By Aligning Carbon Nanotubes in Electrodes, Researchers Boost Performance.


Recently, an MIT researcher collaborated with a team of electrical engineers from Pennsylvania State University to devise a new way for ions to travel more quickly between electrodes than they do in traditional polymers. Brian L. Wardle, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics, and his colleagues designed electrodes containing aligned carbon nanotubes — tiny, hollow cylinders made of carbon atoms — to be used in an electroactive polymer. As they report in a paper to be published Oct. 8 in Advanced Functional Materials, this alignment created “express lanes” that enabled the ions to travel more quickly between electrodes. Specifically, the researchers estimate that the ionic conductivity of these electrodes is about an order of magnitude greater than that of electrodes in polymers that contain randomly dispersed nanoparticles.

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Source: Morgan Bettex | |MIT News
Photo: Joe Klimek, Lazerpro Digital Media Group