Developing novel assembly platforms to create new carbon architectures
Carbon nanomaterials, such as 2D graphene sheets and 1D carbon nanotubes (CNTs), have been widely regarded as promising electrode materials for capacitive energy storage attributed to their ultrahigh surface area, excellent conductivity, and high mechanical and chemical stability. However, pristine graphene sheets and CNTs usually stack or bundle together because of the strong π-π interactions among sp2-bonded carbon atoms. Ions in electrolytes cannot access these narrow spaces between stacked graphene layers or among bundled carbon nanotubes to enable efficient capacitive energy storage. Carbon nanomaterials can be solvated by introducing functional groups on their surface to obtain well-dispersed aqueous dispersion. Hydrothermal process enables heterogeneous or homogeneous chemical reactions in the presence of a solvent (whether aqueous or nonaqueous) above room temperature and at pressure greater than 1 atm in a closed system. During the hydrothermal process, surface functional groups on carbon surface can be slowly removed, thus shifting the balance of colloid forces among dispersed carbon nanomaterials from repulsive force dominant to attractive force dominate, and forming aggregated carbon architectures. We are interested in developing novel assembly platforms to create new carbon architectures.
The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2030