Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > TU Delft identifies huge potential of nanocrystals in fuel cells

(photo: cover AFM_dec2010)
(photo: cover AFM_dec2010)

Abstract:
The addition of extremely small crystals to solid electrolyte material has the potential to considerably raise the efficiency of fuel cells. Researchers at TU Delft were the first to document this accurately, and this week their second article on the subject in a very short time was published in the scientific journal, Advanced Functional Materials.

TU Delft identifies huge potential of nanocrystals in fuel cells

The Netherlands | Posted on March 29th, 2011

Electrolyte
The researchers at the Faculty of Applied Sciences at TU Delft were concentrating their efforts on improving electrolyte materials. This is the material between two electrodes, for example in a fuel cell or a battery. The better the characteristics of the electrolyte, the better, more compactly or more efficiently the fuel cell or battery works.

Solid matter
The electrolyte is usually a liquid, but this has a number of drawbacks. The liquid has to be very well enclosed, for example, and it takes up a relatively large amount of space. "It would therefore be preferable to have an electrolyte made of solid matter," says PhD student drs. Lucas Haverkate. "Unfortunately though, that has disadvantages as well. The conductivity in solid matter is not as good as it is in a liquid."

Traffic jam on the motorway
"In a solid matter you have a network of ions, in which virtually every position in the network is taken. This makes it difficult for the charged particles (protons) to move from one electrode to another. It's a bit like a traffic jam on a motorway. What you need to do is to create free spaces in the network."

Nanocrystals
One of the ways of achieving this, and therefore of increasing conductivity in solid electrolytes, is to add nanocrystals (of seven nanometres to around fifty nanometres), of Titanium Dioxide in this case. "A characteristic of these TiO2 crystals is that they attract protons, and this creates more space in the network." The nanocrystals are mixed in the electrolyte with a solid acid (CsHSO4). This latter material ‘delivers' the protons to the crystals. "The addition of the crystals appears to cause an enormous leap in the conductive capacity, up to a factor of 100," concludes Haverkate.

Similarity
This remarkable achievement by TU Delft has already led to two publications in the scientific journal Advanced Functional Materials. Last December, Haverkate published an article on the theory behind the results. His fellow PhD student, Wing Kee Chan, is the main author of a second item that appeared in the same publication this week.
Chan focused on the experimental side of the research. "The nice thing about these two publications is that the experimental results and the theoretical underpinning strongly complement each other," says Haverkate.

Neutrons
Chan carried out measurements on the electrolyte material using the neutron diffraction method. This involves sending neutrons through the material. The way in which the neutrons are dispersed makes it possible to deduce certain characteristics of the material, such as the density of protons in the crystals. Haverkate: "It is the first time that measurements have been taken of solid-material electrolytes in this way, and on such a small scale. The fact that we had nuclear research technologies at the Reactor Institute Delft at our disposal was tremendously valuable."

Temperature
However, the combination of TiO2 and CsHSO4 does not mark the end of the search for a suitable solid-material electrolyte. Other material combinations will be tested that may achieve better scores in the area of stability, for example. Professor Fokko Mulder, who is Haverkate's and Chan's PhD supervisor, says. "At this stage, we are more concerned about acquiring a fundamental understanding and a useful model, than the concrete issue of finding out what the most suitable material is. It is important that we identify the effect of nanocrystals, and give it a theoretical basis. I think there is great potential for these electrolytes. They also have the extra benefit of continuing to function well over a wide range of temperatures, which is of particular relevance for applying them in fuel cells."

