Nanotech May Transform Energy Storage

STANFORD, Calif., Feb. 24 (UPI) — A U.S. scientist says he and his team are re-conceptualizing energy storage by utilizing nanotechnology.

Stanford Assistant Professor Yi Cui says nanotech products of the future might allow energy storage on paper and cloth while retaining the mechanical properties of ordinary paper or fabric.

Cui’s team envisions numerous functional uses for their inventions — homes lined with energy-storing wallpaper or reactive high-performance sportswear that would allow everything from portable appliances to a soldier’s battle gear to be powered by an outlet woven into a T-shirt.

“Energy storage is a pretty old research field,” Cui said. “Supercapacitors, batteries — those things are old. How do you really make a revolutionary impact in this field? It requires quite a dramatic difference of thinking.”

Cui said he plans to direct his research toward studying both the “hard science” behind the electrical properties of nanomaterials and designing real-world applications.

“This is the right time to really see what we learn from nanoscience and do practical applications that are extremely promising,” he said.

The Cui group’s latest research on energy storage devices was detailed in papers published in the December online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and in the January issue of the journal Nano Letters.

Cui also presented his research last week in San Diego during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Categorized | Energy Conservation
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