Fri Jan 18, 2013, 06:19 PM
OKIsItJustMe (17,410 posts)
UC Riverside Researcher Using Snail Teeth to Improve Solar Cells and Batteries
UC Riverside Researcher Using Snail Teeth to Improve Solar Cells and Batterieshttp://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201202894
Assistant professor David Kisailus studies the chiton, a marine snail found off the coast of California, to develop nanoscale materials for energy applications
By Sean Nealon on January 15, 2013
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — An assistant professor at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering is using the teeth of a marine snail found off the coast of California to create less costly and more efficient nanoscale materials to improve solar cells and lithium-ion batteries.
The most recent findings by David Kisailus, an assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering, details how the teeth of chiton grow. The paper was published today (Jan. 16) in the journal Advanced Functional Materials. It was co-authored by several of his current and former students and scientists at Harvard University in Cambridge Mass., Chapman University in Orange, Calif. and Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY.
Kisailus is using the lessons learned from this biomineralization pathway as inspiration in his lab to guide the growth of minerals used in solar cells and lithium-ion batteries. By controlling the crystal size, shape and orientation of engineering nanomaterials, he believes he can build materials that will allow the solar cells and lithium-ion batteries to operate more efficiently. In other words, the solar cells will be able to capture a greater percentage of sunlight and convert it to electricity more efficiently and the lithium-ion batteries could need significantly less time to recharge.
Using the chiton teeth model has another advantage: engineering nanocrystals can be grown at significantly lower temperatures, which means significantly lower production costs.
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