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Top Story

Bright future for energy devices

A little sodium goes a long way. At least that's the case in carbon-based energy technology. Specifically, embedding sodium in carbon materials can tremendously improve electrodes--which could streamline solar cell and supercapacitor production. Scientists at Michigan Technological University invented a method to take a material out of theory and make it into a real electrode. High electrical conductivity and large accessible surface area, which are required for ideal electrode materials in energy devices, are opposed to each other in current materials. Amorphous carbon has low conductivity but a large surface area. Graphite, on the other hand, has high conductivity but low surface area. Three-dimensional graphene has the best of both properties--and the sodium-embedded carbon invented at Michigan Tech is even better.

Visit Website | Image credit: Yun Hang Hu, Michigan Technological University