists have said. The C.1.2 strain, which is linked to 'increased transmissibility', is more mutations away from [...]