While CNT alignment is still not perfect, it will now be able to be scaled up for large-scale production.Source: North Carolina State University

While CNT alignment is still not perfect, it will now be able to be scaled up for large-scale production.
Source: North Carolina State University

A new process called “microcombing” has been developed to created ultra-strong and highly conductive carbon nanotubes (CNTs).

The films produced from the microcombing technique could have practical applications in improving electronics and aerospace technology.

“It’s a simple process and can create a lightweight CNT film, or ‘bucky paper,’ that is a meter wide and twice as strong as previous such films—it’s even stronger than CNT fibers,” said Yuntian Zhu, Distinguished Professor of Material Science and Engineering at NC State.


Engineering a Better Solar Cell

This new development will lead to accelerated improvements in the materials' uniformity, stability, and efficiency.Source: University of Washington

This new development will lead to accelerated improvements in the materials’ uniformity, stability, and efficiency.
Source: University of Washington

In light of the growth in solar energy research, scientists have been directing a lot of attention toward perovskites. The materials’ wide range of use and potential to outpace silicon-based semiconductors in the field of solar cells makes perovskites an interesting area of research with great potential.

Researchers from the University of Washington, in conjunction with the University of Oxford, have discovered a new quality to perovskites that could help engineer a better solar cell.

The researchers have shown in their research that, contrast to popular belief, the perovskites are uniform in composition. The materials actually contain flaws that can be engineered to improve solar devices even further.

“In that short amount of time, the ability of these materials to convert sunlight directly into electricity is approaching that of today’s silicon-based solar cells, rivaling technology that took 50 years to develop,” said Dane deQuilettes, a University of Washington doctoral student. “But we also suspect there is room for improvement.”


New issues of ECS Transactions have now been published from the 2014 ECS & SMEQ Joint International Meeting. This meeting was co-sponsored by The Electrochemical Society and was held in October 2014 in Cancun, Mexico.

ecstVolume 64 : Issues 1 to 47 are now available.

For more information on ECS Transactions, please visit ECSTIssues are continuously updated and all full-text papers will be published here as soon as they are available.

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ECS will be offering three Short Courses at the 227th ECS Meeting this May in Chicago. Taught by industry experts, the small class size creates an excellent opportunity for personalized instruction helping both novices and experts advance their technical expertise and knowledge.

Register online today!

Short Course #2
Fundamentals of Electrochemistry – Basic Theory and Thermodynamic Methods
Jamie Noël, Instructor

This course covers the basic theory and application of electrochemical science. It is targeted toward people with a physical sciences or engineering background who have not been trained as electrochemists, but who want to add electrochemical methods to their repertoire of research approaches. There are many fields in which researchers originally approach their work from another discipline but then discover that it would be advantageous to understand and use some electrochemical methods to complement the work that they are doing. The course begins with a general, basic foundation of electrochemistry and uses it to develop the theory and experimental approaches to electrochemical problems of a thermodynamic nature. Read more.

Noel_James-JAbout the Instructor
Dr. Jamie Noël is an established electrochemist and corrosion scientist. Throughout his career, he has worked on corrosion issues in the nuclear industry and entered into academia through his position as a research scientist and adjunct professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. Dr. Noël assists in training and directing students, carrying out fundamental and applied electrochemistry research projects, and teaching electrochemistry at the graduate level. He uses electrochemical and other surface analytical techniques to study the corrosion of nuclear reactor components and nuclear waste management systems material. He continues to refine techniques that combine electrochemical measurements with neutron-based materials science techniques.

Registration for the short courses has been extended through the start of the meeting.

Engineers developed this one-material battery by sprinkling carbon (red) into each side of a new material (blue) that forms the electrolyte and both electrodes at the ends of the battery.Source: Maryland NanoCenter

Engineers developed this one-material battery by sprinkling carbon (red) into each side of a new material (blue) that forms the electrolyte and both electrodes at the ends of the battery.
Source: Maryland NanoCenter

ECS student member Fudong Han and former member Chunsheng Wang have developed a novel solid state battery comprised of just one material that can both move and store electricity.

This new battery could prove to be revolutionary in the area of solid state batteries due to its incorporation of electrodes and electrolytes into a single material.

“Our battery is 600 microns thick, about the size of a dime, whereas conventional solid state batteries are thin films — forty times thinner. This means that more energy can be stored in our battery,” said Han, the first author of the paper and a graduate student in Wang’s group.

