Kristy Jost, a PhD candidate in the Nanomaterials Group, has been named a Graduate Student Award winner for the 2013 Lindau Meeting.
The Lindau Award supports exceptional doctoral student researchers to attend the annual Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany each June. This year’s meeting (to be held June 30-July 5, 2013) will be focused on Chemistry and Chemistry-related fields. Jost works on developing “smart” and electronic textiles by combining high-tech fashion design techniques with advanced materials and nanotechnology, focusing primarily on integrated textile energy storage.
At the meeting, Laureates lecture on the topic of their choice in the mornings and participate in less formal, small-group discussions with the students in the afternoons and some evenings. A list of the participating Nobel Laureates can be found on the Lindau website.
Jost will be the fifth Drexel student to attend a Lindau meeting, and the second from Materials Science & Engineering.
Many people can relate to the hardship of starting a vehicle during a bitter cold morning before work. It takes a huge amount of power relative to a warm sunny day for two reasons: the mechanical parts of an engine require more power to start moving when cold (motor oil becomes viscous, like honey), and the battery operates at a very low efficiency because the ions in electrolyte solution move much slower at freezing temperatures.
A collaboration between researchers at Drexel University in Philadelphia, The University of Texas at Austin, and Paul Sabatier University in Toulousse, France have recently engineered a supercapacitor system that can operate efficiently at very low temperatures – as low as -50 °C (-58 °F). Just published in the journal Nano Energy, their work involves a unique nanostructured carbon material deemed activated microwave exfoliated graphite oxide (“a-MEGO”), which was inspired by the recent interest in graphene. Graphene, which is an atomically thin layer of carbon, has many applications in energy storage and generation.
Combined with a-MEGO is an electrolyte called an ionic liquid. These are salts like sodium chloride, but are liquid at room temperature or below. The a-MEGO material has a high surface area, with about 2 grams having the surface area of a football field; as a result, a-MEGO is able to store a large amount of charge on its surface as a supercapacitor. The unique electrolyte, which is a mixture of ionic liquids, allows for operation at low temperature. Commercial supercapacitors, by comparison, use an electrolyte that will fail at temperatures below -25 °C (-13 °F). Finally, supercapacitors will last for more than 10 years and up to 1 million charge/discharge cycles, compared to batteries that will last a couple years for about 1 thousand cycles. Imagine never having to change your car battery!
This study reinforces the potential of graphene in energy storage applications, but also demonstrates that only the right combination of an electrode material and an electrolyte leads to truly outstanding performance. This opens the door to development of even better supercapacitors using safe and non-flammable ionic liquid electrolytes.
Citation: Lin, R.; Tsai, W.- Y.; Murali, S.; Zhang, L. L.; McDonough, J. K.; Ruoff, R. S.; Taberna, P.- L.; Gogotsi, Y.; and Simon, P. Outstanding Performance of Activated Graphene Based Supercapacitors in Ionic Liquid Electrolyte from -50 to 80°C. Nano Energy, 2013, doi 10.1016/j.nanoen.2012.11.006
What? – Engineered a material / electrolyte supercapacitor system to store a large amount of energy at extremely low temperatures. Additionally, the system has a fast response rate and a high efficiency compared to batteries.
When? – First published online (Nano Energy).
Where? Collaboration between UTexas at Austin, Paul Sabatier University in Toulousse France, and Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Why? Present systems to power technology at very low temperatures, i.e. starting a vehicle in an Alaskan morning, require oversized batteries that have a very low efficiency and short lifetime. Our supercapacitor system delivers the most energy at a low temperature of -50 °C (-58 °F) and can operate for ~1 million charge / discharge cycles.
How? A unique carbon nanomaterial, activated microwave exfoliated graphite oxide (a-MEGO), was combined with a eutectic mixture of ionic liquids. The a-MEGO has a high surface area and allows for a large amount of charge to be stored capacitively on its surface, while the mixture of ionic liquids has a very low melting point and a wide voltage stability window.
Work by NMG alumni Volker Presser and Sun-Hwa Yeon is featured in Live Science: Nanoporous Carbon Materials Raise Chances of Surviving Sepsis. The researchers discuss their work on mesoporous carbons derived from silicon carbide-based ceramics for ultimate use in filtering cytokines from the blood to treat sepsis. The work was first published as the cover article in the November 2012 issue of Advanced Healthcare Materials.
Min Hoen and NMG alum Volker Presser have published a paper in collaboration with the FIRST EFRC team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “In situ tracking of the nanoscale expansion of porous carbon electrodes” can be found in Energy and Environmental Science.
Drexel was well represented at the 2012 meeting of the Materials Research Society in Boston.
Doctoral students Kristy Jost and Riju Singhal presented their work as finalists for the Graduate Student Awards, among just 24 students from 16 universities. Only Cornell had more students place as finalists for these awards, which recognize students of exceptional ability who show promise for significant future achievement in materials research.
Jost presented her work on fabrics capable of capacitive energy storage in “All-textile EDLCs for Applications in Wearable Electronics,” while Singhal discussed carbon nanotube endoscopes for single cell studies in his work titled, “Carbon Nanotube Based Multifunctional Probes for Intracellular Analysis and Microfluidic Separation.” Both Singhal and Jost won silver awards, which include a certificate and $200. MRS board members noted that this was the first time two students from the same advisor had won graduate student awards at the same meeting.
Separate from her silver award, Jost was also presented with the newly endowed Arthur Nowick Graduate Student Award for showing particular promise as a future teacher and mentor. The award honors the late Dr. Nowick, a materials scientist who made pioneering contributions to the field during a research career at IBM and teaching career at Columbia University, for his commitment to teaching and mentoring students in materials science. For winning the award, Jost received $500 and a presentation plaque.
Jost was not the only dual award-winner from Drexel: in the poster competition, Singhal and fellow doctoral student Yang Gao won the Best Poster Award for their poster, “Carbon Based Multifunctional Nano-probes for Cellular Injection and Electrophysiology,” with Profs. Zuly Orynbaeva, Gary Friedman and Adam Fontecchio. This is the most prestigious poster award in the materials field, and also features a $500 prize.
In the meeting’s “Science as Art” competition, Babak Anasori won 2nd place for his entry “The Happy 2-D World,” co-authored with Michael Naguib, Michel Barsoum and Yury Gogotsi. Separately, the Drexel MRS chapter, led by President Jake McDonough, placed 3rd in the T-shirt compeition.
To learn more about the MRS Fall Meeting, please visit the society’s official website here.
Jost’s presentation: All-textile EDLCs for Applications in Wearable Electronics. Kristy Jost, Daniel Stenger, John K. McDonough, Carlos R. Perez, Genevieve Dion, Yury Gogotsi.
Singhal’s presentation: Carbon Nanotube Based Multifunctional Probes for Intracellular Analysis and Microfluidic Separation. Riju Singhal, Zulfiya Orynbayeva, Vadym Mochalin, Gary Friedman, Yury Gogotsi.