Among the various experimental techniques of scanning probe microscopy

Recent technology for creating aligned structures and ribbons of carbon nanotubes is a step toward realising incredibly efficient heat conduits. In addition, composites with carbon nanotubes have been shown to dramatically increase the bulk thermal conductivity at small loadings.

An Agilent 5500 AFM equipped with a PicoAPEX environmental chamber, a MAC Mode III controller, and a 90μm multipurpose scanner is used here. The PicoAPEX chamber provides a localized environment for the sample without affecting the operation of the scanner and the controlling electronics. Experiments are carried out at 24°C with a controlled relative humidity level. Humidity control is realized by putting a beaker with water in the PicoAPEX chamber and purging dry air through the chamber. By controlling the rate of the dry airflow, a constant humidity level is maintained during the experiment.

The advantages of ALD stem from the surface-controlled and self-saturating film growth principle, which can be utilized in many green energy concepts other than Li-ion batteries, including solar cells, proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC).

Identifying these different groups on a PEM surface is a difficult task. Attempts have been made to distinguish the hydrophobic sites from the hydrophilic sites via phase imaging using AC mode AFM [3]. However, the phase signal in AC mode AFM depends on the overall interaction force between the AFM tip and the sample surface, so identification of ionic clusters based on the phase image could be ambiguous in some cases.

On the other hand, because the ionic clusters can exhibit different amounts of charge compared to the hydrophobic polymer region, scanning Kelvin force microscopy can be used to directly measure the surface potential variation on the Nafion membrane. As a result, the distribution of the ionic clusters on the membrane surface can be identified from the KFM image.

Among the various experimental techniques of scanning probe microscopy, current-sensing AFM, also known as conducting AFM, is particularly useful for studying the transport process of protons in proton exchange membranes [4]. In CS-AFM, a Pt-coated conducting tip is utilized. In an experimental setup such as that illustrated in Figure 2, the Pt-coated AFM tip serves as the top electrode. The PEM under study is sandwiched between the tip and the bottom supporting electrode, forming a localized miniature fuel cell.

Nanotechnology is rapidly emerging as a unique industry sector. Altair Nanotechnologies’ corporate goal is to become the leading supplier of nanomaterials worldwide through product innovation in a 441425-001 new science. Altair owns a proprietary technology for making nanocrystalline materials of unique quality, economically in large quantities.

The company is currently developing special nanomaterials with potential applications in fuel cells, solar cells, advanced energy storage devices, thermal spray 436281-141 coatings, catalysts, cosmetics, paints and environmental remediation. Altair holds mineral leases on a “world class” titanium mineral sand deposit in Tennessee where the recently constructed pilot plant is operational.

Likewise, nanoscale spinel structures (MgAl2O4) and carbon nanotubes are considered as electrode material in 417066-001 supercapacitors, which, however, are still too expensive for competitive applications. Companies such as Panasonic, Maxwell or Ness already offer supercapacitors commercially, whereby performance characteristics do not correspond yet to those of a postulated “nanocap”, which is to be realized approximately by 2005.

To summarize, PeakForce TUNA provided an effective method to study the cathode materials of the lithium battery. This technique can also be applied to study anode materials and determine their aging characteristics over time or during the charging and discharging cycle, during which mechanical degradation or increase in resistance may happen. PeakForce TUNA measurements combined with data from other techniques can be used to optimize results to meet different application requirements.

Nanocrystalline materials and nanotubes have been demonstrated to greatly improve both power density, lifetime and charge/discharge rates. Nanotubes are used to replace the normal Graphite of Lithium-Graphite-Electrodes. Because of the nanostructure and the corresponding high surface area, nanotubes can incorporate more Lithium than Graphite. With open single-walled Nanotubes capacities up to 640Ah/kg have been reached in the laboratory.

“The cooperation and teamwork between Tim Spitler and his research team and Dr. Kavan was remarkable,” said Ken Lyon, president of Altair Nanomaterials Inc. Both Dr. Kavan and Mr. Lyon credited the EPFL and its staff for providing the necessary infrastructure, stimulating work environment, and assistance. The research program was done under the overall direction of Professor Michael Graetzel of the EPFL, Switzerland. Dr. Graetzel is one of the world’s most honoured scientists in the fields of photoelectronics and electrochemistry.

This development also marks a significant broadening in mPhase’s strategy of incorporating leading edge technology into its product portfolio. As part of the agreement, the companies will be co-developing potential applications for this nano-based “Smart Battery” technology. This new agreement also builds upon the two companies’ pre-existing relationship, enabling mPhase to broaden its product offerings and to diversify into other strategic high-growth areas. mPhase and Lucent Technologies have also been engaged in a joint development project to improve the economics of delivering high quality video over copper wires with mPhase’s TV+ Platform.

The TV+ Platform was architected to take advantage of the advanced capabilities of Lucent’s Stinger DSL Access Concentrator, and combined with mPhase’s Set Top Boxes and Service Management System, can deliver cost effective-high quality television services over existing copper wires.

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