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The researchers of the Rice University have optimized the technology of carbon nanotubes which will be the basis of batteries of the future. According to the researchers, the material used in their project is the best when it comes to energy storage. The new material is defined hybrid because it combines a two-dimensional foil of nanotubes into a three-dimensional structure that incorporating metal electrodes, it does not need mechanical coupling bases. The result appears as "a fortune of carbon nanotubes ".
The material has been defined 'Seamless', literally, "jointless". This innovation allows to extend the available surface to the maximum, a determining factor when it comes to energy accumulators. The need for junctions was wiped out by a covalent bond between two adjacent carbon atoms.
Other researchers have tried to "incorporate" i carbon nanotubes in a metal electrode. The attempts have never produced promising results precisely because of the junctions between the nanotubes and the electrode: the nanotube interfacing with themetal electrode created an electronic barrier. In the Rice University model, a metal electrode (copper) on which they stand graphene nanotubes. The two different components are held together thanks to a chemical bond, which means that the electrons they will be able to continue theirs flow without difficulties.
In the photo, in red the chemical bonds that join the nanotubes to the copper
“This high-efficiency strategy allows us to obtain an area of 2,000 square meters for each gram of material used. It is a huge area. " Says Professor Tour, a mechanical engineer and researcher at Rice University. “The performances observed in our project show the best supercapacitor carbon-based never made before ".
The union between carbon nanotubes ed metal electrodes has great potential for use. It could be the protagonist of all future technologies which provide for it energy storage. The supercapacitor it could accumulate an exceptionally large amount of electrical charge compared to current innovations.