Metal Sulfides for Better Energy Storage
Complex metal sulfides have garnered attention as promising materials for the making of electrochemical electrodes—key components in the batteries and supercapacitors on which many electronic devices and energy storage applications depend. Compared to metal oxides currently in use, complex metal sulfides demonstrate better conductivity, greater mechanical and thermal stability, and higher performance. The lack of industrial-scale, simple, and cost-effective production methods, however, impedes widespread integration of metal sulfide nanostructures in electrodes. Furthermore, current production methods do not precisely measure or control pore structure, an important parameter for optimizing their performance.
Richard D. Robinson, Materials Science and Engineering, is investigating methods for scalable manufacturing of complex metal sulfide nanocrystals that can be assembled into optimum porous electrode structures. This project will overcome technical barriers by manufacturing ternary sulfide nanocrystals through a synthesis method that employs highly reactive anion precursors, such as ammonium sulfide, and metal carboxylates in the organic phase.
This research will contribute new knowledge to the manufacturing of complex metal sulfide electrochemical electrodes for energy storage applications—advancing a next generation of electrochemical energy materials. The results could improve energy conversion and storage and lower energy costs.