Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Search results for: TMOs

4 Nanostructured Transition Metal Oxides Doped Graphene for High Performance Solid-State Supercapacitor Electrodes

Authors: G. Nyongombe, Guy L. Kabongo, B. M. Mothudi, M. S. Dhlamini


A series of Transition Metals Oxides (TMOs) doped graphene were synthesized and successfully used as supercapacitor electrode materials. The as-synthesized materials exhibited exceptional electrochemical properties owing to the combined properties of its constituents; high surface area and good conductivity were achieved. Several analytical characterization techniques were employed to investigate the morphology, crystal structure atomic arrangement and elemental chemical state in the materials for which scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were conducted, respectively. Moreover, the electrochemical properties of the as-synthesized materials were examined by performing cyclic voltammetry (CV), galvanostatic charge-discharge (GCD) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements. Furthermore, the effect of doping concentration on the interlayer distance of the graphene materials and the charge transfer resistance are investigated and correlated to the exceptional current density which was multiplied by a factor of ~80 after TMOs doping in graphene. Finally, the resulting high capacitance obtained confirms the contribution of grapheme exceptional electronic conductivity and large surface area on the electrode materials. Such good-performing electrode materials are highly promising for supercapacitors and other energy storage devices.

Keywords: energy density, graphene, supercapacitors, TMOs

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3 Alcoxysilanes Production from Silica and Dimethylcarbonate Promoted by Alkali Bases: A DFT Investigation of the Reaction Mechanism

Authors: Valeria Butera, Norihisa Fukaya, Jun-Chu Choi, Kazuhiko Sato, Yoong-Kee Choe


Several silicon dioxide sources can react with dimethyl carbonate (DMC) in presence of alkali bases catalysts to ultimately produce tetramethoxysilane (TMOS). Experimental findings suggested that the reaction proceeds through several steps in which the first molecule of DMC is converted to dimethylsilyloxide (DMOS) and CO₂. Following the same mechanistic steps, a second molecule of DMC reacts with the DMOS to afford the final product TMOS. Using a cluster model approach, a quantum-mechanical investigation of the first part of the reaction leading to DMOS formation is reported with a twofold purpose: (1) verify the viability of the reaction mechanism proposed on the basis of experimental evidences .(2) compare the behaviors of three different alkali hydroxides MOH, where M=Li, K and Cs, to determine whether diverse ionic radius and charge density can be considered responsible for the observed differences in reactivity. Our findings confirm the observed experimental trend and furnish important information about the effective role of the alkali hydroxides giving an explanation of the different catalytic activity of the three metal cations.

Keywords: Alcoxysilanes production, cluster model approach, DFT, DMC conversion

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2 Graphene Supported Nano Cerium Oxides Hybrid as an Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Reduction Reactions

Authors: Siba Soren, Purnendu Parhi


Today, the world is facing a severe challenge due to depletion of traditional fossil fuels. Scientists across the globe are working for a solution that involves a dramatic shift to practical and environmentally sustainable energy sources. High-capacity energy systems, such as metal-air batteries, fuel cells, are highly desirable to meet the urgent requirement of sustainable energies. Among the fuel cells, Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) are recognized as an ideal power source for mobile applications and have received considerable attention in recent past. In this advanced electrochemical energy conversion technologies, Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) is of utmost importance. However, the poor kinetics of cathodic ORR in DMFCs significantly hampers their possibilities of commercialization. The oxygen is reduced in alkaline medium either through a 4-electron (equation i) or a 2-electron (equation ii) reduction pathway at the cathode ((i) O₂ + 2H₂O + 4e⁻ → 4OH⁻, (ii) O₂ + H₂O + 2e⁻ → OH⁻ + HO₂⁻ ). Due to sluggish ORR kinetics the ability to control the reduction of molecular oxygen electrocatalytically is still limited. The electrocatalytic ORR starts with adsorption of O₂ on the electrode surface followed by O–O bond activation/cleavage and oxide removal. The reaction further involves transfer of 4 electrons and 4 protons. The sluggish kinetics of ORR, on the one hand, demands high loading of precious metal-containing catalysts (e.g., Pt), which unfavorably increases the cost of these electrochemical energy conversion devices. Therefore, synthesis of active electrocatalyst with an increase in ORR performance is need of the hour. In the recent literature, there are many reports on transition metal oxide (TMO) based ORR catalysts for their high activity TMOs are also having drawbacks like low electrical conductivity, which seriously affects the electron transfer process during ORR. It was found that 2D graphene layer is having high electrical conductivity, large surface area, and excellent chemical stability, appeared to be an ultimate choice as support material to enhance the catalytic performance of bare metal oxide. g-C₃N₄ is also another candidate that has been used by the researcher for improving the ORR performance of metal oxides. This material provides more active reaction sites than other N containing carbon materials. Rare earth oxide like CeO₂ is also a good candidate for studying the ORR activity as the metal oxide not only possess unique electronic properties but also possess catalytically active sites. Here we will discuss the ORR performance (in alkaline medium) of N-rGO/C₃N₄ supported nano Cerium Oxides hybrid synthesized by microwave assisted Solvothermal method. These materials exhibit superior electrochemical stability and methanol tolerance capability to that of commercial Pt/C.

