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Nanoelectrode Networks for Energy Storage and Harvesting

Principal Investigator(s): 

Abstract: 

We are researching novel chemical methods and nanofabrication approaches to integrate carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for a wide range of basic and applied research including lithium ion batteries and solar cells. The projects in our lab currently focus on studying electrical transport through nanotube interfaces and synthesizing heterogeneous nanostructures that may mechanically self-heal and are electrochemically reversible as the anode of lithium ion batteries. The remarkable electron accepting capabilities and charge transport properties of SWCNTs have also suggested new possibilities for overcoming the efficiency bottleneck currently facing several next-generation solar cells. CNTs can significantly improve the performance of organic photovoltaic cells and the photoconversion efficiency of TiO2-based Grätzel cells by effectively collecting and shuttling the electrons injected from light harvesting components (e.g. porphyrins) or charge separation centers (e.g. TiO2 nanoparticles). The efficient electron transport also facilitates charge separation and prevents charge recombination, thereby may further improve the photoconversion efficiency.