Browser does not support script.
Electro-deposition is a common engineering approach to the extraction of metals and also surface preparation of many useful materials. The deposits are usually metals that are capable of conducting electrons so that current flow through the electrolytic cell can continue. Alternatively, electro-deposition may be used to make various non-metallic materials, such composites of carbon nanotubes and conducting polymers that have been demonstrated in Nottingham University to exhibit very high speed and capacity for energy storage. Now, researchers in the Energy and Sustainability Research Division have moved the technology a step further. They used electro-deposition to make non-conducting polymers with the assistance of carbon nanotubes, and explained the success through the capability of carbon nanotubes to conduct electrons, and also to renew the reaction sites on the electrodes that otherwise could be covered by the non-conducting polymer. The mechanisms for electro-deposition of a non-conducting polymer without and with the assistance carbon nanotubes are illustrated in Figure (a) and Figure (b), respectively. The obtained composites, such as that of poly(o-aminophenol) (PoAP) and carbon nanotubes are very unique in structure, see Figure (c), and functionalities and may become useful, with further development, for sensing CO2, see Figure (d), NOx and SOx gases and also biomolecules. The new nanocomposite can also be used to make true supercapatteries combining the performances of batteries and supercapacitors. The work is now published by the high impact journal, ACS Nano. (D. Hu, C. Peng, G.Z. Chen, ACS Nano, 4 (2010) 4274-4282).
The University of NottinghamUniversity Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
Contact: Donna Astill
telephone: +44 (0)115 951 5561