ABSTRACT: Meso-porous electrodes (pore width « 1 µm) are a central component in electrochemical energy storage devices and related technologies, based on the capacitive nature of electric double-layers at their surfaces. This requires that such charging, limited by ion transport within the pores, is attained over the device operation time. Here we measure directly electric double layer charging within individual nano-slits, formed between gold and mica surfaces in a surface force balance, by monitoring transient surface forces in response to an applied electric potential. We find that the nano-slit charging time is of order 1 s (far slower than the time of order 3 × 10-2 s characteristic of charging an unconfined surface in our configuration), increasing at smaller slit thickness, and decreasing with solution ion concentration. The results enable us to examine critically the nanopore charging dynamics, and indicate how to probe such charging in different conditions and aqueous environments.
Project description:Electric vehicles using lithium-ion battery pack(s) for propulsion have recently attracted a great deal of interest. The large-scale practical application of battery electric vehicles may not be realized unless lithium-ion batteries with self-charging suppliers will be developed. Solar cells offer an attractive option for directly photo-charging lithium-ion batteries. Here we demonstrate the use of perovskite solar cell packs with four single CH3NH3PbI3 based solar cells connected in series for directly photo-charging lithium-ion batteries assembled with a LiFePO4 cathode and a Li4Ti5O12 anode. Our device shows a high overall photo-electric conversion and storage efficiency of 7.80% and excellent cycling stability, which outperforms other reported lithium-ion batteries, lithium-air batteries, flow batteries and super-capacitors integrated with a photo-charging component. The newly developed self-chargeable units based on integrated perovskite solar cells and lithium-ion batteries hold promise for various potential applications.
Project description:Contact electrification (CE)-charging of surfaces that are contacted and separated, is a common phenomenon, however it is not completely understood yet. Recent studies using surface imaging techniques and chemical analysis revealed a 'spatial' bipolar distribution of charges at the nano dimension, which made a paradigm shift in the field. However, such analyses can only provide information about the charges that remained on the surface after the separation, providing limited information about the actual course of the CE event. Tapping common polymers and metal surfaces to each other and detecting the electrical potential produced on these surfaces 'in-situ' in individual events of contact and separation, we show that, charges are generated and transferred between the surfaces in both events; the measured potential is bipolar in contact and unipolar in separation. We show, the 'contact-charges' on the surfaces are indeed the net charges that results after the separation process, and a large contribution to tribocharge harvesting comes, in fact, from the electrostatic induction resulting from the generated CE charges. Our results refine the mechanism of CE providing information for rethinking the conventional ranking of materials' charging abilities, charge harvesting, and charge prevention.
Project description:Supercapacitors (or electric double-layer capacitors) are high-power energy storage devices that store charge at the interface between porous carbon electrodes and an electrolyte solution. These devices are already employed in heavy electric vehicles and electronic devices, and can complement batteries in a more sustainable future. Their widespread application could be facilitated by the development of devices that can store more energy, without compromising their fast charging and discharging times. In situ characterization methods and computational modeling techniques have recently been developed to study the molecular mechanisms of charge storage, with the hope that better devices can be rationally designed. In this Perspective, we bring together recent findings from a range of experimental and computational studies to give a detailed picture of the charging mechanisms of supercapacitors. Nuclear magnetic resonance experiments and molecular dynamics simulations have revealed that the electrode pores contain a considerable number of ions in the absence of an applied charging potential. Experiments and computer simulations have shown that different charging mechanisms can then operate when a potential is applied, going beyond the traditional view of charging by counter-ion adsorption. It is shown that charging almost always involves ion exchange (swapping of co-ions for counter-ions), and rarely occurs by counter-ion adsorption alone. We introduce a charging mechanism parameter that quantifies the mechanism and allows comparisons between different systems. The mechanism is found to depend strongly on the polarization of the electrode, and the choice of the electrolyte and electrode materials. In light of these advances we identify new directions for supercapacitor research. Further experimental and computational work is needed to explain the factors that control supercapacitor charging mechanisms, and to establish the links between mechanisms and performance. Increased understanding and control of charging mechanisms should lead to new strategies for developing next-generation supercapacitors with improved performances.
Project description:Interference experiments with electrons in a vacuum can illuminate both the quantum and the nanoscale nature of the underlying physics. An interference experiment requires two coherent waves, which can be generated by splitting a single coherent wave using a double slit. If the slit-edge separation is larger than the coherence width at the slit, no interference appears. Here we employed variations in surface barrier at the apex of a tungsten nano-tip as slits and achieved an optically controlled double slit, where the separation and opening-and-closing of the two slits can be controlled by respectively adjusting the intensity and polarization of ultrashort laser pulses. Using this technique, we have demonstrated interference between two electron waves emitted from the tip apex, where interference has never been observed prior to this technique because of the large slit-edge separation. Our findings pave the way towards simple time-resolved electron holography on e.g. molecular adsorbates employing just a nano-tip and a screen.
