SBIR Phase I: High Performance Electrochemical Capacitor Using Carbide-Derived Carbon Nanomaterial Electrodes
This SBIR Phase I research proposal will develop nano-porous carbide-derived carbon electrodes for improved super-capacitor performance. The high power charge/discharge rate of current super-capacitors is offset by a low storage capacity compared to batteries. The capacitance of activated carbon super-capacitor electrodes is partially limited by the large diameter and wide size distribution of pores resulting from conventional synthesis from organic precursors. This proposal will develop a novel method to produce nano-porous carbon with a narrow distribution of pores less than 2 nm in diameter. Metal atoms are chemically etched from a metal carbide lattice, leaving only carbon, the pore size of which can be tuned with Angstrom precision by varying the carbide precursor or etching conditions. While the use of a metal carbide lattice as a template for porous carbon allows precise control over the pore size, the pore volume is limited by the number of carbon atoms per unit of volume in the carbide lattice. Increasing the volume of pores and specific surface area without substantial broadening of the pore size distribution would lead to a significant increase in capacitance. Because of their long life and rapid power delivery, super-capacitors are replacing or supplementing batteries and fuel cells in many applications. Advanced super-capacitors will be used for energy harvesting from fast processes and for storage of electrical energy, facilitating the production and use of electrical energy from alternative sources. This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).
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