The objectives of this project are three-fold: (1) to fabricate novel ordered hybrid nanostructures; (2) to understand the process-structure-property relationship of the novel hybrids; and (3) to test the hypothesis that the novel hybrid nanostructures have great potential for energy storage. The PI plans to investigate a novel scalable process to fabricate such a new nanostructure through a creative combination of chemical synthesis and self-assembly. The process-driven morphology evolution will be explored. Particularly, the processing physics and chemistry will be studied to understand process-structure-property relationship. The hydrogen adsorption and electrochemical characterization of novel hybrids will also be examined to understand the potential for hydrogen and electrical energy storage.

If successful, this research will design and fabricate novel nanostructured materials, and significantly advance fundamental knowledge in scalable nanofabrication of new structures for high-efficiency energy storage and lay a foundation for transport and utilization of clean energy. The expected results will provide a fundamental understanding on the relationship between novel nanostructure and bulk properties, and enable a feasible way to bridge the gap between nanoscale building blocks and bulk properties. The results of this project will be broadly disseminated through annual reports, international conferences, and publications in high-profile academic journals.

Project Report

1. This project develops a novel scalable nanomanufacturing process through a creative combination of in-situ polymerization and self-assembly. Driven by the external electical current, the monomers in the solution can be polymerized to form vertically aligned nanowires without any template, and subsequenlty, another different materials can be selectively deposited onto the as-produced nanowires. This new process can serve as a guideline to manufacture sophisticated hierarhical and ordered nanostructures. 2. Highly ordered multi-layer polyaniline(PANI) nanowires arrays interconnected by monolayer graphene are successfully fabricated via layer-by-layer growth. Growing PANI nanowire in HClO4 and HCl stepwisely could achieve both good alignment and capability to assemble monolayer graphene. 3. Multi-stacked forests-linked with monolayer graphene were used as electrode of supercapacitors, and the the highest specific capacitance in aqueous electrolyte was measured as 1443 F/g. Also, high energy and power density can be achieved simultaneously, in specific 100Wh/Kg at 63,534 W/Kg. Most importantly, stack-dependent supercapacitor performance was observed in organic electrolyte. The specific capacitance increases from 79 to 108 and finally 224 F/g as the number of arrays increased from one to two and three, respectively. Aas a result, the highest energy density was achieved as 137.3 Wh•kg-1 when power density was 1980 W/Kg for three-stacked nanostructured electrode. The unique layer-dependent energy-storage behavior was found to be caused by different diffusion and charge transferring mechanisms due to the distinct interactions between electrode and electrolyte. Because of the efficient spacious utilizing of multiple layered structures, this novel nanostructured electrode may open numerous opportunities for producing exceptional ultra-capacitor with a reduced lateral size. 4. Early involvement of middle school or younger students stimulates their interests in science and engineering, particuarlly, integration of learning into joyful games and hands-on practices significantly stimulate their science and engineering interests. 5. Integration of cutting-edge research results into the curriculum broadens the knowledg of the students, and help to create outstanding workforce for the industry in the field of nanomanufacturing.

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Texas Tech University
United States
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