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News Link • Energy

Designer Carbons Are Getting a Boost from Nanotechnology

• technologyreview.com, By Richard Martin

A group of Stanford researchers have come up with a nanoscale "designer carbon" material that can be adjusted to make energy storage devices, solar panels, and potentially carbon capture systems more powerful and efficient.

The designer carbon that has reached the market in recent years shares the Swiss-cheese-like structure of activated carbon, enhancing its ability to catalyze certain chemical reactions and store electrical charges; but it's "designed" in the sense that the chemical composition of the material, and the size of the pores, can be manipulated to fit specific uses.

The designer carbon tested at Stanford is "both versatile and controllable," according to Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering and the senior author of the study, which appeared in the latest issue of the journal ACS Central Science.

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