McDonough Successfully Defends PhD Thesis

Congratulations to Dr. John (Jake) McDonough, who successfully defended his thesis, “Carbon Onions for Electrochemical Capacitors,” on June 11. (See Jake’s abstract below, or visit the Publications page for some of his published papers.)

Best wishes to Jake in his future endeavors!


Energy off the grid, whether it be generation, storage, or efficiency, is a worldwide problem that everyone can relate to, from a cell phone battery dying, to gas efficiency in a vehicle. An alternative system that is able to deliver much higher power than batteries is called an electric double layer capacitor (EDLC, also called supercapacitor or ultracapacitor). EDLCs are fundamentally different in their charge storage mechanism, which relies on the physical adsorption of ions on a high surface area material instead of chemical reactions. This system can deliver more than 10x the power density, be charged and discharged almost a million times, and has an excellent efficiency (~95%). The major obstacle is its lower energy density, with batteries having about 10x the energy density of an EDLC.

The low energy density of EDLCs has caused most research groups in the field to focus on improving this property. Unfortunately, it is a fundamental problem with the system, and may never be solved. For this reason, it is the goal of this work to further increase the power capabilities of EDLCs, approaching that of electrolytic capacitors, by exploring a new material, called carbon onions, or onion-like carbon (OLC). Never before has a thesis been focused solely on developing OLC for EDLC applications. OLC in its raw form has major advantages over traditional porous materials for EDLCs: it is nonporous allowing for exceptional charge- discharge rates, which translates into power densities more than 10x higher than traditional EDLC materials, although at the expense of a lower energy density.

This work focuses on understanding the effect of annealing conditions and precursor material on the OLC transformation mechanism and kinetics. The resulting structure and physical properties of OLC are correlated with electrochemical properties as OLC is used in EDLC electrodes. The capacitance of OLC was increased through chemical alteration of its surface and by coating the surface with redox active molecules. The unique structure of OLC allows for novel uses of the material with ionic liquid electrolytes and as a conductive additive to conventional EDLC materials.

Dr. Gogotsi Interviewed by MRS TV before Kavli Lecture

Dr. Gogotsi Interviewed by MRS TV before Kavli Lecture

Dr. Gogotsi with MRS President Dr. Tia Benson Tolle
Dr. Gogotsi with MRS President Dr. Tia Benson Tolle

NMG director Dr. Yury Gogotsi was selected to give the Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience at the 2014 Spring MRS meeting. MRS TV featured an interview with Dr. Gogotsi about his talk, titled “Not Just Graphene — the Wonderful World of Carbon.” See the interview now on YouTube.

Dr. Gogotsi’s Kavli Lecture will be available via the MRS OnDemand service in mid-May.

NMG Members at MRS Meeting in San Francisco

Several members of the Nanomaterials Group are in San Francisco this week for the Materials Research Society Meeting. A list of presentations (including the Fred Kavli lecture, being delivered by Dr. Yury Gogotsi) and posters from the group is below.


Monday 04/21/14

7-8 p.m.

Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience

Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Level, Salon 7

Yury Gogotsi, Drexel University


Tuesday 04/22/14

9:00 AM – *PP1.02

Nanodiamond-Containing Polymer-Matrix Composites

Vadym  N  Mochalin1 2, Ioannis  Neitzel3 1 2, Yury  Gogotsi1 2.


Tuesday 04/22/14

3:00 PM – *O3.04

Ion Intercalation into 2D Titanium Carbide Based MXenes: Applications for Electrochemical Energy Storage

Maria  R.  Lukatskaya1, Chang  E.  Ren1, Olha  Mashtalir1, Yohan  Dall’Agnese1 2, Michael  Naguib1, Patrice  Simon2, Michel  W.  Barsoum1, Yury  Gogotsi1.


Wednesday 04/23/14

8:30 AM – PP4.01

Adsorption and Release of Drugs on Nanodiamond

James  Giammarco1 2, Vadym  N  Mochalin1 2, Amanda  Pentecost1 2, Yury  Gogotsi1 2.


Wednesday 04/23/14

11:45 AM – R4.10

Knitted Electrochemical Capacitors From Carbon-Welded Cellulose Yarns

Kristy  Jost1 2 3, David  P.  Durkin4, Chelsea  Knittel3, Luke  Haverhals6, Hugh  De Long5, Paul  C.  Trulove4, Yury  Gogotsi1 2, Genevieve  Dion3.


Wednesday 04/23/14

4:00 PM – PP5.07

Atomistic Modeling of Nanodiamond Solvation

Vadym  N  Mochalin1 2.


