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NC State - Nanotechnology battery design gets boost from aligned Carbon nanotubes

DCN Corp® - A sheet of aligned carbon nanotubes is rolled on a cylinder.  Credit - © Wiley-VCH VerlagInnovative researchers from North Carolina State University (NC State) have demonstrated a new flexible nano-scaffold for rechargeable Lithium (Li) ion batteries that could assist to make cell phone and electric car batteries last much longer.  Such research was published in Advanced Materials as: "Aligned Carbon Nanotube-Silicon Sheets: A Novel Nano-architecture for Flexible Lithium Ion Battery Electrodes", which claimed the potential of manufactured sheets of homogeneously aligned Carbon (C) nanotubes coated with Silicon (Si).

As stated by Dr Philip Bradford (assistant professor of textile engineering, chemistry and science at NCSU) - "putting silicon into batteries can produce a huge increase in capacity - 10 times greater,"  Also, as stated by Dr Bradford - "but adding silicon can also create 10 times the problems."

Significant challenges with the use of Si has been that it actively 'swells' when Li ion batteries discharge.  As the batteries cycle - Si can break-off from the electrode and negatively float around (classified as pulverisation) instead of remaining in place, thus, making batteries less stable.  However, when Si-coated C nanotubes are aligned in one direction - similar to a layer of drinking straws laid end-to-end, then the structure enables for controlled expansion, so that the Si is less prone to pulverisation (as stated by Xiangwu Zhang - associate professor of textile engineering, chemistry and science at NCSU).  Zhang stated - "there's a huge demand for batteries for cell phones and electric vehicles, which need higher energy capacity for longer driving distances between charges," - and - "we believe this carbon nanotube scaffolding potentially has the ability to change the industry, although technical aspects will have to be worked-out.  The manufacturing process we're using is scalable and could work well in commercial production."  Original article available here

DCN Corp finds above description extremely interesting, and is wondering if the same homogeneous alignment of C nanotubes is achievable via the company's nanotechnology dip coating methodology?  If so, and you or your colleagues are interested in a R&D collaboration - please ensure to contact the company as soon as practicably possible.