News

Kelsey Hatzell won Arthur Nowick award at MRS

Kelsey Hatzell won Arthur Nowick award at MRS

We are pleased to announce that Kelsey Hatzell won the Arthur Nowick award this year. Congratulations to Kelsey!

This award is presented at each Fall Meeting starting 2012. Kristy Jost won the inaugural award in 2012 (http://www.mrs.org/f12-gsa/). Kelsey won it this year. Thus, two of the three most prestigious graduate student awards in materials science given worldwide went to our students. We simply have the best materials science PhD students in the world!

Kelsey receiving her prize at MRS.
Kelsey receiving her prize at MRS.

Nature paper on Conductive MXene Clay is published

We are delighted to announce that our Nature paper on Conductive MXene Clay is published. We provide here few links on the media coverage of the article:

– http://drexel.edu/now/archive/2014/November/MXene-clay/

-http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2014/1126/New-clay-could-help-remold-possibilities-for-renewable-energy

-http://phys.org/news/2014-11-future-energy-storage-clay.html

-http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=133479

-http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141126132632.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fmatter_energy%2Fenergy_technology+%28Energy+Technology+News+–+ScienceDaily%29

“MXene-polymer composite” paper published on PNAS

The paper of “Flexible and conductive MXene films and nanocomposites with high capacitance”, by Chang E. Ren, Meng-qiang Zhao and our former group members Zheng Ling and James Giammarco, is on publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This paper is the first ever report on composites based on MXenes- the new class of two-dimensional materials that we have been exploring with Prof. Barsoum’s group since 2011. This kind of composite films has an amazing combination of electrical, mechanical and electrochemical properties, and can challenge graphene-based or composite films/papers.

The paper can be found here.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/11/10/1414215111.abstract?sid=2138718e-6c2c-4103-bc65-81d3bc0bb97f

Movie related to flexibility of the Mxene film is free to access via this link.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/11/10/1414215111.abstract?tab=ds

Drexel university presee release can be found here.

http://www.drexel.edu/now/archive/2014/November/flexible-MXenes/

Media coverage on our PNAS paper:

1- http://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology-news/newsid=38050.php

2- http://nauka24news.ru/?p=4821

3- http://www.newsxz.com/science/bendingbut-not-breakingin-search-of-new-materials-h59776.html

4- http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-11/du-b-n111114.php

5- http://www.nanotech-now.com/news.cgi?story_id=50442

Boris Dyatkin completed his research visit to Dalian University of Technology, China

Boris Dyatkin recently completed an 8-week research visit to Dalian University of Technology (DUT) in Dalian (Liaoning Province, China). He was the recipient of an International Research Fellowship, awarded by the The International Center for Materials Resarch (ICMR) at UC Santa Barbara. Boris worked with the Carbon Research Laboratory of Professor Qiu. His research focused on exploring fundamental properties of graphene aerogels and porous carbons and optimizing their structures for energy storage. He additionally delivered invited seminar talks at East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) and Northwestern Polytechnical University (NWPU).

Group photo with material group at Dalian University of Technology
Group photo with material group at Dalian University of Technology
Invited talk
Invited talk
Working in Prof. Qui lab
Working in Prof. Qui lab
Dr. Gogotsi Discusses Lithium Batteries for Newsworks

Dr. Gogotsi Discusses Lithium Batteries for Newsworks

Drexel Prof. Yury Gogotsi (Marilyn D'Angelo/for NewsWorks)
NM Director Dr. Yury Gogotsi (Marilyn D’Angelo/for NewsWorks)

Following the explosion of a laptop’s lithium ion battery pack last weekend, Dr. Gogotsi spoke with Newsworks to explain the science of lithium batteries and the safety features that are designed for their use.

You can read about the discussion or listen to the full audio of the discussion on the Newsworks website.

Freshman Engineering Project Prototypes Electrochemical Flow Capacitor

Freshman Engineering Project Prototypes Electrochemical Flow Capacitor

Prototype of the electrochemical flow capacitor, assembled by Alex McBride, Conrad Schmidt, Sara Braun, Tapiwanashe Ndlovu and Grace Womack
Prototype of the electrochemical flow capacitor, assembled by Alex McBride, Conrad Schmidt, Sara Braun, Tapiwanashe Ndlovu and Grace Womack

Building on ideas first laid out by the Nanomaterials Group two years ago, a group of freshman engineering students assembled the first prototype of the electrochemical flow capacitor.

The students, from the departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Chemical and Biological Engineering, worked under the mentorship of NMG PhD student Kelsey Hatzell, whose work primarily focuses on the EFC. The students showed their prototype storing energy collected from a solar cell, as well as the EFC powering an LED.

The students created a video documenting their project. Watch it below or click here to view it on YouTube.

 


 

Congratulations to the team for their hard work and success!

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!

Abstract

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.