This from the University of Maryland:

The new material consists of a mix of sulfur, germanium, phosphorus and lithium. This compound is used as the ion-moving electrolyte. At each end, the scientists added carbon to this electrolyte to form electrodes that push the ions back and forth through the electrolyte as the battery charges and discharges. Like a little bit more sugar added at each end of a cookie-cream mixture, the carbon merely helps draw the electricity from side to side through the material.


Three Atom Thick Transistor

A new study by two ECS published authors, David Muller and Jiwoong Park, has led to an electronic piece that is just three atoms thick.

The researchers have unveiled a process to develop ultra-thin transistors made from TMD, otherwise known as transition metal dichalcogenide. This material is novel in the fact that it possesses properties that make it a perfect fit for solar cells, light detectors, or semiconductors.

Researchers have been examining TMDs for some time now, but have been finding it difficult to get them to work consistently. This new study has discovered the best process yet to manufacture the materials, which could lead to a breakthrough in the future of electronics and possibly bring about an end to Moore’s law.


Tesla Reveals Battery to Power Homes

Elon Musk has just announced the new Tesla Energy division, which aims to move the energy grid away from dependency on fossil fuels and toward renewables.

The new line features a suite of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries—similar to the batteries used in the Tesla vehicles—for homes, businesses, and utilities. The company states that the battery can store renewable energy at a residential level for load shifting, backup power, and self-consumption of solar power generation.

During his announcement, Musk stated that this move could help change the “entire energy infrastructure of the world.”

The batteries have the ability to charge during non-peak energy usage hours and provide the home with energy during peak usage hours. The batteries are available at 10kWh or 7kWh, with a selling price of $3,500 and $3,000 respectively.

To put this into perspective, an energy comparison firm estimates that 1kWh can produce enough power for a full washing machine cycle.

Tesla hopes that this new line of batteries gets us closer to zero emission power generation and fosters a clean energy ecosystem.

brandon-nRegistration for the ECS Conference on Electrochemical Energy Conversion & Storage with SOFC-XIV, convening in Glasgow, July 26-31, 2015, is now open. The plenary session will feature Nigel Brandon, Director of the Sustainable Gas Institute at Imperial College London.

Prof. Nigel Brandon OBE FREng is also Director of the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Hub, and Co-Director of the UK Energy Storage Hub. He held research positions with BP and Rolls-Royce before joining Imperial College as a Senior Lecturer in electrochemical engineering in 1998.

In 2000 he was a founder of the fuel cell company Ceres Power, acting as CEO to 2003, CTO to 2006 and Chief Scientist to 2009. He was appointed to the Shell Chair in Sustainable Development in Energy in 2005 and the BG Chair in Sustainable Gas in 2014.

He was the UK focal point with China in energy and climate change from 2007 to 2011, and Senior Research Fellow in Energy to the UK Research Councils from 2005 to 2014.


Breaking Dependence on Fossil Fuels

Abruna_Hector_D“You’re not going to solve the energy problem by separating paper and plastic. We need to transition out of our dependency on fossil fuels and into renewables. As a society, it is really up to us to change.”

ECS Fellow Héctor D. Abruña recently spoke on the importance of developing better batteries to change the energy landscape at a Charter Day Weekend lecture at Cornell University.

The energy infrastructure as it exists today cannot maintain in its current form in the years to come. The United Nations expects the world’s population to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. Compare this to the current 7.2 billion population and the current issues with the energy infrastructure and the need for change becomes quite apparent.

Fortunately, Abruña and scientists like him are working to move us toward a more energy efficient and sustainable future through developments in fuel cells and batteries, which will power energy efficient and environmentally safe cars, as well as reshape the energy infrastructure itself.

“If we have any hope of solving the energy problems, we need better energy conversion and storage,” said Abruña.


Friday Deadline: 228th Meeting Abstracts

Deadline for Submitting Abstracts
May 1, 2015

Submit today!

Topic Close-up #1

SYMPOSIUM F03 Membrane-Based Electrochemical Separations

FOCUSED ON High or low temperature gas separations (e.g., H2, CO2, O2); Electrodialysis; Chlorine; production; water pollution remediation; other electrochemical separations

FEATURING Meilin Liu from School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology on Mixed Ionic and Electronic Conducting Membranes for Gas Separations and Michael Stockades of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece on Electrolyte Membranes in Heterogeneous Catalysis.

Learn about all the topics!