NASA’s Perseverance Rover just lately made a profitable touchdown on Mars, embarking on a two-year mission to hunt indicators of historical life and acquire samples. As a result of Mars is extraordinarily chilly — nighttime temperatures can drop under -112 F — heaters are required to maintain the rover’s battery system from freezing. Now, researchers reporting in ACS’ Nano Letters have 3D printed porous carbon aerogels for electrodes in ultralow-temperature supercapacitors, decreasing heating wants for future house and polar missions.
Jennifer Lu, Yat Li and colleagues wished to develop an vitality storage system that might function at very low temperatures with out heating items, which add weight and vitality necessities to devices and equipment, such because the Mars rovers. So the researchers 3D printed a porous carbon aerogel utilizing cellulose nanocrystal-based ink, after which freeze-dried it and additional handled the floor. The ensuing materials had a number of ranges of pores, from the 500-μm pores within the lattice-like construction, to nanometer-sized pores throughout the bars of the lattice.
This multiscale porous community preserved satisfactory ion diffusion and cost switch via an electrode at -94 F, attaining larger vitality storage capacitance than beforehand reported low-temperature supercapacitors. The staff will collaborate with NASA scientists to additional characterize the machine’s low-temperature efficiency.
Reference: “Printing Porous Carbon Aerogels for Low Temperature Supercapacitors” 10 March 2021, Nano Letters.
The authors acknowledge funding from the Merced Nanomaterials Middle for Vitality and Sensing, NASA, the College of California, Santa Cruz and the U.S. Division of Vitality.