Friday 04/25/14

9:30 AM – O9.05

Expanded Voltage Window in An Aqueous-Based Asymmetric Manganese-Dioxide/Activated Carbon Suspension Electrode System

Kelsey  Bridget  Hatzell1 2, Lei  Fan1 2, Majid  Beidaghi1 2, Chris  Dennison3 2, Ekaterina  Pomerantseva1, E. Caglan  Kumbur3, Yury  Gogotsi1 2.


Friday 04/25/14

2:45 PM – N10.06

Mixtures of Ionic Liquids and Organic Solvents as Electrolytes for Electrochemical Capacitors

Katherine  Van Aken1, Majid  Bedaighi1, Mayumi  Nishida2, Yury  Gogotsi1.


Friday 04/25/14

4:15 PM – N10.10

Three-Dimensional Structures of Nb2O5/Graphene As High Rate Electrodes for Li-Ion Capacitors

Majid  Beidaghi1, Chuanfang  Zhang1, Ryan  Maloney2, Bruce  Dunn2, Yury  Gogotsi1.



Tuesday 04/22/14

8:00 PM – NN3.15

Cation Intercalation and High Volumetric Capacitance of Two-Dimensional Titanium Carbide

Maria  R.  Lukatskaya1, Chang  E.  Ren1, Olha  Mashtalir1, Yohan  Dall’Agnese1 2, Michael  Naguib1, Patrice  Simon2, Michel  W.  Barsoum1, Yury  Gogotsi1.


Tuesday 04/22/14

8:00 PM – LL5.22

Optical and Electronic Properties of Two-Dimensional Ti3C2 Epitaxial Thin Films

Joseph  Halim1 2 3, Maria  Lukatskaya1 2, Kevin  Cook1 2, Jun  Lu3, Cole  Smith1, Lars-Ake  Naeslund3, Steve  May1, Lars  Hultman3, Yury  Gogotsi1 2, Per  Eklund3, Michel  Barsoum1.


Tuesday 04/22/14

8:00 PM – PP3.05

Surface Chemistry and Adsorption on Nanodiamonds

Vadym  N  Mochalin1 2, James  Giammarco1 2, Yury  Gogotsi1 2.


Wednesday 04/23/14

8:00 PM – NN6.48

Synthesis of Two-Dimensional Transition Metal Carbides and Their Application as Electrode Materials for Lithium Ion Batteries

Michael  Naguib1 2, Joseph  Halim1 2 3, Jun  Lu3, Kevin  M  Cook1 2, Lars  Hultman3, Michel  W.  Barsoum1, Yury  Gogotsi1 2.


Thursday 04/24/14

8:00 PM – N8.60

Effects of Surface Chemistry and Graphitization on Ion Dynamics, Electrolyte Stability, and Double Layer Capacitance

Boris  Dyatkin1, Kevin  Cook1, Majid  Beidaghi1, Vadym  Mochalin1, Yury  Gogotsi1.



Collaborator presentations


Oral presentation


Thursday 04/24/14


8:30 AM – *O6.02

Supercapacitors Based on Ionic Liquid Electrolytes: Materials and Systems

Wan-Yu  Tsai1, Pierre Louis  Taberna1, Yury  Gogotsi2, Patrice  Simon1.

1,  Materials Sciences, University Paul Sabatier Toulouse III, Toulouse, France; 2,  Materials Science, University Paul Sabatier Toulouse III, Toulouse, 31400, France.


Poster Presentation


Thursday 04/24/14


8:00 PM – O8.77

MXenes as High Capacity Electrodes Materials for Metal (Li, Na, K, Ca)-Ion Batteries

Dequan  Er1, Junwen  Li1, Michael  Naguib2, Michel  Barsoum2, Yury  Gogotsi2, Vivek  B.  Shenoy1.


NMG Members Advocate for STEM Funding

NMG Members Advocate for STEM Funding

As part of an annual outreach effort organized by the national Materials Advantage organization, NMG members once again traveled to Washington DC to advocate for STEM funding, including basic research at universities and national laboratories, as well as various education and outreach activities that get students interested in STEM fields at a young age.

Boris Dyatkin, Kelsey Hatzell, Sean Orzolek and Alex McBride, along with Pelin Kansu Lemons from Prof. Hao Cheng‘s research group, met with legislative staffers from six offices of US Senators and Representatives, including Senators Patrick Toomey and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.

See photos from the students’ trip to Washington below.

