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Home > News > Watch Tower: Advances in energy storage

January 31st, 2008

Watch Tower: Advances in energy storage

Abstract:
There are two major limitations to the conductivity of activated carbon-the high porosity means there isn't much carbon material to carry current, and the material must be "glued" to the aluminum current collector using a binder, which exhibits a somewhat high resistance. Recent innovation made researchers at MIT (USA) is to replace the activated carbon with a dense, microscopic forest of carbon nanotubes that is grown directly on the surface of the current collector. By virtue of their dimensions, nanotubes hold the promise of even higher porosity than the activated carbon used in commercial ultracapacitors. Together the nanotubes have an enormous surface area, and their dimensions are more uniform than those of the activated-carbon pores, making them more like a paintbrush than a sponge. Another advantage of nanotubes over activated carbon is that their structure makes them less chemically reactive, so they can operate at a higher voltage. And certain types of nanotubes, depending on their geometry, can be excellent conductors-which means they can supply more power than ultracapacitors outfitted with activated carbon.

Source:
centralchronicle.com

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