Storing solar energy -in ‘liquid form’ ~ Video

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have demonstrated efficient solar energy storage in a chemical liquid. The stored energy can be transported and then released as heat whenever needed. 

The research is now presented on the cover of the scientific journal Energy & Environmental Science (“Exploring the potential of a hybrid device combining solar water heating and molecular solar thermal energy storage”).

Many consider the sun the energy source of the future. But one challenge is that it is difficult to store solar energy and deliver the energy ‘on demand’.

A research team from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, has shown that it is possible to convert the solar energy directly into energy stored in the bonds of a chemical fluid – a so-called molecular solar thermal system. 

The liquid chemical makes it possible to store and transport the stored solar energy and release it on demand, with full recovery of the storage medium. The process is based on the organic compound norbornadiene that upon exposure to light converts into quadricyclane.

‘The technique means that that we can store the solar energy in chemical bonds and release the energy as heat whenever we need it.’ says Professor Kasper Moth-Poulsen, who is leading the research team. ‘Combining the chemical energy storage with water heating solar panels enables a conversion of more than 80 percent of the incoming sunlight.’

Wallenberg Academy Fellow Kasper Moth-Poulsen, Chalmers University of Technology, is developing a promising new concept using artificial molecules that can capture, store and release solar energy, so that it can be used when the sun is not shining.

The research project was initiated at Chalmers more than six years ago and the research team contributed in 2013 to a first conceptual demonstration. 

At the time, the solar energy conversion efficiency was 0.01 percent and the expensive element ruthenium played a major role in the compound. Now, four years later, the system stores 1.1 percent of the incoming sunlight as latent chemical energy – an improvement of a factor of 100. 

Also, ruthenium has been replaced by much cheaper carbon-based elements.

‘We saw an opportunity to develop molecules that make the process much more efficient,’ says Moth-Poulsen. ‘At the same time, we are demonstrating a robust system that can sustain more than 140 energy storage and release cycles with negligible degradation.’

Source: Chalmers University of Technology

Third-Generation Solar Cells using Metalorganic Perovskites Challenges silicon based Solar Cells

nanotubefilmAn illustration of a perovskite solar cell. Credit: Photo by Aalto University / University of Uppsala / EPFL

Five years ago, the world started to talk about third-generation solar cells that challenged the traditional silicon cells with a cheaper and simpler manufacturing process that used less energy.

Methylammonium lead iodide is a metal-organic material in the perovskite crystal structure that captures light efficiently and conducts electricity well—both important qualities in . However, the lifetime of solar cells made of metalorganic perovskites has proven to be very short compared to cells made of .

Now researchers from Aalto University, Uppsala University and École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have managed to improve the long term stability of solar cells made of perovskite using “random network” nanotube films developed under the leadership of Professor Esko Kauppinen at Aalto University. Random network nanotube films are films composed of single-walled carbon nanotubes that in an electron microscope image look like spaghetti on a plate.

‘In a traditional perovskite solar cell, the hole conductor layer consists of organic material and, on top of it, a thin layer of gold that easily starts to disintegrate and diffuse through the whole solar cell structure. We replaced the gold and also part of the organic material with films made of carbon nanotubes and achieved good cell stability in 60 degrees and full one sun illumination conditions‘, explains Kerttu Aitola, who defended her doctoral dissertation at Aalto University and now works as a researcher at Uppsala University

In the study, thick black films with conductivity as high as possible were used in the back contact of the solar cell where light does not need to get through. According to Aitola, nanotube films can also be made transparent and thin, which would make it possible to use them as the front contact of the cell, in other words as the contact that lets light through.

‘The solar cells were prepared in Uppsala and the long-term stability measurement was carried out at EPFL. The leader of the solar cell group at EPFL is Professor Michael Grätzel, who was awarded the Millennium Prize 2010 for dye-sensitised solar cells, on which the are also partly based on’, says Aitola.

Nanotube film may resolve longevity problem of challenger solar cells
Cross-section of the solar cell in an electron microscope image. The fluff seen in the front of the image is composed of bundles of nanotubes that have become half-loose when the samples have been prepared for imaging. Credit: Photo by Aalto University / University of Uppsala / EPFL


The lifetime of solar cells made of silicon is 20-30 years and their industrial production is very efficient. Still, alternatives are needed as reducing the silicon dioxide in sand to silicon consumes a huge amount of energy. It is estimated that a needs two or three years to produce the energy that was used to manufacture it, whereas a perovskite solar cell would only need two or three months to do it.

