Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > NanoCenter Improves Energy Storage Options

Electrostatic nanocapacitors formed in nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (darker yellow) film by sequential atomic layer deposition of metal (blue), insulator (yellow), and metal. Insert: cross-section of actual structure, represented as rescaled scanning electron micrograph. (A. James Clark School of Engineering, U-Md.)
Electrostatic nanocapacitors formed in nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (darker yellow) film by sequential atomic layer deposition of metal (blue), insulator (yellow), and metal. Insert: cross-section of actual structure, represented as rescaled scanning electron micrograph. (A. James Clark School of Engineering, U-Md.)

Abstract:
In order to save money and energy, many people are purchasing hybrid electric cars or installing solar panels on the roofs of their homes. But both have a problem—the technology to store the electrical power and energy is inadequate.

NanoCenter Improves Energy Storage Options

College Park, MD | Posted on March 23rd, 2009

Battery systems that fit in cars don't hold enough energy for driving distances, yet take hours to recharge and don't give much power for acceleration. Renewable sources like solar and wind deliver significant power only part time, but devices to store their energy are expensive and too inefficient to deliver enough power for surge demand.

Researchers at the Maryland NanoCenter at the University of Maryland, College Park, have developed new systems for storing electrical energy derived from alternative sources that are, in some cases, 10 times more efficient than what is commercially available. The results of their research are available in the latest issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

"Renewable energy sources like solar and wind provide time-varying, somewhat unpredictable energy supply, which must be captured and stored as electrical energy until demanded," said Gary Rubloff, director of the University of Maryland's NanoCenter. "Conventional devices to store and deliver electrical energy - batteries and capacitors - cannot achieve the needed combination of high energy density, high power, and fast recharge that are essential for our energy future."

Researchers working with Professor Rubloff and his collaborator, Professor Sang Bok Lee, have developed a method to significantly enhance the performance of electrical energy storage devices.

Using new processes central to nanotechnology, they create millions of identical nanostructures with shapes tailored to transport energy as electrons rapidly to and from very large surface areas where they are stored. Materials behave according to physical laws of nature. The Maryland researchers exploit unusual combinations of these behaviors (called self-assembly, self-limiting reaction, and self-alignment) to construct millions -and ultimately billions - of tiny, virtually identical nanostructures to receive, store, and deliver electrical energy.

"These devices exploit unique combinations of materials, processes, and structures to optimize both energy and power density—combinations that, taken together, have real promise for building a viable next-generation technology, and around it, a vital new sector of the tech economy," Rubloff said.

"The goal for electrical energy storage systems is to simultaneously achieve high power and high energy density to enable the devices to hold large amounts of energy, to deliver that energy at high power, and to recharge rapidly (the complement to high power)," he continued.

Electrical energy storage devices fall into three categories. Batteries, particularly lithium ion, store large amounts of energy but cannot provide high power or fast recharge. Electrochemical capacitors (ECCs), also relying on electrochemical phenomena, offer higher power at the price of relatively lower energy density. In contrast, electrostatic capacitors (ESCs) operate by purely physical means, storing charge on the surfaces of two conductors. This makes them capable of high power and fast recharge, but at the price of lower energy density.

The Maryland research team's new devices are electrostatic nanocapacitors which dramatically increase energy storage density of such devices - by a factor of 10 over that of commercially available devices - without sacrificing the high power they traditionally characteristically offer. This advance brings electrostatic devices to a performance level competitive with electrochemical capacitors and introduces a new player into the field of candidates for next-generation electrical energy storage.

Where will these new nanodevices appear? Lee and Rubloff emphasize that they are developing the technology for mass production as layers of devices that could look like thin panels, similar to solar panels or the flat panel displays we see everywhere, manufactured at low cost. Multiple energy storage panels would be stacked together inside a car battery system or solar panel. In the longer run, they foresee the same nanotechnologies providing new energy capture technology (solar, thermoelectric) that could be fully integrated with storage devices in manufacturing.

This advance follows soon after another accomplishment—the dramatic improvement in performance (energy and power) of electrochemical capacitors (ECC's), thus 'supercapacitors,' by Lee's research group, published recently in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. (Figure 1). Efforts are under way to achieve comparable advances in energy density of lithium (Li) ion batteries but with much higher power density.

"U-Md.'s successes are built upon the convergence and collaboration of experts from a wide range of nanoscale science and technology areas with researchers already in the center of energy research," Rubloff said.

####

About Maryland NanoCenter
Maryland NanoCenter has been established as a partnership among three University of Maryland colleges: The A. James Clark School of Engineering, the College of Computer, Math, and Physical Sciences (CMPS), and the College of Chemical and Life Sciences, with sustaining support from all three and the campus.

