A study led by an assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering Duprem Das of Kansas State University, in collaboration with university distinguished professor of physics Christopher Sorensen, recently showed possible ways to manufacture graphene-based nano-inks for additive manufacturing of supercapacitors in flexible and printable electronics form.
A Physics.org report said, as researchers globally investigate the possible replacement of batteries by supercapacitors, an energy device that can both charge and discharge extremely fast, within few tens of seconds, the team Das led presents a substitute forecast.
The researchers' work could be adapted to incorporate them to overcome the batteries' slow-charging processes. More so, Das has been developing additive manufacturing of tiny supercapacitors, also known as micro-supercapacitors, so that one day, they could be used for wafer-sized integration in silicon processing.
Das described additive manufacturing as "fascinating, cost-effective" and has design considerations. In addition, the team has developed supercapacitors too that have been tried for 10,000 cycles of charging and discharging cycles, a number that's potential for the evaluation of the dependability of such devices.
Das's team is also currently investigating these micro-supercapacitors' versatility by printing on mechanically flexible surfaces.
For this investigation, the researchers used 20-micrometer-hin polyimide with high dependability. The assistant professor is highly interested in the translation of emerging materials into devices.
Das explained, when one thinks about the best materials and wishes to develop the best devices, it is not simple and straightforward. The professor also said one has to then understand the underpinning physics and the chemistry involved in such devices.
One more advantage in the team's invention is the green aspect of the study, Graphene Aerosol Gel Ink for Printing Micro-Supercapacitors, published in the ACS Publications; he visualized through constructive discussion Sorensen.
Highly Scalable and Chemical-Free Process
When the two met, Das realized his expertise could be a contributor to the manufacturing of additives to transform the materials into useful things, in this circumstance, developing small energy storage devices.
A similar Tech and Science Post report said, a few months after, Das filed for a United States patent following the development of a nano-ink technology and used it to demonstrate printed micro-supercapacitors.
Das is interested in particular in forming the synergic collaboration with Sorensen due to the energy-efficient, highly scalable, and chemical-free nature of the production process of graphene and his own team's graphene ink manufacturing process.
Both processes are patented or patent-pending technologies, not to mention, are industrially essential, according to Das.
According to Sorensen, they make high-quality, multilayer graphene by igniting or exploding fuel-rich mixtures in a multi-layer chamber of unsaturated hydrocarbons like acetylene with oxygen.
He also described their patented method as simple, and it requires a very small amount of energy, thus, is environmentally benign.
Sorensen added, their patented method does not require toxic chemicals and has been scaled up to produce high-quality, cost-oriented graphene.
Essentially, graphene has been acknowledged as a wonder material that has much potential due to its lots of superlative physical properties.
Furthermore, a lot of graphene manufacturing approaches have been developed throughout the world, and graphene has been produced in ton quantities.
However, technologies are well aware that graphene is not yet in the marketplace as none of these approaches have had the right combination of ecology, economy, and product quality to enable graphene to fulfill its potential.
Nonetheless, both the approaches of graphene and nano-ink production pursued at Kansas State University, Sorensen and Das said, are on target to meet all of the requirements.
Related information about graphene-based ink is shown on Hybrid Nanomaterials Engineering's YouTube video below:
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