Left to Right: Pelin Kansu Lemons, Boris Dyatkin, Jeremy Baker (staffer for Senator Pat Toomey, R-PA), Alex McBride, Sean Orzolek, Kelsey Hatzell
Left to right: Pelin Kansu Lemons, Boris Dyatkin, Jeremy Baker (staffer for Senator Pat Toomey, R-PA), Alex McBride, Sean Orzolek, Kelsey Hatzell
Left to right: Sean Orzolek, Alex McBride, Boris Dyatkin, John Richter (staffer for Senator Bob Casey, D-PA)
Left to right: Sean Orzolek, Alex McBride, Boris Dyatkin, John Richter (staffer for Senator Bob Casey, D-PA)


NMG Members Win NSF Visualization Challenge

NMG Members Win NSF Visualization Challenge

Wearable Power
“Wearable Power,” a poster which depicts research in turning carbon materials into wearable energy storage devices, been recognized by the National Science Foundation as a First Place winner in its 2013 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge. In addition, the poster by Kristy Jost, Babak Anasori, and Dr. Majid Beidaghi (advised by Prof. Genevieve Dion and Prof. Yury Gogotsi) was also selected as the People’s Choice winner.

Read more about Wearable Power and the visualization challenge on the Drexel COE website.

For more news coverage:

Dyatkin (left) with Liang Tian at the Materials Voice Booth

Dyatkin Outlines “Materials Voice” Efforts in MRS Intersections

Dyatkin (left) with Liang Tian at the Materials Voice Booth
Dyatkin (left) with Liang Tian at the Materials Voice Booth

NMG PhD candidate Boris Dyatkin volunteered at the “Materials Voice” booth at the Fall Materials Research Society Meeting in Boston, encouraging attendees to write letters to their representatives in Washington emphasizing the importance of substantial federal funding for research. Boris has recounted his experience as a Materials Voice volunteer in the Winter 2014 issue of MRS Intersections.

Click here to read Boris’s Intersections article on the MRS website.

Catching Up: 2013 Lindau Meeting

Catching Up: 2013 Lindau Meeting

Last year, Nanomaterials Group PhD candidate Kristy Jost was named a Graduate Student Award winner for the 2013 Lindau Meeting, giving her the opportunity to attend the annual Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany in June. The 2013 meeting was 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.

Jost attended the meeting and met with a number of Laureates (see photo below of her with 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Laureate Dan Shechtman).

See the original NMG news post about Jost’s award here, or read her interview with journalist Gianna Grün here.

Kristy Jost with 2011 Chemistry Laureate Dan Shechtman
Kristy Jost with 2011 Chemistry Laureate Dan Shechtman

Van Aken Wins ACS “Nano” Design Contest

The Nanomaterials Group’s Katie Van Aken won the first ACS Publications “Nano” T-shirt design contest. Katie’s design will now become the official inspiration for a new ACS Publications “Nano” t-shirt. For more information about the contest and a photo of Katie’s winning design, see the ACS post here.



NMG Members at MRS Meeting

NMG Members will be presenting at a number of lectures and sessions at the 2013 MRS Fall Meeting in Boston ( See the list below:


  • 8:00-8:30am: CC 101, Synthesis and Energy Storage Properties of Two-Dimensional Materials. Dunn, Hynes, Level 3, Ballroom C.
  • 8:00-11: Poster FF 322, Ionic Liquid Electrolyte Dynamics in Porous Architectures of Supercapacitor Electrodes Determined via In situ Infrared Spectroelectrochemistry. Dyatkin, Gogotsi, Hynes, Level 3, Room 310.
  • 8:00-11: Poster FF 318, In-Situ Investigation of Oxidation Behavior of Ti3C2 for Energy Storage Applications. Hessam, Gogotsi, Taheri, Hynes, Level 3, Room 310.
  • 4:30-5 [Invited Talk]: TT2.11* Fast Ion Transport in Two-Dimensional Early Transition Metal Carbides: Applications to Batteries and Electrochemical Capacitors. Gogotsi, Hynes, Level 3, Room 310.


  • 8:00-11: Poster DD 8.15, CO2 oxidation of Nb2C. Zhang, Gogotsi et al. Hynes, Level 3, Room 310.


  • 10:15-10:30am: CC 707, Two-Dimensional Early Transition Metal Carbides (MXenes) as Electrode Materials in Lithium Ion Batteries. Gogotsi for Naguib, Hynes, Level 3, Ballroom C.
  • 11:45-12: FF 611, Novel in situ Infrared Spectroelectrochemistry Technique for Analyzing Ionic Liquid Electrolyte Dynamics at Interfaces of Carbon Supercapacitor Electrodes. Dyatkin, Gogotsi, Hynes, Level 3, Room 310.

Additional papers co-authored by Gogotsi:    FF5.09, RR15.29