Kansas State University assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering Gurpreet Singh and his team of engineers have discovered more efficient and less expensive methods for creating nanomaterials that can be used for lithium-ion batteries.
Singh believes that understanding lithium interaction with single-, double-, and multiple-layer-thick materials will provide clues to the best way to design battery electrodes for practical applications. Practical application will involve improved battery capacity, longer life, and efficiency.
Graphene is an atom-thick sheet of carbon that can be grown on copper and nickel foils and heated in a furnace with argon, hydrogen, and methane gases. Singh and his team created 10-layer think graphene films in under 30 minutes.
Graphene sheets have been created before. What makes this different is the rapidity of the process. The quick heating and cooling cycle means that scientists do not need a vacuum any longer in order to create energy, time, and money saving graphene. The graphene can be created in a fraction of the time.
Researchers at Kansas State University plan to continue study to determine how to best create electrodes that are in the form of heterostructures – which are three-dimensional structures that are stacked in alternating layers of graphene, tungsten, or molybedenum disulfide.