Carbon Nanotubes for Energy and Electronics Applications

E. Bekyarova, R. Palanisamy, M. Itkis
Carbon Solutions Inc, US

Keywords: carbon nanotubes, fuel cells, supercapacitor, infrared detectors

Summary:

Electric arc single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) possess high crystallinity and under the quality control of bulk SWNT products provide unique platform for application in renewable energy, electronics and optoelectronics. We report recent developments in the utilization of SWNTs in fuel cells, supercapacitors and infrared detectors. The technologies rely on SWNT thin films, tailored chemistry and quality control of SWNTs. We have demonstrated thin film SWNT catalyst layer with ultralow platinum (0.06 mgPt/cm2), which exhibit higher Pt mass activity than conventional catalyst supports. The enhanced performance was achieved by tuning of the SWNT functionalization leading to efficient Pt utilization. The results are discussed in light of 2017 US DOE targets. In another project we use SWNTs for flexible, ultrathin energy storage devices, which offer simultaneously high energy and power densities. When integrated with ionic liquids the supercapacitors reach energy density of ~100 Wh/kg and the power density exceeds 1 kW/kg. The SWNT film technology was applied in focal plane arrays of bolometric infrared detectors operating in MWIR (3-5 um) and LWIR (8-14 um) atmospheric transparency bands. Chemistry of SWNTs has been used to achieve high TCR, thus enhancing the bolometric response.