Climate change and the decreasing availability of fossil fuels require society to move towards sustainable and renewable resources. 2DNanoCaps will focus on electrochemical energy storage, specifically supercapacitors. In terms of performance supercapacitors fill up the gap between batteries and the classical capacitors. Whereas batteries possess a high energy density but low power density, supercapacitors possess high power density but low energy density. Efforts are currently dedicated to move supercapacitors towards high energy density and high power density performance. Improvements have been achieved in the last few years due to the use of new electrode nanomaterials and the design of new hybrid faradic/capacitive systems. We recognize, however, that we are reaching a newer limit beyond which we will only see small incremental improvements. The main reason for this being the intrinsic difficulty in handling and processing materials at the nano-scale and the lack of communication across different scientific disciplines. I plan to use a multidisciplinary approach, where novel nanomaterials, existing knowledge on nano-scale processing and established expertise in device fabrication and testing will be brought together to focus on creating more efficient supercapacitor technologies. 2DNanoCaps will exploit liquid phase exfoliated two-dimensional nanomaterials such as transition metal oxides, layered metal chalcogenides and graphene as electrode materials. Electrodes will be ultra-thin (capacitance and thickness of the electrodes are inversely proportional), conductive, with high dielectric constants. Intercalation of ions between the assembled 2D flakes will be also achievable, providing pseudo-capacitance. The research here proposed will be initially based on fundamental laboratory studies, recognising that this holds the key to achieving step-change in supercapacitors, but also includes scaling-up and hybridisation as final objectives.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant