Current Electrode News and Events

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New catalyst could enable better lithium-sulfur batteries, power next-gen electronics
Lithium-sulfur batteries, given their light weight and theoretical high capacities, are a promising alternative to conventional lithium-ion batteries for large-scale energy storage systems, drones, electric vehicles, etc. But at present, they suffer from poor battery life, limiting their applicability. Now, scientists from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, have discovered a new catalyst material's ability to significantly improve lithium-sulfur battery life, opening doors to their near-future practical commercial realization. (2021-02-22)

Highway tunnel for ions
We live in modern times, that is full of electronics. Smartphones, laptops, tablets, and many other devices need electrical energy to operate. Portable devices made our lives easier, so novel solutions in clean energy and its storage are desirable. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are the most common solutions that dominate the global market and are a huge problem due to their insufficient recovery. (2021-02-16)

Signs of burnout can be detected in sweat
EPFL engineers, working in association with startup Xsensio, have developed a wearable system that can continually measure the concentration of cortisol - the stress hormone - in human sweat. Their device can eventually help doctors better understand and treat stress-related conditions like burnout and obesity. (2021-02-05)

Surface effect of electrodes revealed by operando surface science methodology
Super-dense anions together with cations intercalation into the surface region of graphite electrode has been visualized by applying operando surface science methodology over an Al/HOPG planar model device. The observed unusual electrochemical behavior in surface region can be described as the intercalation pseudocapacitor in contrast with the battery process in the bulk. Guided by this distinct surface effect, the capacity can be doubled by using surface-dominant nano-thick graphite electrode. (2021-02-04)

Ions in molten salts can go 'against the flow'
In a new article published in the scientific journal Communications Chemistry, a research group at Uppsala University show, using computer simulations, that ions do not always behave as expected. In their research on molten salts, they were able to see that, in some cases, the ions in the salt mixture they were studying affect one another so much that they may even move in the ''wrong'' direction - that is, towards an electrode with the same charge. (2021-01-27)

Keeping a clean path: Doubling the capacity of solid-state lithium batteries
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tohoku University, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, and Nippon Institute of Technology, demonstrated by experiment that a clean electrolyte/electrode interface is key to realizing high-capacity solid-state lithium batteries. Their findings could pave the way for improved battery designs with increased capacity, stability, and safety for both mobile devices and electric vehicles. (2021-01-25)

Producing green hydrogen through the exposure of nanomaterials to sunlight
A research team from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) has joined forces with French researchers from the The Institute of Chemistry and Processes for Energy, Environment and Health (ICPEES), a CNRS-University of Strasbourg joint research lab, to pave the way towards the production of green hydrogen. (2021-01-21)

Taking sieving lessons from nature
Nanostructure-templated electrochemical polymerization enhances speed and selectivity in organic membrane-based processes. (2021-01-21)

Electron transfer discovery is a step toward viable grid-scale batteries
The way to boost electron transfer in grid-scale batteries is different than researchers had believed, a new study from the University of Michigan has shown. (2021-01-21)

How short circuits in lithium metal batteries can be prevented
There are high hopes for the next generation of high energy-density lithium metal batteries, but before they can be used in our vehicles, there are crucial problems to solve. An international research team led by Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, has now developed concrete guidelines for how the batteries should be charged and operated, maximising efficiency while minimising the risk of short circuits. (2021-01-19)

Healing ceramic electrolyte degraded by Li dendrite
Our research team has investigated the effect of post-annealing for healing Li garnet solid electrolyte degraded by the growth of Li dendrites. The ionic conductivity of the annealed solid electrolyte was slightly lower than that of the electrolyte before annealing but was retained above 10?4 S cm?1 at room temperature. The electrochemical results obtained indicate the possibility of reusing the solid electrolyte degraded by the growth of Li dendrites in another all-solid-state Li battery. (2021-01-18)

A scanning transmission X-ray microscope for analysis of chemical states of lithium
A new method to analyze chemical status of lithium was developed by using a synchrotron-based scanning transmission soft X-ray microscope (STXM). A key of the method is installation of a newly designed X-ray lens, a low-pass filtering zone plate, to the STXM to improve quality of a monochromatic X-ray. 2-dimensional chemical state of a test electrode of Li-ion battery was successfully analyzed with spatial resolution of 72 nm. (2021-01-14)

New process more efficiently recycles excess CO2 into fuel, study finds
For years, researchers have worked to repurpose excess atmospheric carbon dioxide into new chemicals, fuels and other products traditionally made from hydrocarbons harvested from fossil fuels. The recent push to mitigate the climactic effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has chemists on their toes to find the most efficient means possible. A new study introduces an electrochemical reaction, enhanced by polymers, to improve CO2-to-ethylene conversion efficiency over previous attempts. (2021-01-11)

A safer, less expensive and fast charging aqueous battery
Researchers have developed a new battery anode that overcomes the limitations of lithium-ion batteries and offers a stable, high-performance battery using seawater as the electrolyte. (2021-01-11)

