Graduate Student Research, University of California Riverside
Using biomimetic methods, SiO2 NTs are synthesized at ambient conditions for use in Li-Ion batteries
My research focuses on energy storage and environmental recovery. By imitating processes evolved in nature over millennia, complex materials can be synthesized in cheaper, more effective ways than modern industrial practices may be able to offer. We use these natural techniques in order to create silicon dioxide nanotubes to be used in lithium-ion batteries to increase their capacity, potentially increasing their energy density ten fold.
A second project of mine focuses on recovery of crude oil from ocean water. Using cheap, sustainable precursors graphite sponges can be utilized to separate oil from water in a quick fashion. Additional embedded metal nanoparticles add properties such as magnetism, antibacterial growth, and catalysis allowing the graphite sponge to used in multiple settings and applications.
Abstract: Herein, SiO2 nanotubes have been fabricated via a facile two step hard-template growth method and evaluated as an anode for Li-ion batteries. SiO2 nanotubes exhibit a highly stable reversible capacity of 1266 mAhg(-1) after 100 cycles with negligible capacity fading. SiO2 NT anodes experience a capacity increase throughout the first 80 cycles through Si phase growth via SiO2 reduction. The hollow morphology of the SiO2 nanotubes accommodates the large volume expansion experienced by Si-based anodes during lithiation and promotes preservation of the solid electrolyte interphase layer. The thin walls of the SiO2 nanotubes allow for effective reduction in Li-ion diffusion path distance and, thus, afford a favorable rate cyclability. The high aspect ratio character of these nanotubes allow for a relatively scalable fabrication method of nanoscale SiO2-based anodes.
Pub.: 16 Apr '14, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: Water decontamination and oil/water separation are principal motives in the surge to develop novel means for sustainability. In this prospect, supplying clean water for the ecosystems is as important as the recovery of the oil spills since the supplies are scarce. Inspired to design an engineering material which not only serves this purpose, but can also be altered for other applications to preserve natural resources, a facile template-free process is suggested to fabricate a superporous, superhydrophobic ultra-thin graphite sponge. Moreover, the process is designed to be inexpensive and scalable. The fabricated sponge can be used to clean up different types of oil, organic solvents, toxic and corrosive contaminants. This versatile microstructure can retain its functionality even when pulverized. The sponge is applicable for targeted sorption and collection due to its ferromagnetic properties. We hope that such a cost-effective process can be embraced and implemented widely.
Pub.: 26 Feb '16, Pinned: 30 Jun '17