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Engineer brings new twist to sodium-ion battery technology
Date:1/29/2014

A Kansas State University engineer has made a breakthrough in rechargeable battery applications.

Gurpreet Singh, assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering, and his student researchers are the first to demonstrate that a composite paper -- made of interleaved molybdenum disulfide and graphene nanosheets -- can be both an active material to efficiently store sodium atoms and a flexible current collector. The newly developed composite paper can be used as a negative electrode in sodium-ion batteries.

"Most negative electrodes for sodium-ion batteries use materials that undergo an 'alloying' reaction with sodium," Singh said. "These materials can swell as much as 400 to 500 percent as the battery is charged and discharged, which may result in mechanical damage and loss of electrical contact with the current collector."

"Molybdenum disulfide, the major constituent of the paper electrode, offers a new kind of chemistry with sodium ions, which is a combination of intercalation and a conversion-type reaction," Singh said. "The paper electrode offers stable charge capacity of 230 mAh.g-1, with respect to total electrode weight. Further, the interleaved and porous structure of the paper electrode offers smooth channels for sodium to diffuse in and out as the cell is charged and discharged quickly. This design also eliminates the polymeric binders and copper current collector foil used in a traditional battery electrode."

The research appears in the latest issue of the journal ACS Nano in the article "MoS2/graphene composite paper for sodium-ion battery electrodes."

For the last two years the researchers have been developing new methods for quick and cost-effective synthesis of atomically thin two-dimensional materials graphene, molybdenum and tungsten disulfide in gram quantities, particularly for rechargeable battery applications.

For the latest research, the engineers created a large-are
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Contact: Gurpreet Singh
gurpreet@k-state.edu
785-532-7085
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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