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Nano-tubes the key to future high-capacity batteries

Scientists from the Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences in China were able to coat carbon nanotubes with a nanoporous layer of TiO2 (titanium dioxide) playing a crucial role in the development of new high-capacity batteries.

Carbon nanotubes and TiO2 have been investigated in the past but have never been found to be practical as electrodes until recently. ‘Titanium dioxide on its own is totally unsuitable for electrodes,’ said Joachim Maier of the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany, who collaborated on the research.

‘Although it can hold lithium ions effectively, they are slow to diffuse through the structure – and it can take years to fill a millimetre-thick crystal. However, if the TiO2 is only 10nm thick, it is filled in milliseconds,’ he says.

Images © Chemistry of Materials.

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