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Development of nanoporous metal electrodes functionalized with metal oxides

Grant number: 19/22707-5
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 27, 2021
Effective date (End): January 26, 2022
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal researcher:Neidenêi Gomes Ferreira
Grantee:André Ferreira Sardinha
Supervisor abroad: Maria de Fatima Grilo da Costa Montemor
Home Institution: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicações (Brasil). São José dos Campos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Portugal  
Associated to the scholarship:17/05343-4 - Production and characterization of nanostructured binary and ternary composites of carbon fiber/graphene oxide/nickel oxide as high performance electrodes in supercapacitors, BP.DR


The climate change, the increase in the world population and the imminent shortage of fossil fuels bring high uncertainty about the capacity to supply the energy needed for this demand. Thus, the researcher's interest to develop new methods for renewable energy production has been growing a lot lately. Nonetheless, the only production is not enough. Devices must also be developed to store this sustainably produced energy, such as when there is no sun or when the wind does not blow. These devices will be responsible for making renewable energy play a prominent role in our daily lives. Among the various devices dedicated to energy storage, we can highlight the batteries and electrochemical capacitors, also known as supercapacitors. The two technologies, although complementary, need to be developed to respond effectively to user demands. Supercapacitors are capable of ensuring greater power density compared to that of conventional batteries and can resist a much larger amount of charge/discharge cycles, which translates into a much longer lifetime. Therefore, it is in our best interest to develop solutions that will increase the capacity and therefore the energy density of the supercapacitor without prejudice its power density. Electrodes are the most important parts of a supercapacitor and the major challenge in improving its energy performance is to obtain new materials capable to provide a device with higher energy density and high efficiency without sacrificing its power response. In this context, the objective of this project is to develop electrodes formed by NiCu nanoporous foams functionalized with ternary oxides. Initially, NiCu foams (which combine the structure of pores interconnected by nanoramified walls with the good electrical conductivity of metallic materials) will be electroplated on stainless steel substrates. This innovative process using a single step to develop metal foams will open new horizons for the manufacture of porous electrodes, very light for applications in supercapacitors because, as in porous carbon electrodes. Besides, this porous structure can be easily functionalized by nanostructured active materials. Once obtained, NiCu foams will be functionalized by ternary oxide particles using a hydrothermal synthesis process. After morphological, structural, and electrochemical characterizations, these composites will be applied as electrodes in a supercapacitor prototype. (AU)

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