‘In addition, the silicon used in solar cells must be extremely pure’, says Aitola.

‘Perovskite solar cell is also interesting because its efficiency, in other words how efficiently it converts sunlight energy into electrical energy, has very quickly reached the level of silicon solar cells. That is why so much research is conducted on perovskite solar cells globally.’

The alternative solar cells are even more interesting because of their various application areas. Flexible solar cells have until now been manufactured on conductive plastic. Compared with the conductive layer of plastic, the flexibility of nanotube films is superior and the raw materials are cheaper. Thanks to their flexibility, solar cells could be produced using the roll-to-roll processing method known from the paper industry.

‘Light and would be easy to integrate in buildings and you could also hang them in windows by yourself’, says Aitola.

Explore further: New way to make low-cost solar cell technology

More information: Kerttu Aitola et al, High Temperature-Stable Perovskite Solar Cell Based on Low-Cost Carbon Nanotube Hole Contact, Advanced Materials (2017). DOI: 10.1002/adma.201606398

U of Toronto: A Printable Solar Cell Closer to Commercial Reality

u-toronto-solar-cell-id45884A University of Toronto Engineering innovation could make printing solar cells as easy and inexpensive as printing a newspaper.

Dr. Hairen Tan and his team have cleared a critical manufacturing hurdle in the development of a relatively new class of solar devices called perovskite solar cells. This alternative solar technology could lead to low-cost, printable solar panels capable of turning nearly any surface into a power generator.


“Economies of scale have greatly reduced the cost of silicon manufacturing,” said Professor Ted Sargent, an expert in emerging solar technologies and the Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology. “Perovskite solar cells can enable us to use techniques already established in the printing industry to produce solar cells at very low cost. Potentially, perovskites and silicon cells can be married to improve efficiency further, but only with advances in low-temperature processes.”


Perovskite Solar Cell
The new perovskite solar cells have achieved an efficiency of 20.1 per cent and can be manufactured at low temperatures, which reduces the cost and expands the number of possible applications. (Image: Kevin Soobrian)


Today, virtually all commercial solar cells are made from thin slices of crystalline silicon which must be processed to a very high purity. It’s an energy-intensive process, requiring temperatures higher than 1,000 degrees Celsius and large amounts of hazardous solvents.
In contrast, perovskite solar cells depend on a layer of tiny crystals — each about 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair — made of low-cost, light-sensitive materials. Because the perovskite raw materials can be mixed into a liquid to form a kind of ‘solar ink’, they could be printed onto glass, plastic or other materials using a simple inkjet printing process.
But, until now, there’s been a catch: in order to generate electricity, electrons excited by solar energy must be extracted from the crystals so they can flow through a circuit. That extraction happens in a special layer called the electron selective layer, or ESL. The difficulty of manufacturing a good ESL has been one of the key challenges holding back the development of perovskite solar cell devices.
“The most effective materials for making ESLs start as a powder and have to be baked at high temperatures, above 500 degrees Celsius,” said Tan. “You can’t put that on top of a sheet of flexible plastic or on a fully fabricated silicon cell — it will just melt.”
Tan and his colleagues developed a new chemical reaction than enables them to grow an ESL made of nanoparticles in solution, directly on top of the electrode. While heat is still required, the process always stays below 150 degrees C, much lower than the melting point of many plastics.
The new nanoparticles are coated with a layer of chlorine atoms, which helps them bind to the perovskite layer on top — this strong binding allows for efficient extraction of electrons. In a paper recently published in Science (“Efficient and stable solution-processed planar perovskite solar cells via contact passivation”), Tan and his colleagues report the efficiency of solar cells made using the new method at 20.1 per cent.
“This is the best ever reported for low-temperature processing techniques,” said Tan. He adds that perovskite solar cells using the older, high-temperature method are only marginally better at 22.1 per cent, and even the best silicon solar cells can only reach 26.3 per cent.
Another advantage is stability. Many perovskite solar cells experience a severe drop in performance after only a few hours, but Tan’s cells retained more than 90 per cent of their efficiency even after 500 hours of use. “I think our new technique paves the way toward solving this problem,” said Tan, who undertook this work as part of a Rubicon Fellowship.
“The Toronto team’s computational studies beautifully explain the role of the newly developed electron-selective layer. The work illustrates the rapidly-advancing contribution that computational materials science is making towards rational, next-generation energy devices,” said Professor Alan Aspuru-Guzik, an expert on computational materials science in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, who was not involved in the work.
“To augment the best silicon solar cells, next-generation thin-film technologies need to be process-compatible with a finished cell. This entails modest processing temperatures such as those in the Toronto group’s advance reported in Science,” said Professor Luping Yu of the University of Chicago’s Department of Chemistry. Yu is an expert on solution-processed solar cells and was not involved in the work.
Keeping cool during the manufacturing process opens up a world of possibilities for applications of perovskite solar cells, from smartphone covers that provide charging capabilities to solar-active tinted windows that offset building energy use. In the nearer term, Tan’s technology could be used in tandem with conventional solar cells.
“With our low-temperature process, we could coat our perovskite cells directly on top of silicon without damaging the underlying material,” said Tan. “If a hybrid perovskite-silicon cell can push the efficiency up to 30 per cent or higher, it makes solar power a much better economic proposition.”
Source: University of Toronto


