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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K035002/1
Title: Advanced fibre-based energy storage for wearable applications
Principal Investigator: Crean, Dr C
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Fibretronic Limited Fudan University North Carolina State University
University of Manchester, The
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Surrey
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 23 May 2014 Ends: 22 January 2016 Value (£): 96,656
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Processing Materials Synthesis & Growth
Materials testing & eng.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
13 Aug 2013 Engineering Prioritisation Meeting 13 August 2013 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The applicant is an experienced researcher and has a broad background in physical chemical characterisation, whose principal research interests include the synthesis, functionalisation and characterisation of advanced and nanostructured electro-materials for applications such as bionics, sensors, and energy storage. The applicant has pioneered the use of carbon nanotubes fibres as possible implantable electrode materials, when previously they were known for their exceptional mechanical properties. Novel fibres were developed, the electrical properties of which far exceeded that of previously made bio-fibres. The methods developed allowed fibre formation with broad material applicability.

A challenge for nanomaterial research is aggregation. To allow the extraordinary properties of nanomaterials to be fully exploited, they must be effectively dispersed and integrated into useful devices. Following appropriate dispersion these materials lend themselves to processing by fibre spinning. Flexible fibre electrodes have to date been produced almost exclusively from carbon. Recently, we published the first report combining a metal oxide nanotube with carbon nanotubes to create multi-functional fibre electrodes for biomedical applications. Since it has been shown that it is possible to spin fibres from titania nanotubes it should also be possible to extend the range of nanotubes to those made from other materials.

More recently in a very exciting development, researchers have combined graphene sheets with CNTs to produce macroscopic fibres with extraordinary strength properties. Combining the high electrical conductivity we previously achieved, with the strength of intercalated graphene and sustainable energy storage capabilities of manganese dioxide will enable the fabrication of highly novel and patentable flexible fibre electrodes.

This proposal aims to broaden the scope of our initial studies by incorporating nanotubes of manganese dioxide with carbon nanotubes and graphene, for the first time. We will demonstrate this approach by fabricating a novel flexible fibre electrode for sustainable energy storage. The overall aim of the proposed research is to fabricate fibre supercapacitors, which can be woven to make energy storage options for e-textiles.

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Organisation Website: http://www.surrey.ac.uk