There is a fundamental attractiveness about harnessing renewable energy in an age when sustainability is an ethical norm. Lithium ion batteries and hydrogen fuels are considered the most promising energy source instead of fossil fuels. This work describes the investigation of new cathode materials and devices architectures for lithium ion batteries, and photocatalysts for their usage in water splitting and waste water treatment.
LiCoO2 and LiNi1/3Mn1/3Co1/3O2 were exfoliated into nanosheets using electrochemical oxidation followed by intercalation of tetraethylammonium cations. The nanosheets were purified using dialysis and electrophoresis. The nanosheets were successfully restacked into functional cathode materials with microwave hydrothermal assistance, indicating that new cathodes can be obtained by reassembling nanosheets. This method can pave the way for the synthesis of materials with novel structures and electrochemical properties, as well as facilitate the fabrication of hybrid and composite structures from different nanosheets as building blocks.
Paper folding techniques are used in order to compact a Li-ion battery and increase its energy per footprint area. Full cells were prepared using Li4Ti5O12 and LiCoO2 powders deposited onto current collectors consisting of paper coated with carbon nanotubes. Folded cells showed higher areal capacities compared to the planar versions. Origami lithium-ion battery made in this method that can be deformed at an unprecedented high level, including folding, bending and twisting.
Spray pyrolysis was used to prepare films of AgInS2 with and without Sn as an extrinsic dopant. The photoelectrochemical performance of these films was evaluated after annealing under a N2 or S atmosphere with different amounts of the Sn dopant. Density Function Theory (DFT) was used to calculate the band structure of AgInS2 and understand the role of Sn doping in the observed properties.
Cr(VI) removal was investigated using multiple oxide photocatalyst and additives. The efficiency for Cr(VI) removal using these photocatalysts was investigated in synthetic neutral and alkaline water, as well as in cooling tower blowdown water. While sulfite alone can chemically reduce Cr(VI), sulfite in combination with a photocatalyst resulted in faster and complete removal of Cr(VI) in 10 min using a SO32−/Cr(VI) ratio >35 in pH ∼ 8 solutions.