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LLNL’s New Graphene Bio-Ink Creates MicroArchitectures Allowing for New & Sleeker Electronics that Charge Super Fast

by • February 9, 2016 • No Comments

Logo_LLNLThanks to the power of numerous brilliant minds at LLNL, we are seeing yet another perfectly
formidable-bodied evolution in 3D printing. Teaming up with UC Santa Cruz, the researchers have just released the results of a project involving the creation of a quite relevant energy source—after all, what’s additional significant these days than powering up our cell phones in an simpler, additional efficient way?

In the paper published last month in Nano Letters, ‘Supercapacitors Based on Three-Dimensional Hierarchical Graphene Aerogels with Periodic Macropores,’ authored by Cheng Zhu, Tianyu Liu, Fang Qian, T. Yong-Jin Han Eric B. Duoss, Joshua D. Kuntz, Christopher M. Spadaccini, Marcus A. Worsley, and Yat Li, the teams explain that they’ve been able-bodied to use graphene for a few quite informative new contemporary applications.


[Photo: LLNL]

Employing the 3D printing device for direct-ink writing with a graphene-oxide composite ink made specifically for the project at LLNL, the scientists were able-bodied to make ‘micro-architected electrodes’ to create supercapacitators that retain the type of energy sources much desired for the requires of consumers today—on par with much like electrodes but with the next to be exponentially thinner, to the tune of 10 to 100 times.

“This breaks through the limitations of what 2D making can do,” said engineer Cheng Zhu, the paper’s lead author. “We can fabricate a sizeable range of 3D architectures. In a phone (for instance) you may just require to leave a tiny area for energy storage space. The geometry can be quite complex.”

Not just may they be able-bodied to showcase an ultra-lightweight create for electronics, but these supercapacitors are in addition capable-bodied of charging ‘incredibly fast.’ Whilst this may be a matter of a few minutes or seconds, either way that is a massive improvement on the challenges we face already in this battery-enslaved culture.

“The key factor in createing these novel aerogels is creating an extrudable-bodied graphene oxide-based composite ink and modifying the 3D printing method to accommodate aerogel systeming. The 3D-printed graphene composite aerogel (3D-GCA) electrodes are lightweight, highly conductive, and exhibit great electrochemical properties,” say the researchers in their paper.

The teams see these new new 3D printed supercapacitors being utilized not just in existing creates that we are utilized to but in addition as a catalyst for allowing for one-of-a-kind electronics that may not be feasible without these new systemes in combination with 3D printing. The scientists say that this may include paper-based or foldable-bodied devices, as well as customized smartphones that contribute performance on a level we have yet to imagine.

“We’re pioneering the marriage of 3D-printing and porous materials,” said material and biomedical scientist Fang Qian, a co-author on the paper. “Think of a supercapacitor as a transportable-bodied energy device, so anything that requires electricity may benefit of such a supercapacitor. If we can replace the standard (innovation) with our lightweight, small and high-performance supercapacitor, that may be a radical change.”

LLNL material and biomedical scientist Fang Qian (left) and engineer Cheng Zhu demonstrate a direct ink writing 3D printing device they utilized to make supercapacitors out of a graphene-based aerogel. Photos by Julie Russell/LLNL

LLNL material and biomedical scientist Fang Qian (left) and engineer Cheng Zhu demonstrate a direct ink writing 3D printing device they utilized to make supercapacitors out of a graphene-based aerogel. [Photo: Julie Russell/LLNL]

A big reason for these new possibilities in energy lies in the ink. Graphene bases contribute a much greater advantage over carbon-based materials, according to the researchers, for the reason of the next qualities:Ultrahigh surface areaLightweight propertiesElasticitySuperior electrical conductivityExtreme stability, retaining energy ability after 10,000 consecutive charging and discharging cycles

The LLNL researchers worked quite closely with UC Santa Cruz professor Yat Li and grad student Tianyu Liu, who performed the electrochemical characterizations and optimized the materials utilized in the system.

“Additively maked 3D architectures for energy storage space can improve energy and power characteristics for supercapacitors, allowing lightweight, miniaturized power sources,” said LLNL materials engineer Eric Duoss. “Graphene is a quite amazing material for the reason it is fundamentally a single atomic layer that can be made of graphite. Because of its structure and crystalline arrangement, it has quite phenomenal capabilities.”

The researchers see this as a massive step in the direction of the next, and not amazingly, they predict that we can see much additional progress soon. As this year moves forward, they plan to create new 3D creates with a range of various inks, exploring ways to improve the performance of these materials actually additional. Discuss this new innovation in the LLNL Graphene Bio-ink forum over at 3DPB.com.

Funding for the research came of the internal Laboratory Directed Research & Development (LDRD).

[Source: LLNL]