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A paper on hierarchical three-dimensional electrodes written by University of Maryland Tobacco mosaic virus battery researchers has just been published in the journal ACS Nano.

Hierarchical Three-Dimensional Microbattery Electrodes Combining Bottom-Up Self-Assembly and Top-Down Micromachining describes electrodes that combine bottom-up self-assembly and top-down micromachining?a novel approach for development of next generation micro-batteries. Particularly, this work reports on a three-fold increase in energy density compared to nanostructures alone while maintaining the high power characteristics of nanomaterials.

The paper was written by ISR alumnus Konstantinos Gerasopoulos (MSE Ph.D. 2012); Research Associate Ekaterina Pomerantseva; former postdoctoral associate Matthew McCarthy (now on faculty at Drexel University); Department of Plant Sciences and Landscape Architecture Research Assistant Adam Brown; James Culver, a member of the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology and a professor in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture; Chunsheng Wang, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and ISR Director Reza Ghodssi, the Herbert Rabin Distinguished Chair in Engineering (ECE/ISR).

The realization of next-generation portable electronics and integrated microsystems is directly linked with the development of robust batteries with high energy and power density. Three-dimensional micro- and nanostructured electrodes enhance energy and power through higher surface area and thinner active materials, respectively. The paper presents a novel approach for the fabrication of hierarchical electrodes that combine benefits of both length scales. The electrodes consist of self-assembled, virus-templated nanostructures conformally coating three-dimensional micropillars. Active battery material (V2O5) is deposited using atomic layer deposition on the hierarchical micro/nanonetwork. Electrochemical characterization of these electrodes indicates a 3-fold increase in energy density compared to nanostructures alone, in agreement with the surface area increase, while maintaining the high power characteristics of nanomaterials. Investigation of capacity scaling for varying active material thickness reveals underlying limitations in nanostructured electrodes and highlights the importance of our method in controlling both energy and power density with structural hierarchy.



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August 1, 2012


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