In a study conducted at MIT, researchers showed that an aluminum alloy alloy containing up to 20 percent silicon nanoparticles (SiO 2 ) and 10 percent tin oxide nanoparticles had the best energy storage.
The results suggest that the nanoparticles are capable of storing and releasing energy more efficiently than other materials, according to the study, which was published online on May 23 in the journal Nature Materials.
“Our findings suggest that silicon nanoparticle are an efficient and environmentally friendly electrode material for high-performance electrochemical electrolysis, a technology that enables the production of advanced metals for applications in both energy storage and electronics,” study co-author Dr. Mark Noreika, a professor in MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, said in a statement.
The nanoparticles can be made to either form an oxide or an anode, according the MIT statement.
“As the nanoparticle undergoes electrochemical oxidation, it releases its electrons to form a new, more reactive phase.
In this process, the nanopatterns are able to store and release electrons as needed to maintain their current energy levels,” Noreik said.
The researchers also found that the SiO 2 nanoparticles were the best candidates for electrochemical storage because they were more stable than other metals, Noreiko added.
“The nanoparticles provide a unique and versatile electrode material that can provide high-energy-density electrodes and improve their electrical properties,” he said.
For instance, the silicon nanopatchers also improve the conductivity of a variety of metals, including gold and platinum.
The aluminum alloy also offers better electrical properties than other aluminum-based electrode materials because it’s more conductive, Nereika said.
In addition, aluminum oxide nanoparticle can be used to form solid-state batteries, Nieika said, adding that this type of technology is being used to make lithium-ion batteries for automobiles.
“In our study, we found that aluminum oxide is a very efficient and economical electrode material.
In general, these are the best electrode materials for electrochemistry,” Nieik said, citing the nanopaterials’ high energy density, low electrochemical cost, and the ability to store energy indefinitely.
“It’s important to remember that these nanoparticles behave as a conductor for electrons, but they’re also an electrolyte for electrons,” he added.