Posted October 07, 2018 06:15:23A world-first graphene oxide photocathode is poised to revolutionise the manufacture of lithium batteries, and scientists are aiming to revolutionize the manufacturing of metal nanoparticles.
Key points:The breakthrough, described in a new study, uses graphene as a catalyst to create an electrolyteThe discovery could help produce more powerful batteriesIn the study, researchers at the Australian National University used a graphene oxide nanoparticle to create a graphene electrode, the type of material used to make a lithium battery.
The catalyst was produced using graphene as the electrode, which allows the nanoparticle’s carbon atoms to be used to create the oxide.
The material can be made from either graphene oxide, which is a transparent, non-volatile, super-strong material, or graphene, which has a lower melting point and therefore less conductivity.
It’s the first time a catalyst for the production of a non-batteries electrode has been discovered.
The research was published in the journal Nature Materials.
“The fact that we can use graphene as an electrode, and then also to make the catalyst itself, is a really exciting discovery,” lead author of the study Dr David Clements said.
“You get an electrode that has a high conductivity and can be used in a wide range of applications.”
This will be important for the development of next generation lithium batteries and potentially for the next generation electronics.
“Dr Clements, from the ANU’s School of Engineering, said the material was an ideal electrode for future lithium batteries.”
Graphene’s high conductance makes it a great electrode material, but it’s also really good at a catalyst,” he said.
Dr Cools said the team’s graphene oxide catalyst could be used as a cathode, which would allow the electrodes to be separated from the material’s carbon dioxide and hydrogen atoms.”
So it’s basically a catalyst that is both non-flammable and non-toxic, and also non-reactive, which means it’s good at reacting with hydrogen and oxygen in the electrolyte,” he explained.”
That makes it really attractive to use in applications like batteries and sensors, where you’d need a catalyst where you don’t need to burn the material to make it.
“But the downside of graphene is that it’s quite a heavy metal, and you don