New way to make low-cost perovskite solar cell technology


efficiently-photo-charging-lithium-ion-batteries-by-perovskite-solar-cell“By combining these two cells, the perovskite cell and the silicon cell, we are able to make much better use of the solar energy and achieve higher efficiencies than either cell on its own.”

Researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) have found a new way to fabricate high efficiency semi-transparent perovskite solar cells in a breakthrough that could lead to more efficient and cheaper solar electricity (Advanced Energy Materials, “Efficient Indium-Doped TiOxElectron Transport Layers for High-Performance Perovskite Solar Cells and Perovskite-Silicon Tandems”).


Dr Tom White from the ANU Research School of Engineering said the new fabrication method significantly improved the performance of perovskite solar cells, which can combine with conventional silicon solar cells to produce more efficient solar electricity.


ANU Ph.D. student The Duong, Dr.Tom White and Ph.D. student Jun Peng

ANU Ph.D. student The Duong, Dr.Tom White and Ph.D. student Jun Peng.


He said perovskite solar cells were extremely good at making electricity from visible light – blue, green and red – while conventional silicon solar cells were more efficient at converting infrared light into electricity.

“The prospect of adding a few additional processing steps at the end of a silicon cell production line to make perovskite cells is very exciting and could boost solar efficiency from 25 per cent to 30 per cent,” Dr White said.
“By combining these two cells, the perovskite cell and the silicon cell, we are able to make much better use of the solar energy and achieve higher efficiencies than either cell on its own.”
While perovskite cells can improve efficiency, they are not yet stable enough to be used on rooftops. Dr White said the new fabrication technique could help develop more reliable perovskite cells.
The new fabrication method involves adding a small amount of the element indium into one of the cell layers during fabrication. That could increase the cell’s power output by as much as 25 per cent.
“We have been able to achieve a record efficiency of 16.6 per cent for a semi-transparent perovskite cell, and 24.5 per cent for a perovskite-silicon tandem, which is one of the highest efficiencies reported for this type of cell,” said Dr White.
Dr White said the research placed ANU in a small group of labs around the world with the capability to improve silicon solar cell efficiency using perovskites.
The development builds on the state-of-the-art silicon cell research at ANU and is part of a $12.2 million “High-efficiency silicon/perovskite solar cells” project led by University of New South Wales and supported by $3.6 million of funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
Research partners include Monash University, Arizona State University, Suntech R&D Australia Pty Ltd and Trina Solar.
Source: The Australian National University

A “Smart-Solar” Window ~ Privacy and light control on demand: YouTube Video


Smart windows get darker to filter out the sun’s rays on bright days, and turn clear on cloudy days to let more light in. This feature can help control indoor temperatures and offers some privacy without resorting to aids such as mini-blinds.Now scientists report a new development in this growing niche: solar smart windows that can turn opaque on demand and even power other devices. The study appears in ACS Photonics (“Electrically Controllable Light Trapping for Self-Powered Switchable Solar Windows”).


Smart windows get darker to filter out the sun’s rays on bright days, and turn clear on cloudy days to let more light in. This feature can help control indoor temperatures and offers some privacy without resorting to mini-blinds. Now scientists report a new development in this growing niche: solar smart windows that can turn opaque on demand and even power other devices.

