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Nanocrystal-Graphene Composites


Researchers in Prof. Hongjie Dai’s laboratory have combined graphene with metals and other inorganic elements to create a variety of hybrid materials that can be used for high performance electrocatalytic or electrochemical devices such as batteries and fuel cells. One type of hybrid material is formed from nanocrystals grown on graphene nanoplates or nanorods. This material is designed for use as an electrode for fast efficient energy storage and conversion. Another type is formed from nanocrystals grown on reduced graphene oxide to produce high-performance bi-functional catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER). A third type is a unique ORR catalyst formed from carbon nanotube-graphene complexes. Applications: 1) Batteries 2) Fuel Cells 3) Supercapacitors


1) High performance - high energy densities high power densities ultrafast charge/discharge rates high catalytic activity 2) Low cost - materials made from graphene nanotubes and common metals are much less expensive than precious metals (such as platinum and iridium) 3) Scalable 4) Environmentally friendly materials that can be used with safe electrolytes (such as water and potassium hydroxide for the nickel-iron battery) 5) Durable catalysts in both acidic and alkaline electrolytes

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