1D Nanomaterials for Energy Storage Applications
Benson, James Melvin
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One dimensional nanomaterials (1D-NM), such as nanowires and nanotubes, may offer significant performance benefits for a broad range of energy storage technologies due to their high surface area, high aspect ratio, and high structural flexibility. Conductive 1D-NM such as aluminum nanowires (AlNW) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) offer high strength and high electrical conductivity, which make them attractive as high-performance current collectors. Non-conductive 1D-NM, such as aluminum oxide (Al2O3) nanowires (AONW), offer high strength, excellent wettability by a broad range of organic and aqueous electrolytes and remarkable thermal stability, which make them ideal for use in high performance separators. The high costs of the currently employed synthesis methods for these (nano)materials limit the progress in their applications and studies. This dissertation will detail two new lower-cost 1D-NM synthesis methods suitable for large scale mass production of AlNW and AONW based on chemical vapor deposition and novel solution-based processing, respectively. This study will reveal the impact of processing / synthesis parameters on the properties of such nanomaterials as well as the impact of material properties on their performance in energy storage applications, such as batteries and supercapacitors. The growth mechanisms for AlNW and AONW will be discussed. Finally, the promising applications of CNT current collectors will be demonstrated in multi-functional Li-ion battery cathodes as well as in supercapacitor electrodes.