Construction of carbon-based cell-like-spheres for robust potassium anode
Inspired by the structure of a biological cell, biomimetic carbon cells (BCCs) were synthesized and used as potassium ion batteries (PIBs) anodes. The unique structural characteristics of the BCCs resulted in PIBs that showed a high reversible capacity, excellent cycle stability and rate performance. The present strategy provides a new way for the design and manufacture of new biomimetic battery materials in the future, and promotes collaborative research across multiple disciplines. (2021-01-09)

Scientists develop a cheaper method that might help create fuels from plants
Scientists have figured out a cheaper, more efficient way to conduct a chemical reaction at the heart of many biological processes, which may lead to better ways to create biofuels from plants. (2021-01-08)

Supercapacitors challenge batteries
A team working with Roland Fischer, Professor of Inorganic and Metal-Organic Chemistry at the Technical University Munich (TUM) has developed a highly efficient supercapacitor. The basis of the energy storage device is a novel, powerful and also sustainable graphene hybrid material that has comparable performance data to currently utilized batteries. (2021-01-04)

Scientists suggested a method to improve performance of methanol fuel cells
Fuel cells based on methanol oxidation have a huge potential in the motor and technical industries. To increase their energy performance, scientists suggest using electrodes made of thin palladium-based metallic glass films. A group of researchers from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), Austria, Turkey, Switzerland, and the UK has developed a new metallic glass for this application. The results were reported in the Nanoscale journal. (2020-12-22)

New energy conversion layer for biosolar cells
A research team from the Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum, together with colleagues from Lisbon, has produced a semi-artificial electrode that could convert light energy into other forms of energy in biosolar cells. The technique is based on the photosynthesis protein Photosystem I from cyanobacteria. The group showed that they could couple their system with an enzyme that used the converted light energy to produce hydrogen. (2020-12-21)

Device refines analysis of materials for fuel cells and batteries
Developed at an Engineering Research Center supported by FAPESP, the novel spectroelectrochemical cell can be used to study the behavior of electrolytes and catalysts by means of X-rays and infrared or even visible light. (2020-12-21)

Catalytic activity of individual cobalt oxide nanoparticles determined
Precious metal-free nanoparticles could serve as powerful catalysts in the future, for example for hydrogen production. To optimize them, researchers must be able to analyze the properties of individual particles. A new method for this has been suggested by a team from Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum and from the University of Duisburg-Essen. The group developed a method using a robotic arm that allows them to select individual particles under an electron microscope and place them on a nanoelectrode for electrochemical analysis. (2020-12-15)

New hard-carbon anode material for sodium-ion batteries will solve the lithium conundrum
Today, most rechargeable batteries are lithium-ion batteries, which are made from relatively scarce elements--this calls for the development of batteries using alternative materials. In a new study, scientists from Tokyo University of Science, Japan, find an energy-efficient method to fabricate a hard carbon electrode with enormously high sodium storage capacity. This could pave the way for next-generation sodium-ion batteries made with inexpensive and abundant materials, and having a higher energy density than lithium-ion batteries. (2020-12-14)

Making cheaper, biocompatible E-skin electrodes
DGIST materials scientists and colleagues in Korea have improved electrical conductivity in a polymer electrode for E-skin applications. Their approach is simple and cheap, but further enhancements are needed for the polymer to become a viable alternative to more expensive gold electrodes. The scientists published their findings in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics. (2020-12-10)

Tiny bubbles on electrodes key to speeding up chemical processes
New Curtin University-led research has shown the formation of bubbles on electrodes, usually thought to be a hindrance, can be beneficial, with deliberately added bubbles, or oil droplets, able to accelerate processes such as the removal of pollutants such as hydrocarbons from contaminated water and the production of chlorine. (2020-12-10)

Perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells on the magic threshold of 30% efficiency
An HZB team has published a report in the journal Science on the development of its current world record of 29.15% efficiency for a tandem solar cell made of perovskite and silicon. The tandem cell provided stable performance for 300 hours - even without encapsulation. To accomplish this, the group headed by Prof. Steve Albrecht investigated physical processes at the interfaces to improve the transport of the charge carriers. (2020-12-10)

Breakthrough material makes pathway to hydrogen use for fuel cells under hot, dry conditions
A collaborative research team, including Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of Stuttgart (Germany), University of New Mexico, and Sandia National Laboratories, has developed a proton conductor for fuel cells based on polystyrene phosphonic acids that maintain high protonic conductivity up to 200 C without water. (2020-12-07)

Thermal stability analysis technique for EV batteries to detect risk of fire or explosion
Recently, there have been a number of electric vehicle (EV) battery fire incidents. Unlike the batteries used in small mobile devices, such as smartphones, the battery pack of an EV is composed of hundreds of battery cells, and any instability can cause major casualties and property damage. Amid various efforts to pinpoint the cause of battery fires, Korean researchers have developed a new analysis method to evaluate the thermal stability of EV batteries. (2020-12-04)

