Novel Nanomaterial Promises Improvements in Batteries and Many More Sustainable Applications


Today, imec, a world-leading research study and development center in nanoelectronics, energy, and digital innovations and KU Leuven, both partners in EnergyVille, present a novel nanomesh product that might suggest a development in a range of sustainable-application sectors. The brand-new nanomesh product is a three-dimensional nanometer-scale (metal) grid structure with extremely routine internal measurements. Thanks to a mix of its special product residential or commercial properties and the ease of production, it holds the guarantee to end up being commonly suitable in (sustainable) commercial applications. Consider more effective batteries, much better catalytic convertors, fuel cells and hydrogen production.

The nanomesh product is a 3D structure of nanowires that are horizontally adjoined on numerous levels, revealing extremely routine internal spacings and measurements. As an outcome, it integrates high porosity with an extraordinary surface-to-volume ratio. For each micrometer density, there is a 26-fold boost of readily available area. To imagine this: when filling a volume of a little can of soda, it would stay 75% empty while including an area equivalent to the size of a football field. On top of that, the internal and external measurements can be tuned to nearly any requirements, making it possibly suitable with a wide range of application requirements.

Many commercial procedures develop on chain reactions that (require to) happen at a surface area. The more surface area readily available, the more responses that can happen at the same time, and the greater the speed or throughput of the procedure. Consider electrodes in batteries, for instance, changing lithium into lithium ions. Imec’s nanomesh product can allow high-capacity and fast-charging batteries, since its big surface area integrated with high porosity includes a high load of energy-storing product while it stays as a nanometer thin-film in close contact with the present collector. Likewise, in fuel cells, the metal nano-grid structure of imec’s brand-new nanomesh product might at the same time function as an existing collector and a practical driver. For instance, in the electrolytic production of hydrogen from water, a few-micron of the brand-new nanomesh product was revealed to surpass a 300 times thicker nickel foam of about one millimeter thick.

As a reward, this special product can be rather quickly made through inexpensive anodization and electroplating procedures. Initially, a mold is formed by anodization of aluminum foil. The trick for the routine perforation at the nanoscale lays in the regulated doping of the aluminum metal. The resulting structure serves as a mold in which a big range of products can be transferred. After successive chemical etching, the mold is being liquified and a self-standing nanomesh structure stays. On a macroscopic level, the self-standing nanomesh is a versatile foil, providing it another edge over its closest rivals (metal foams and aerogels), which are typically more stiff or fragile.

Prof. Philippe Vereecken, clinical director at imec and teacher at the bio-engineering professors of KU Leuven: “We have high expectations for this new nanomaterial. Its greatest strengths lie in the regularity of its structure, the large open structure and the conformability of its dimensions. We discovered the three-dimensional nanoporous structure almost 10 years ago, but only during the PhD research of Stanislaw Zankowski, the uniqueness of this material became clear. The spaces between the nanowires were small when using the traditional templated nanowire processes. Stan optimized the fabrication process to obtain the large porosity, so that it can now be optimally leveraged in many applications. We welcome all industrial parties who want to join us in transferring this very promising material into industrial applications.”

About imec

Imec is a world-leading research study and development center in nanoelectronics, energy and digital innovations. The mix of our commonly well-known management in microchip technology and extensive software application and ICT competence is what makes us special. By leveraging our first-rate facilities and regional and international community of partners throughout a wide range of markets, we produce groundbreaking development in application domains such as health care, clever cities and movement, logistics and production, energy and education.

As a relied on partner for business, start-ups and universities we combine more than 4,000 fantastic minds from over 85 citizenships. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and has actually dispersed R&D groups at a variety of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, U.S.A., China, and workplaces in India and Japan. In 2017, imec’s earnings (P&L) amounted to 546 million euro. Additional details on imec can be discovered at www.imec-int.com.

Imec is a signed up hallmark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity established under Belgian law as a “stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Federal government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Federal Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited), imec Florida (IMEC U.S.A. nanoelectronics style center).

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