Most existing solar-powered smart windows are designed to respond automatically to changing conditions, such as light or heat. But this means that on cool or cloudy days, consumers can’t flip a switch and tint the windows for privacy.
Also, these devices often operate on a mere fraction of the light energy they are exposed to while the rest gets absorbed by the windows. This heats them up, which can add warmth to a room that the windows are supposed to help keep cool. Jeremy Munday and colleagues wanted to address these limitations.
The researchers created a new smart window by sandwiching a polymer matrix containing microdroplets of liquid crystal materials, and an amorphous silicon layer — the type often used in solar cells — between two glass panes.


When the window is “off,” the liquid crystals scatter light, making the glass opaque. The silicon layer absorbs the light and provides the low power needed to align the crystals so light can pass through and make the window transparent when the window is turned “on” by the user.

The extra energy that doesn’t go toward operating the window is harvested and could be redirected to power other devices, such as lights, TVs or smartphones, the researchers say.
Source: American Chemical Society


The Small Matter of Big Solutions: Nanotechnologies Helping to Fulfill the Promise of Solar Energy

back-to-the-future-bttf2Nanotechnology is more than just a set of applications. When people wonder what the next big product will be, the truth is more nuanced. Prof.Jillian Buriak, a chemistry professor at the University of Alberta, calls it a quiet revolution. For the first time in history, scientists from all disciplines are working together towards solving big problems; the ability to control matter at the atomic and molecular level is how nanotechnology is opening doors all across the sciences.

[See Our Article This Week: The Promise of Nanotechnology ~ Where to Look for Emerging (Nano) Technologies that will: (1) Create New Market Opportunities or (2) Disrupt Existing Markets ]

I call this a quiet revolution because for the first time, and I think in the history of science, is that you’ve got the distinct silos – you have the biologists talking to the physicists, talking to the medical people – all using the tools and the enabling technologies of nanotechnology to solve these big problems.

One area that Prof. Buriak’s research addresses is the critical need for renewable energy.

Read the Full Article Here: The Small Matter of Big Solutions

Watch the YouTube Video Below

Sun SolarCan Nanotechnology Turn Windows Into Solar Panels?

Solar energy technology is becoming more efficient and more effective while also becoming invisible to the naked eye – here’s how.

img_0759Quantum dot solar windows go non-toxic, colorless, with record efficiency

A luminescent solar concentrator is an emerging sunlight harvesting technology that has the potential to disrupt the way we think about energy; It could turn any window into a daytime power source.

“In these devices, a fraction of light transmitted through the window is absorbed by nanosized particles (semiconductor ) dispersed in a glass window, re-emitted at the infrared wavelength invisible to the human eye, and wave-guided to a solar cell at the edge of the window,” said Victor Klimov, lead researcher on the project at the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory. “Using this design, a nearly transparent window becomes an electrical generator, one that can power your room’s air conditioner on a hot day or a heater on a cold one.”

Read the Full Article Here: Quantum dot solar windows go non-toxic, colorless, with record efficiency

rice-nanoporus-battery-102315-untitled-1Silicon Nanowire-Based Solar Cells

Nanotechnology celebrates 25 years in an interview with the author of one of the most cited and downloaded papers: ‘Silicon nanowire-based solar cells’. It demonstrates the fabrication of silicon nanowire-based solar cells on silicon wafers and on multicrystalline silicon thin films on glass.

Silke Christiansen, from the Helmholtz-Center Berlin for Materials and Energy, talks about the motivation behind the paper and the impact that it has had on further research.

Watch the YouTube Video Below:

More Reading on Solar Energy – Nanotechnology – Quantum Dots

confinement-for-qdots-100816-nanoscaleconScientists with the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for the first time discovered how to make perovskite solar cells out of quantum dots and used the new material to convert sunlight to electricity with 10.77 percent efficiency.

The research, Quantum dot-induced phase stabilization of a-CsPbI3perovskite for high-efficiency photovoltaics, appears in the journal Science.

Read More Here: NREL: Nanoscale confinement leads to new all-inorganic perovskite with exceptional solar cell properties – Using Quantum Dots to Create Increased Solar Cell Efficiency: Colorado School of Mines



2- sprayon solar scientistsdeNanotechnology could improve the efficiency of organic photovoltaic technology, researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have demonstrated. In general, solar cells made from organic materials offer a cheap, simple and sustainable approach to harvesting light from the sun. But there is an urgent need to improve the efficiency of these organic cells. The performance of these devices is limited by the re-emission of light that has been absorbed, thus detracting energy that should be converted to electricity.

