New material could be used for energy storage

August 14, 2014 by Anne M Stark
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have made a material that is 10 times stronger and stiffer than traditional aerogels of the same density, which is detailed in a featured story appearing on the cover of Advanced Materials.

( —Lawrence Livermore researchers have made a material that is 10 times stronger and stiffer than traditional aerogels of the same density.

This ultralow-, ultrahigh surface area with an interconnected nanotubular makeup could be used in catalysis, storage and conversion, thermal insulation, shock energy absorption and high energy density physics.

Ultralow-density porous bulk have recently attracted renewed interest due to many promising applications.

Unlocking the full potential of these materials, however, requires realization of mechanically robust architectures with deterministic control over form, cell size, density and composition, which is difficult to achieve by traditional chemical synthesis methods, according to LLNL's Monika Biener, lead author of a paper appearing on the cover of the July 23 issue of Advanced Materials.

Biener and colleagues report on the synthesis of ultralow-density, ultrahigh surface area bulk materials with interconnected nanotubular morphology. The team achieved control over density (5 to 400 mg/cm3), pore size (30 um to 4 um) and composition by (ALD) using nanoporous gold as a tunable template.

"The materials are thermally stable and, by virtue of their narrow unimodal pore size distributions and their thin-walled, interconnected tubular architecture, about 10 times stronger and stiffer than traditional aerogels of the same density," Biener said.

The three-dimensional nanotubular network architecture developed by the team opens new opportunities in the fields of energy harvesting, catalysis, sensing and filtration by enabling mass transport through two independent pore systems separated by a nanometer-thick 3D membrane.

Other Livermore authors include Jianchao Ye, Theodore Baumann, Y. Morris Wang, Swanee Shin, Juergen Biener and Alex Hamza.

Explore further: Advanced carbon aerogels for energy applications

More information: "Ultra-Strong and Low-Density Nanotubular Bulk Materials with Tunable Feature Size"

Related Stories

The ultra-high volumetric energy density lithium-sulfur battery

January 23, 2014

Lithium ion battery technology (LIBs) is one of the most important mobile power sources for laptops, cameras, and smart phones. However, the current energy density of LIBs is approaching the theoretical limit, which underscoring ...

Recommended for you

Turning CO2 to stone

October 25, 2016

Earth has limits to the amount of carbon dioxide in its atmosphere before the environment as we know it starts to change. Too much CO2 absorbed by the oceans makes the water more acidic. Too much in the atmosphere warms the ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.