Restoring a rudimentary form of vision in the blind
Restoration of vision in blind people through a brain implant is on the verge of becoming reality. Recent discoveries at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) show that newly developed high-resolution implants in the visual cortex make it possible to recognize artificially induced shapes and percepts. The findings were published in Science on 3 December. (2020-12-03)

Human Brain Project-supported innovation published in Science
Human Brain Project research has helped lay the foundation for a brain implant that could one day give blind people their sight back. Recent discoveries at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) show that in monkeys, newly developed high-resolution implants in the visual cortex make it possible to recognize artificially induced images. The findings were published in Science on 3 December. For further development towards application in humans, the high-resolution 3D digital brain atlases of HBP's EBRAINS Research Infrastructure will become instrumental. (2020-12-03)

ETRI, DGIST develop new electrode structure for all-solid-state secondary battery
South Korean researchers have developed a new type of electrode structure for all-solid-state secondary batteries. If this technology is adopted, the energy density of the batteries could increase significantly when compared to existing technologies, contributing tremendously to the development of high-performance secondary batteries. (2020-12-02)

Discoveries highlight new possibilities for magnesium batteries
Researchers from the University of Houston and the Toyota Research Institute of North America have reported a breakthrough in the development of magnesium batteries, allowing them to operate at room temperature and deliver a power density comparable to that of lithium-ion batteries. (2020-11-30)

More skin-like, electronic skin that can feel
POSTECH-Stanford joint research team develops multimodal ion-electronic skin that distinguishes temperature from mechanical stimuli. This skin can detect various movements and is applicable in fields including humanoid skin and temperature sensors. (2020-11-24)

Creating higher energy density lithium-ion batteries for renewable energy applications
Lithium-ion batteries that function as high-performance power sources for renewable applications, such as electric vehicles and consumer electronics, require electrodes that deliver high energy density without compromising cell lifetimes. In the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A, researchers investigate the origins of degradation in high energy density LIB cathode materials and develop strategies for mitigating those degradation mechanisms and improving LIB performance. (2020-11-24)

Perfect imperfection: Electrode defects boost resistive memory efficiency
Resistive switching memory devices offer several advantages over the currently used computer memory technology. Researchers from the MIPT Atomic Layer Deposition Lab have joined forces with colleagues from Korea to study the impact of electrode surface morphology on the properties of a resistive switching memory cell. It turned out that thicker electrodes have greater surface roughness and are associated with markedly better memory cell characteristics (2020-11-23)

Faster detection of photocatalyst-generated oxygen has big implications for clean energy
In the future, hydrogen produced from sunlight and water using photocatalysts could provide a source of clean energy. Collaboration between researchers at Japanese universities has led to the development of a method to detect the oxygen produced from this water-splitting reaction 1000 times faster. This new method can be utilized to improve our understanding of artificial photosynthesis' reaction mechanisms and could contribute towards the development and large-scale implementation of photocatalyst technology for producing hydrogen fuel. (2020-11-18)

Anions matter
Metal-ion hybrid capacitors combine the properties of capacitors and batteries. One electrode uses the capacitive mechanism, the other the battery-type redox processes. Scientists have now scrutinized the role of anions in the electrolyte. The results, which have been published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, reveal the importance of sulfate anions. Sulfate-based electrolytes gave zinc-ion hybrid capacitors outstanding performance and extra-long operability. (2020-11-13)

Convenient antioxidant capacity measurement of food
Japanese researchers have developed a system to quickly and easily measure the antioxidant capacity of food. The new electrochemical system uses Bicontinuous Microemulsion (BME), where a mixture of water and oil is gelated and integrated with a sheet-type electrode. This system can easily be used by anyone anywhere and is expected to be used for quality control in the production, manufacturing and sale of food products. (2020-11-12)

Charges cascading along a molecular chain
A team of researchers led by Berkeley Lab has developed a method to fabricate a one-dimensional array of individual molecules and to precisely control its electronic structure. (2020-11-12)

Improving high-energy lithium-ion batteries with carbon filler
Lithium-ion batteries are the major rechargeable power source for many portable devices as well as electric vehicles, but their use is limited, because they do not provide high power output while simultaneously allowing reversible energy storage. Research reported in Applied Physics Reviews aims to offer a solution by showing how the inclusion of conductive fillers improves battery performance. (2020-11-10)

Creating 3D virtual personas of all-solid-state batteries, building a better tomorrow
Scientists are eyeing all-solid-state-lithium batteries as a safer alternative to conventional lithium-ion batteries; but their performance needs much improvement. Now, with the 3D digital twin technology that a team from Korea has developed, a 3D digital replica of the real thing can be developed, and their solid interface microstructures can be studied in detail, potentially accelerating their advancement manifold. (2020-11-09)

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