Project description:Electric taxis are playing an important role in the application of electric vehicles. The actual operational data of electric taxis in Shenzhen, China, is analyzed, and, in allusion to the unbalanced time availability of the charging station equipment, the electric taxis charging guidance system is proposed basing on the charging station information and vehicle information. An electric taxis charging guidance model is established and guides the charging based on the positions of taxis and charging stations with adaptive mutation particle swarm optimization. The simulation is based on the actual data of Shenzhen charging stations, and the results show that electric taxis can be evenly distributed to the appropriate charging stations according to the charging pile numbers in charging stations after the charging guidance. The even distribution among the charging stations in the area will be achieved and the utilization of charging equipment will be improved, so the proposed charging guidance method is verified to be feasible. The improved utilization of charging equipment can save public charging infrastructure resources greatly.
Project description:Fast charging is a key enabler of mainstream adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). None of today's EVs can withstand fast charging in cold or even cool temperatures due to the risk of lithium plating. Efforts to enable fast charging are hampered by the trade-off nature of a lithium-ion battery: Improving low-temperature fast charging capability usually comes with sacrificing cell durability. Here, we present a controllable cell structure to break this trade-off and enable lithium plating-free (LPF) fast charging. Further, the LPF cell gives rise to a unified charging practice independent of ambient temperature, offering a platform for the development of battery materials without temperature restrictions. We demonstrate a 9.5 Ah 170 Wh/kg LPF cell that can be charged to 80% state of charge in 15 min even at -50 °C (beyond cell operation limit). Further, the LPF cell sustains 4,500 cycles of 3.5-C charging in 0 °C with <20% capacity loss, which is a 90× boost of life compared with a baseline conventional cell, and equivalent to >12 y and >280,000 miles of EV lifetime under this extreme usage condition, i.e., 3.5-C or 15-min fast charging at freezing temperatures.
Project description:Charging/discharging behaviors of de-alloyed and anodic oxidized Ti-Ni-Si amorphous alloy ribbons were measured as a function of current between 10 pA and 100 mA, using galvanostatic charge/discharging method. In sharp contrast to conventional electric double layer capacitor (EDLC), discharging behaviors for voltage under constant currents of 1, 10 and 100 mA after 1.8 ks charging at 100 mA show parabolic decrease, demonstrating direct electric storage without solvents. The supercapacitors, devices that store electric charge on their amorphous TiO2-x surfaces that contain many 70-nm sized cavities, show the Ragone plot which locates at lower energy density region near the 2nd cells, and RC constant of 800 s (at 1 mHz), which is 157,000 times larger than that (5 ms) in EDLC.
Project description:The interaction of plasma with polymeric substrates generates both roughness and charging on the surface of the substrates. This work, toward the comprehension and, finally, the control of plasma-induced surface roughness, delves into the intertwined effects of surface charging, ion reflection, and secondary electron-electron emission (SEEE) on roughness evolution during plasma etching of polymeric substrates. For this purpose, a modeling framework consisting of a surface charging module, a surface etching model, and a profile evolution module is utilized. The case study is etching of a poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) substrate by argon plasma. Starting from an initial surface profile with microscale roughness, the results show that the surface charging contributes to a faster elimination of the roughness compared to the case without charging, especially when ion reflection is taken into account. Ion reflection sustains roughness; without ion reflection, roughness is eliminated. Either with or without ion reflection, the effect of SEEE on the evolution of the rms roughness over etching time is marginal. The mutual interaction of the roughness and the charging potential is revealed through the correlation of the charging potential with a parameter combining rms roughness and skewness of the surface profile. A practical implication of the current study is that the elimination or the reduction of surface charging will result in greater surface roughness of polymeric, and generally dielectric, substrates.
Project description:Triboelectric charging is common in desert sandstorms and dust devils on Earth; however, it remains poorly understood. Here we show a charging mechanism of sands with the adsorbed water on micro-porous surface in wind-blown sand based on the fact that water content is universal but usually a minor component in most particle systems. The triboelectric charging could be resulted due to the different mobility of H(+)/OH(-) between the contacting sands with a temperature difference. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and discrete element method (DEM) were used to demonstrate the dynamics of the sand charging. The numerically simulated charge-to-mass ratios of sands and electric field strength established in wind tunnel agreed well with the experimental data. The charging mechanism could provide an explanation for the charging process of all identical granular systems with water content, including Martian dust devils, wind-blown snow, even powder electrification in industrial processes.
Project description:For the environmental friendliness of the technology on battery electric vehicles, there is growing attention on it. However, the market share of battery electric vehicles remains low due to the range anxiety. As a remedy, the mobile charging services could offer charging service at any time or locations requested. For profitability of the services, the operator should route the charging vehicles in a more efficient manner. For this consideration, we formulate the mobile charging vehicle routing problem as a mixed integer linear program based on the classical vehicle routing problem with time windows. To demonstrate the model, test instances are designed and computational results are presented. In order to examine the change of the number of mobile charging vehicles and travel distance, sensitivity analyses, such as battery capacity and recharging rate, are performed. The results show that larger battery capacity, quicker charging rate, or higher service efficiency could decrease the number of mobile charging vehicles and total traveled distances, respectively.