If you know graphene like I know graphene, then, hey, this is progress! As the waves crash upon the buildings, the skies grow darker, and the few starving survivors huddle together, the materials scientist bursts from his Koch approved laboratory shouting MEGO! Yes, we have microwave exfoliated graphite oxide.
Actually. the nanotech realms now navigated by materials science are so intriguing, it is in a way understandable that more study is indicated. Green Car Congress reports that the new material has a BET surface area of up to 3100 m2 per gram, a high electrical conductivity, and a low O and H content.
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering have synthesized a new carbon with a continuous three-dimensional network of highly curved, atom-thick walls that form primarily 0.6–5 nm width pores. Two-electrode supercapacitor cells constructed with this material yielded high values of gravimetric capacitance and energy density with organic and ionic liquid electrolytes.
Supercapacitors made from the material have an energy density that is approaching the energy density of lead-acid batteries, while retaining the high power density that is characteristic of supercapacitors. The processes used to make this carbon are readily scalable to industrial levels, the group, led by materials science and mechanical engineering Professor Rodney S. Ruoff, reports in a paper published in Science.
Editor’s note: The title comes from Ruoff’s hypothesis that “the activated MEGO (a-MEGO) material consisted of a continuous three-dimensional porous network with single-atom-thick walls, with a significant fraction being ‘negative curvature carbon.’” The GCC post likened this development to inside-out buckyballs. And, at After Gutenberg, we like buckyballs.
Not sure how she got here, the Art Department says the picture was the result of a search on chemically activated, microwave exfoliated, graphic oxide. “From GO to MEGO to a-MEGO, and there you go,” they said.
In the Science article, Ruoff relates that he “turned to Erich Stach at Brookhaven for help with further structural characterization to verify or refute this hypothesis.”
Stach and Brookhaven colleague Dong Su conducted a wide range of studies at the Lab’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), and at the National Center for Electron Microscopy at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, all three facilities supported by the DOE Office of Science. Their observations confirmed Ruoff’s hypothesis.
- Activated Graphene Makes Superior Supercapacitors for Energy Storage (nextbigfuture.com)
- Graphene paper shows promise for potential automotive lightweighting (greencarcongress.com)
- Bio-inspired graphene hierarchical structures as high-performance anode materials for Li-ion batteries (greencarcongress.com)