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Neutrons used in making supercapacitors

Credit: ORNL/Jill Hemman

Advanced quality capacitors made from composite and nanomaterials that offer high energy storage are called supercapacitors which have a virtually unlimited life cycle. However, In higher power applications higher energy density is required to enable them to serve as power sources.

Scientists of MIT conducted neutron research and founded a highly porous nanomaterial that could function as a high-energy supercapacitor.

MOFs are crystalline organic molecules that have micropores that function in charging and discharging electrode material is a sodium triflate electrode which enabled the free flow of negative and positive charged ions when the voltage is turned off and on.

ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor used small-angle neutron scattering at zero voltage to form a thin layer of sodium ions on the MOF’s rod-like building blocks so that the solvent molecules penetrate into the pores.

Neutron scattering is a good tool to observe the activity of ions within MOFs since neutrons can penetrate deeply with no increase in electrical resistance thereby performing well at higher voltages.

Source / Journal DOI: 10.1002/anie.201916201

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