Read More Here: Quantum Dots Improve the Performance of Cost Effective Processed Solar Cells



St Mary Spray on Solar 150928083119_1_540x360A Rice University laboratory has found a way to turn common carbon fiber into graphene quantum dots, tiny specks of matter with properties expected to prove useful in electronic, optical and biomedical applications.

Quantum dots, discovered in the 1980s, are semiconductors that contain a size- and shape-dependent . These have been promising structures for applications that range from computers, LEDs, and lasers to medical imaging devices. The sub-5 nanometer carbon-based quantum dots produced in bulk through the wet chemical process discovered at Rice are highly soluble, and their size can be controlled via the temperature at which they’re created.

Read More Here: Rice University: Graphene Quantum Dots: The Next Big “Small Thing”


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Photonic crystals increase solar efficiency: Video: U of Toronto: Dr. Sajeev John

photonic-crystals-image1Gains are derived from nanowires and light trapping for better energy conversion.

Sajeev John is a University Professor at the University of Toronto and Government of Canada Research Chair holder. He received his bachelor’s degree in physics in 1979 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his PhD in physics at Harvard in 1984. His PhD work introduced the theory of classical wave localization and in particular the localization of light in three-dimensional strongly scattering dielectrics.sajeev-john-u-of-t-maxresdefault

Watch the Video Here

His groundbreaking work in the field of light localization that enables light to be controlled at the microscopic level has earned him an international reputation. He is a pioneering theoretician in photonic band gap (PBG) materials. This new class of optical materials presents exciting possibilities in the fields of physics, chemistry, engineering and medicine. PBG materials could eventually be used for optical communications/information processing, clinical medicine, lighting and solar energy harvesting.

John has received numerous awards, including the King Faisal International Prize in Science (2001), the IEEE Nanotechnology Pioneer Award (2008), and the Killam Prize in Natural Sciences (2014) from the Canada Council for the Arts. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, OSA, the Royal Society of Canada, and a member of the Max-Planck Society of Germany.


Sajeev John current research (Univ. of Toronto)



SolarWindow™ Surpasses Critical Milestone for Manufacturing Electricity-Generating Windows

Quantum Dot Window 082515 id41125

Columbia, MD – October 26, 2016  – SolarWindow Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB: WNDW), the developer of electricity-generating coatings for commercial glass and flexible plastics, announced today that its SolarWindow™ coatings successfully performed under test conditions designed to simulate the high pressure and temperatures of the ‘autoclave’ manufacturing processes used by commercial glass and window producers.

“Today’s announcement marks a major milestone for the production of commercial electricity-generating windows, our early target market,” said John A. Conklin, President and CEO of SolarWindow Technologies. “It’s important for our customers, such as window manufacturers, to have confidence that our SolarWindow™ products perform under such rigorous autoclave conditions.”

About SolarWindow Technologies, Inc.

SolarWindow Technologies, Inc. creates transparent electricity-generating liquid coatings. When applied to glass or plastics, these coatings convert passive windows and other materials into electricity generators under natural, artificial, low, shaded, and even reflected light conditions.

Our liquid coating technology has been presented to members of the U.S. Congress and has received recognition in numerous industry publications. Our SolarWindow™ technology has been independently validated to generate 50-times the power of a conventional rooftop solar system and achieves a one-year payback when modeled on a 50-story building.

The company’s Proprietary Power Production & Financial Model (Power & Financial Model) uses photovoltaic (PV) modeling calculations that are consistent with renewable energy practitioner standards for assessing, evaluating and estimating renewable energy for a PV project. The Power & Financial Model estimator takes into consideration building geographic location, solar radiation for flat-plate collectors (SolarWindow™ irradiance is derated to account for 360 degree building orientation and vertical installation), climate zone energy use and generalized skyscraper building characteristics when estimating PV power and energy production, and carbon dioxide equivalents.

Actual power, energy production and carbon dioxide equivalents modeled may vary based upon building-to-building situational characteristics and varying installation methodologies. More About SolarWindow Technologies

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Investors and others should note that we announce material financial information to our investors using SEC filings and press releases. We use our website and social media to communicate with our subscribers, shareholders and the public about the company, SolarWindow™ technology development, and other corporate matters that are in the public domain. At this time, the company will not post information on social media could be deemed to be material information unless that information was distributed to public distribution channels first. We encourage investors, the media, and others interested in the company to review the information we post on the company’s website.



