by Staff Writers
Columbia MO (SPX) Mar 24, 2016
In the race to design smaller handheld devices and smartphones, a key factor is decreasing the sizes of components. As the demand for thinner and lighter microelectronic devices increases, manufacturers often are limited by how oddly shaped the energy sources must become to make them conform to the smaller space. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri, have developed a method of transferring an energy source to virtually any shape.
Using an efficient laser-writing technique, MU scientists can help smartphone manufacturers potentially fabricate energy storage units like microbatteries and micro fuel cells that are more environmentally friendly, highly designable and thin.
"The direct laser writing (DLW) method and technique has seen a rapid advancement in the past decade," said Jian Lin, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the MU College of Engineering.
"The main goal of our research was to find an efficient and cost-effective way to integrate nanostructures with micro energy storage units for applications in micro-electronics. Our lab decided to test whether catalysts could be synthesized and patterned on any surface by a one-step laser processing method to produce microbatteries and micro fuel cells in the shapes dictated by computer programs."
With this in mind, Lin and his team, including Heng (Henry) Deng, a doctoral candidate at MU, set out to prove their theory. They adapted the DLW method to synthesize and pattern hybrid nanocatalysts, or fuel sources, into complex geometric shapes. Using computer-controlled laser writing that uses higher heat and pressure, the scientists were able to produce a surface that became electrically conducive and also has catalytic functionalities.
"This is the first step in manufacturing micro fuel cells that convert chemical energy into electrical energy and batteries that can integrate into microcircuits" said Lin.
"Also this technique has been proven to produce microsupercapacitors. By honing the process, handheld device and smartphone manufacturers will be able to produce components in whatever shape or size they choose, greatly impacting the size of these devices.
"Also, manufacturers will be able to choose more environmentally friendly catalysts for generating energy such as hydrogen or oxygen, which are considered cleaner fuels. The possibilities will be endless."
The paper, "Laser induced MoS2/carbon hybrids for hydrogen evolution reaction catalysts," recently was published in a special issue of "Emerging Investigators 2016: Novel Design Strategies for New Functional Materials" in the Journal of Materials Chemistry-A.
University of Missouri-Columbia
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|