Led by founding director Gary W. Rubloff, Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Chair Patrick O'Shea, and Institute for Research in Electroics & Applied Physics (IREAP) Director Daniel Lathrop, Maryland NanoCenter promotes major nano research and education initiatives, provides one-stop shopping for those seeking expertise and/or partnerships at Maryland, and supplies infrastructure to facilitate nano activities at Maryland through equipment, staff support, and informational and administrative functions.

The Research Team

Gary Rubloff is Minta Martin Professor of Engineering in the materials science and engineering department and the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering. Sang Bok Lee is associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the College of Chemical and Life Sciences and WCU (World Class University Program) professor at KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) in Korea. Lee and Rubloff are part of a larger team developing nanotechnology solutions for energy capture, generation, and storage at Maryland. Their collaborators on electrical energy storage include Maryland professors Michael Fuhrer (physics), Reza Ghodssi (electrical and computer engineering), John Cumings (materials science engineering), Ray Adomaitis (chemical and biomolecular engineering), Oded Rabin (materials science and engineering), Janice Reutt-Robey (chemistry), Robert Walker (chemistry), Chunsheng Wang (chemical and biomolecular engineering), Yu-Huang Wang (chemistry) and Ellen Williams (physics).

Contacts:
Request Info

Copyright © Maryland NanoCenter

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Two opposing approaches could give lithium-sulfur batteries a leg up over lithium-ion July 1st, 2022

Robot nose that can “smell” disease on your breath: Scientists develop diagnostic device for identifying compounds unique to particular diseases July 1st, 2022

Efficiently processing high-quality periodic nanostructures with ultrafast laser July 1st, 2022

Photonic synapses with low power consumption and high sensitivity are expected to integrate sensing-memory-preprocessing capabilities July 1st, 2022

Possible Futures

Technologies boost potential for carbon dioxide conversion to useful products: Researchers explore use metal-organic frameworks based catalysts for hydrogenation of carbon dioxide July 1st, 2022

Sieving carbons: Ideal anodes for high-energy sodium-ion batteries July 1st, 2022

An artificial intelligence probe help see tumor malignancy July 1st, 2022

Photon-controlled diode: an optoelectronic device with a new signal processing behavior July 1st, 2022

Self Assembly

Nanoclusters self-organize into centimeter-scale hierarchical assemblies April 22nd, 2022

Atom by atom: building precise smaller nanoparticles with templates March 4th, 2022

Nanostructures get complex with electron equivalents: Nanoparticles of two different sizes break away from symmetrical designs January 14th, 2022

A simple way to get complex semiconductors to assemble themselves: Much like crystallizing rock candy from sugar syrup, the new method grows 2D perovskites precisely layered with other 2D materials to produce crystals with a wide range of electronic properties September 17th, 2021

Announcements

Two opposing approaches could give lithium-sulfur batteries a leg up over lithium-ion July 1st, 2022

Robot nose that can “smell” disease on your breath: Scientists develop diagnostic device for identifying compounds unique to particular diseases July 1st, 2022

Efficiently processing high-quality periodic nanostructures with ultrafast laser July 1st, 2022

Photonic synapses with low power consumption and high sensitivity are expected to integrate sensing-memory-preprocessing capabilities July 1st, 2022

Energy

Technologies boost potential for carbon dioxide conversion to useful products: Researchers explore use metal-organic frameworks based catalysts for hydrogenation of carbon dioxide July 1st, 2022

Key in increasing efficiency of next-generation solar cell, found in ‘light absorption capacity’! July 1st, 2022

Solving the solar energy storage problem with rechargeable batteries that can convert and store energy at once June 24th, 2022

Organic water splitters get a boost June 10th, 2022

Automotive/Transportation

OCSiAl expands its graphene nanotube production capacities to Europe June 17th, 2022

A sunlight-driven “self-healing” anti-corrosion coating May 27th, 2022

Scavenger nanoparticles could make fuel cell-powered vehicles a reality April 1st, 2022

Graphene gets enhanced by flashing: Rice process customizes one-, two- or three-element doping for applications March 31st, 2022

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

Sieving carbons: Ideal anodes for high-energy sodium-ion batteries July 1st, 2022

Two opposing approaches could give lithium-sulfur batteries a leg up over lithium-ion July 1st, 2022

Solving the solar energy storage problem with rechargeable batteries that can convert and store energy at once June 24th, 2022

OCSiAl expands its graphene nanotube production capacities to Europe June 17th, 2022

Solar/Photovoltaic

Key in increasing efficiency of next-generation solar cell, found in ‘light absorption capacity’! July 1st, 2022

Solving the solar energy storage problem with rechargeable batteries that can convert and store energy at once June 24th, 2022

USTC found a pathway to high-quality ZnSe quantum wires April 8th, 2022

Graphene crystals grow better under copper cover April 1st, 2022

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project