Harnessing the Transformative Possibilities of the “Nanoworld”


Snow Crystal Landscape. Credit: Peter Gorges

Scientists have long suspected that the way materials behave on the nanoscale – that is when particles have dimensions of about 1–100 nanometres – is different from how they behave on any other scale. A new paper in the journal Chemical Science provides concrete proof that this is the case.

The laws of thermodynamics govern the behavior of materials in the macro world, while quantum mechanics describes behavior of particles at the other extreme, in the world of single atoms and electrons.

But in the middle, on the order of around 10–100,000 molecules, something different is going on. Because it’s such a tiny scale, the particles have a really big surface-area-to-volume ratio. This means the energetics of what goes on at the surface become very important, much as they do on the atomic scale, where is often applied.

Classical thermodynamics breaks down. But because there are so many particles, and there are many interactions between them, the quantum model doesn’t quite work either.

And because there are so many particles doing different things at the same time, it’s difficult to simulate all their interactions using a computer. It’s also hard to gather much experimental information, because we haven’t yet developed the capacity to measure behaviour on such a tiny scale.

This conundrum becomes particularly acute when we’re trying to understand crystallisation, the process by which particles, randomly distributed in a solution, can form highly ordered crystal structures, given the right conditions.

Chemists don’t really understand how this works. How do around 1018 molecules, moving around in solution at random, come together to form a micro- to millimetre size ordered crystal? Most remarkable perhaps is the fact that in most cases every crystal is ordered in the same way every time the crystal is formed.

However, it turns out that different conditions can sometimes yield different crystal structures. These are known as polymorphs, and they’re important in many branches of science including medicine – a drug can behave differently in the body depending on which polymorph it’s crystallised in.

What we do know so far about the process, at least according to one widely accepted model, is that particles in solution can come together to form a nucleus, and once a critical mass is reached we see crystal growth. The structure of the nucleus determines the structure of the final crystal, that is, which polymorph we get.Nanoparticle 2 051316 coated-nanoparticle

What we have not known until now is what determines the structure of the nucleus in the first place, and that happens on the nanoscale.

In this paper, the authors have used mechanochemistry – that is milling and grinding – to obtain nanosized , small enough that surface effects become significant. In other words, the chemistry of the nanoworld – which structures are the most stable at this scale, and what conditions affect their stability, has been studied for the first time with carefully controlled experiments.

And by changing the milling conditions, for example by adding a small amount of solvent, the authors have been able to control which polymorph is the most stable. Professor Jeremy Sanders of the University of Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry, who led the work, said “It is exciting that these simple experiments, when carried out with great care, can unexpectedly open a new door to understanding the fundamental question of how surface effects can control the stability of nanocrystals.”

Joel Bernstein, Global Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at NYU Abu Dhabi, and an expert in and structure, explains: “The authors have elegantly shown how to experimentally measure and simulate situations where you have two possible nuclei, say A and B, and determine that A is more stable. And they can also show what conditions are necessary in order for these stabilities to invert, and for B to become more stable than A.”

“This is really news, because you can’t make those predictions using classical thermodynamics, and nor is this the quantum effect. But by doing these experiments, the authors have started to gain an understanding of how things do behave on this size regime, and how we can predict and thus control it. The elegant part of the experiment is that they have been able to nucleate A and B selectively and reversibly.”

One of the key words of chemical synthesis is ‘control’. Chemists are always trying to control the properties of materials, whether that’s to make a better dye or plastic, or a drug that’s more effective in the body. So if we can learn to control how molecules in a solution come together to form solids, we can gain a great deal. This work is a significant first step in gaining that control.

Explore further: Surface chemistry offers new approach to directing crystal formation in pharmaceutical industry

More information: A. M. Belenguer et al. Solvation and surface effects on polymorph stabilities at the nanoscale, Chem. Sci. (2016). DOI: 10.1039/C6SC03457H


Read Genesis Nanotechnology ~ Phantom Matter comes 2 Life+Graphene Super Caps 2 Power Tesla Rival Battery+NanoNeuro 2 treat stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, cardiac conditions, and many others + ..

MIT: Batteries power clean energy transformation: Focus on Electro-Chemical Energy Storage


” … (opportunity for) grid-level battery storage technologies for solar and wind electric generators and affordable electric cars available now could meet 87 percent of Americans’ daily driving needs.”

Batteries, it seems, are everywhere these days, yet important questions remain about what kind of energy storage technologies are needed to help the U.S. meet its commitments to cut greenhouse gases and which areas of research are most likely to pay dividends by improving existing batteries or creating entirely new battery technologies.