Full bibliographic information
Wing K. Chan, Lucas A. Haverkate, Wouter J.H. Borghols, Marnix Wagemaker, Stephen J. Picken, Ernst R.H. van Eck, Arno P.M. Kentgens, Mark R. Johnson, Gordon J. Kearley, Fokko M. Mulder. Direct View on Nanoionic Proton Mobility. Advanced Functional Materials. 24 March 2011.
Notes for editors
Lucas Haverkate, PhD student Fundamental Aspects of Materials and Energy, TU Delft. Tel: +31 (0) 15 278 9753, E-mail:

Fokko Mulder, Full Professor Fundamental Aspects of Materials and Energy, TU Delft. Tel: +31 (0) 15 278 4870, E-mail:

Ineke Boneschansker, Science Information Officer, TU Delft. Tel: +31 (0) 15 278 88499, e-mail:

Wing K. Chan, Lucas A. Haverkate, Wouter J.H. Borghols, Marnix Wagemaker, Stephen J. Picken, Ernst R.H. van Eck, Arno P.M. Kentgens, Mark R. Johnson, Gordon J. Kearley, Fokko M. Mulder. Direct View on Nanoionic Proton Mobility. Advanced Functional Materials. 24 March 2011.

Lucas A. Haverkate, Wing K. Chan, Fokko M. Mulder. Ionic Nanosystems: Large Space-Charge Effects in a Nanostructured Proton Conductor. Advanced Functional Materials. 9 December 2010.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Ineke Boneschansker
+31 (0)15 27 88499

Copyright © AlphaGalileo

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

UT Arlington physicist creates new nanoparticle for cancer therapy April 16th, 2014

Relieving electric vehicle range anxiety with improved batteries: Lithium-sulfur batteries last longer with nanomaterial-packed cathode April 16th, 2014

Aerotech X-Y ball-screw stage for economical high performance Planar positioning April 16th, 2014

Energy Research Facility Construction Project at Brookhaven Lab Wins U.S. Energy Secretary's Achievement Award April 16th, 2014

Discoveries

Scientists observe quantum superconductor-metal transition and superconducting glass: A team including MIPT physicist observed quantum superconductor-metal transition and superconducting glass April 16th, 2014

UT Arlington physicist creates new nanoparticle for cancer therapy April 16th, 2014

A molecular approach to solar power: Switchable material could harness the power of the sun — even when it’s not shining April 15th, 2014

Targeting cancer with a triple threat: MIT chemists design nanoparticles that can deliver three cancer drugs at a time April 15th, 2014

Announcements

UT Arlington physicist creates new nanoparticle for cancer therapy April 16th, 2014

Relieving electric vehicle range anxiety with improved batteries: Lithium-sulfur batteries last longer with nanomaterial-packed cathode April 16th, 2014

Aerotech X-Y ball-screw stage for economical high performance Planar positioning April 16th, 2014

Energy Research Facility Construction Project at Brookhaven Lab Wins U.S. Energy Secretary's Achievement Award April 16th, 2014

Energy

Engineers develop new materials for hydrogen storage April 15th, 2014

A molecular approach to solar power: Switchable material could harness the power of the sun — even when it’s not shining April 15th, 2014

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Lands First Major Order from Pemex, Mexico’s State-Owned Oil and Gas Company April 14th, 2014

Scientists open door to better solar cells, superconductors and hard-drives: Research enhances understanding of materials interfaces April 14th, 2014

Automotive/Transportation

Relieving electric vehicle range anxiety with improved batteries: Lithium-sulfur batteries last longer with nanomaterial-packed cathode April 16th, 2014

Tiny particles could help verify goods: Chemical engineers hope smartphone-readable microparticles could crack down on counterfeiting April 15th, 2014

Nanotech Business Review 2013-2014 April 9th, 2014

Heat-conducting polymer cools hot electronic devices at 200 degrees C March 31st, 2014

Fuel Cells

University of Surrey collaborates with India and Tata Steel to revolutionise renewable energy March 26th, 2014

Novel membrane reveals water molecules will bounce off a liquid surface: Study may lead to more efficient water-desalination systems, fundamental understanding of fluid flow March 16th, 2014

Big Step for Next-Generation Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers: Researchers at Berkeley and Argonne National Labs Discover Highly Promising New Class of Nanocatalyst February 27th, 2014

Research and applications of iron oxide nanoparticles February 26th, 2014

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







  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE