Want more power and longer battery life for that cell phone, laptop,
and digital music player? “Flower power" may be the solution. Chemists
are reporting development of flower-shaped nanoparticles with superior
electronic performance than conventional battery materials. These
“nanoflowers” may power next-generation electronic devices, say the
scientists in a report scheduled for the Oct. 8 issue of ACS’ Nano Letters, a monthly journal.
Gaoping Cao and colleagues point out that nanoflowers are not new.
Researchers have developed various types of flower-shaped nanoparticles
using different materials, including manganese oxide, the key metallic
ingredient that powers conventional batteries. However,
older-generation nanoflowers were not suitable for electronic products
of the future, which will demand more power and longer battery life,
the researchers say.
In the new study, scientists first grew clusters of carbon nanotubes,
strands of pure carbon 50,000 times thinner than a human hair, that are
known to have superior electrical conductivity. The scientists then
deposited manganese oxide onto the nanotubes using a simple, low-cost
coating technique called “electrodeposition,” resulting in nano-sized
clusters that resemble tiny dandelions under an electron microscope.
The result was a battery system with higher energy storage capacity,
longer life, and greater efficiency than conventional battery
materials, the researchers say. — MTS
News release from The American Chemical Society on September 10, 2008.