Nanotubes could lengthen battery life

January 10, 2002 | Source: KurzweilAI

Experiments suggest carbon nanotubes could store more than twice as much energy as conventional graphite electrodes.
Researchers at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found carbon nanotubes may allow for longer-lasting batteries.

“In our experiments, we used both electrochemistry and solid state nuclear magnetic resonance measurements, which show similar results,” said Dr. Otto Z. Zhou, an associate professor at UNC’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. “We can store, reversibly, one charged lithium ion for every six carbon atoms in graphite, but we found that with nanotubes, we can store one charged lithium ion for every three carbons, also reversibly.”

Most rechargeable batteries in portable electronics today are lithium-ion batteries, which use graphite or carbonaceous materials as one of the electrodes. Nanotubes could hold twice as much energy as graphite.

A report on the findings appears in the Jan. 7 issue of Physical Review Letters.