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Nanostructured materials for advanced energy conversion and storage devices

Abstract

New materials hold the key to fundamental advances in energy conversion and storage, both of which are vital in order to meet the challenge of global warming and the finite nature of fossil fuels. Nanomaterials in particular offer unique properties or combinations of properties as electrodes and electrolytes in a range of energy devices. This review describes some recent developments in the discovery of nanoelectrolytes and nanoelectrodes for lithium batteries, fuel cells and supercapacitors. The advantages and disadvantages of the nanoscale in materials design for such devices are highlighted.

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Figure 1: Charge–discharge curves for nanostructured anode materials.
Figure 2: Electrochemical behaviour of bulk and nanostructured α-Fe2O3 with voltage–composition curves.
Figure 3: Transmission electron micrographs of regular and nanostructured spinel.
Figure 4: Capacity against cycling number for a lithium coin cell.
Figure 5: The structures of PEO6:LiAsF6.
Figure 6: Cycling performance of the new asymmetric hybrid C/nano-Li4Ti5O12 supercapacitor.
Figure 7: Calculated mass-averaged (a) and surface-averaged distributions (b) as a function of particle size in Pt particles with cubo-octahedral geometry.
Figure 8: Platinum-coated nanostructured whisker supports (0.25 mg cm−2).

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Acknowledgements

We thank M. Mastragostino of the university of Bologna for suggestions and help in completing the supercapacitors part of this review. Support from the European Network of Excellence 'ALISTORE' network is acknowledged. P.G.B. is indebted to the Royal Society for financial support.

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Aricò, A., Bruce, P., Scrosati, B. et al. Nanostructured materials for advanced energy conversion and storage devices. Nature Mater 4, 366–377 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat1368

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