After exploring these questions for the past five years, Jessika Trancik, Associate Professor of Energy Studies with MIT’s Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, has found some answers that she will share at “Materials for Electrochemical Energy Storage,” the Materials Processing Center’s Materials Day Symposium on Tuesday, Oct. 18. The symposium will be held in MIT’s Kresge Auditorium, followed by a student poster session in La Sala de Puerto Rico, Stratton Student Center.

“This year’s Materials Day workshop will focus on advancing materials technologies for electrochemical energy storage, as well as on new systems-level approaches to cost-effective integration of these devices in both large and small-scale power grids,” says Materials Processing Center Director Carl V. Thompson, who is the Stavros Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT.

Dynamic models

Trancik developed dynamic models of battery technology and consumer demand in two areas with potential for large impact: electric cars and energy storage at solar and wind farms. Her key findings, published in Nature Climate Change and Nature Energy this past summer, are that:

• there is a window of opportunity for adoption of grid-level battery storage technologies for solar and wind electric generators at particular sites; and

affordable electric cars available now could meet 87 percent of Americans’ daily driving needs with charging just once a day, for example, overnight. (article continued below)


Also Read: THE TENKA ENERGY STORY  (Quote) … “Tenka Energy will develop and commercialize the Next Generation of Super-Capacitors and Batteries, providing the High-Energy-Density, in Flexible-Thin-Form with Rapid Charge/ Recharge Cycles with  Extended Life that is required and in high demand from a“power starved world”. The opportunity is based on a Nanoporous-Nickel Flexible Thin-form technology that is  easily scaled, from Rice University.”


(continued) “In some locations, for example, some stationary storage technologies available today add profit to solar and wind, and that’s taking into account the lifetime of the project and so forth,” Trancik explains. “In the next few years, there is an opportunity to do that at low cost with relatively little subsidy needed.” However, as solar and wind prices continue to fall, storage technologies will also need to become cheaper if they are to continue to add value.

jessika_trancik_mitJessika Trancik, associate professor of energy studies at MIT, will present at the annual Materials Day Symposium.    

Trancik, whose input was solicited by the White House ahead of the 2015 climate change negotiations, notes that commitments to the Paris Agreement, if met, will likely lead to significant growth in intermittent solar and wind installations. She says the next 15 years are critical for storage technology development. “By 2030, we really need to have developed affordable and well-functioning storage technologies in order to continue to support the growth of solar and wind worldwide,” she adds.

Similarly, with battery-based vehicles, such as the currently available Nissan Leaf, the outlook for converting a large portion of cars on the road from gasoline to electric looks promising. But, Trancik cautions, since electric vehicles have a shorter travel potential on a full charge than a gasoline car has on a full tank, a solution is needed for the 13 percent of cars on the road whose daily driving range would not be met. “There are a certain number of days during which the average driver will exceed that range. … People buy and own vehicles to get them where they want to go on all days, not just 87 percent of days,” Trancik says. Some type of convenient, on-demand car sharing or other ways to meet these needs are critical, she suggests.

This year’s Materials Processing Center symposium speakers are:

• Kevin Eberman, product development manager at 3M;

• Jessika Trancik, associate professor of energy studies within the Institute for Data, Systems and Society at MIT;

• Boris Kozinsky, principal scientist at Bosch Research;

• Yang Shao-Horn, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering at MIT;

• Glen D. Merfeld, product science leader at GE Global Research;

• Yet-Ming Chiang, professor of materials science and dngineering at MIT; and

• Martin Z. Bazant, professor of chemical engineering and applied mathematics at MIT.

Bazant, who is executive officer of chemical engineering as well as professor of mathematics, will present his recent work on lithium-ion, lithium-air, and lithium-metal batteries. Recent findings in Bazant’s group uncovered two different ways that lithium deposits grow on the surface of lithium metal electrodes and showed how to effectively control destructive lithium filament growth at lower power levels.

“Energy storage devices are increasingly playing key roles in reducing carbon emissions through use in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, and they will have a key role in efficient use of both conventional sources of electrical power and power from clean intermittent sources such as solar and wind energy,” Thompson says. “These technology drivers have led to rapid advances in development of new materials and device concepts for electrochemical energy storage using batteries. This includes not just lithium-ion batteries, but also other metal-ion batteries, metal-air batteries and flow batteries.”