Conformal Coating of Three-Dimensional Nanostructures via Atomic Layer Deposition for Development of Advanced Energy Storage Devices and Plasmonic Transparent Conductors
Malek, Gary A.
University of Kansas
Physics & Astronomy
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Due to the prodigious amount of electrical energy consumed throughout the world, there exists a great demand for new and improved methods of generating electrical energy in a clean and renewable manner as well as finding more effective ways to store it. This enormous task is of great interest to scientists and engineers, and much headway is being made by utilizing three-dimensional (3D) nanostructured materials. This work explores the application of two types of 3D nanostructured materials toward fabrication of advanced electrical energy storage and conversion devices. The first nanostructured material consists of vertically aligned carbon nanofibers. This three-dimensional structure is opaque, electrically conducting, and contains active sites along the outside of each fiber that are conducive to chemical reactions. Therefore, they make the perfect 3D conducting nanostructured substrate for advanced energy storage devices. In this work, the details for transforming vertically aligned carbon nanofiber arrays into core-shell structures via atomic layer deposition as well as into a mesoporous manganese oxide coated supercapacitor electrode are given. Another unique type of three-dimensional nanostructured substrate is nanotextured glass, which is transparent but non-conducting. Therefore, it can be converted to a 3D transparent conductor for possible application in photovoltaics if it can be conformally coated with a conducting material. This work details that transformation as well as the addition of plasmonic gold nanoparticles to complete the transition to a 3D plasmonic transparent conductor.
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