Keywords: oxygen reduction reaction, electrocatalyst, cerium oxide, graphene

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1 Investigation of Different Electrolyte Salts Effect on ZnO/MWCNT Anode Capacity in LIBs

Authors: Şeyma Dombaycıoğlu, Hilal Köse, Ali Osman Aydın, Hatem Akbulut


Rechargeable lithium ion batteries (LIBs) have been considered as one of the most attractive energy storage choices for laptop computers, electric vehicles and cellular phones owing to their high energy and power density. Compared with conventional carbonaceous materials, transition metal oxides (TMOs) have attracted great interests and stand out among versatile novel anode materials due to their high theoretical specific capacity, wide availability and good safety performance. ZnO, as an anode material for LIBs, has a high theoretical capacity of 978 mAh g-1, much higher than that of the conventional graphite anode (∼370 mAhg-1). However, several major problems such as poor cycleability, resulting from the severe volume expansion and contraction during the alloying-dealloying cycles with Li+ ions and the associated charge transfer process, the pulverization and the agglomeration of individual particles, which drastically reduces the total entrance/exit sites available for Li+ ions still hinder the practical use of ZnO powders as an anode material for LIBs. Therefore, a great deal of effort has been devoted to overcome these problems, and many methods have been developed. In most of these methods, it is claimed that carbon nanotubes (CNTs) will radically improve the performance of batteries, because their unique structure may especially enhance the kinetic properties of the electrodes and result in an extremely high specific charge compared with the theoretical limits of graphitic carbon. Due to outstanding properties of CNTs, MWCNT buckypaper substrate is considered a buffer material to prevent mechanical disintegration of anode material during the battery applications. As the bridge connecting the positive and negative electrodes, the electrolyte plays a critical role affecting the overall electrochemical performance of the cell including rate, capacity, durability and safety. Commercial electrolytes for Li-ion batteries normally consist of certain lithium salts and mixed organic linear and cyclic carbonate solvents. Most commonly, LiPF6 is attributed to its remarkable features including high solubility, good ionic conductivity, high dissociation constant and satisfactory electrochemical stability for commercial fabrication. Besides LiPF6, LiBF4 is well known as a conducting salt for LIBs. LiBF4 shows a better temperature stability in organic carbonate based solutions and less moisture sensitivity compared to LiPF6. In this work, free standing zinc oxide (ZnO) and multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) nanocomposite materials were prepared by a sol gel technique giving a high capacity anode material for lithium ion batteries. Electrolyte solutions (including 1 m Li+ ion) were prepared with different Li salts in glove box. For this purpose, LiPF6 and LiBF4 salts and also mixed of these salts were solved in EC:DMC solvents (1:1, w/w). CR2016 cells were assembled by using these prepared electrolyte solutions, the ZnO/MWCNT buckypaper nanocomposites as working electrodes, metallic lithium as cathode and polypropylene (PP) as separator. For investigating the effect of different Li salts on the electrochemical performance of ZnO/MWCNT nanocomposite anode material electrochemical tests were performed at room temperature.

Keywords: anode, electrolyte, Li-ion battery, ZnO/MWCNT

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