Multifunctional nanocomposite structural separators for energy storage
Author(s)Acauan, Luiz Henrique H; Zhou, Yue; Kalfon-Cohen, Estelle; Fritz, Nathan K; Wardle, Brian L
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Separators in energy storage devices such as batteries and supercapacitors are critical elements between the much-researched anodes and cathodes. Here we present a new “structural separator” comprised of electrically-insulating aligned alumina nanotubes, which realizes a structural, or mechanically robust, function in addition to allowing charge transfer. The polymer nanocomposite structural separator is demonstrated in a supercapacitor cell and also as an interface reinforcement in an aerospace-grade structural carbon fiber composite. Relative to a polymeric commercial separator, the structural separator shows advantages both electrically and structurally: ionic conductivity in the supercapacitor cell is doubled due to the nanotubes disrupting the semi-crystallinity in the polymer electrolyte, and the structural separator creates an interface that is 50% stronger in the advanced composite. In addition to providing direct benefits to existing energy storage devices, the structural separator is best suited to multifunctional structural energy storage applications.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
Acauan, Luiz H., et al. "Multifunctional nanocomposite structural separators for energy storage." Nanoscale 45 (Dec. 2019): p. 21964-73 doi 10.1039/c9nr06954b ©2019 Author(s)
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