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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/Y003462/1
Title: Smart electrodes for energy storage devices
Principal Investigator: Balakrishnan, Dr N
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
National Univ of Sciences & Tech (NUST) Park Systems UK Limited Wayamba University of Sri Lanka
Department: Faculty of Natural Sciences
Organisation: Keele University
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 February 2024 Ends: 31 January 2026 Value (£): 165,610
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Electrochemical Science & Eng.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
24 May 2023 ECR International Collaboration Grants Panel 3 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Energy crises and climate changes are the two topmost challenges in this 21st century. Renewable energy resources like solar and wind technology could be the ultimate solution to address these societal and environmental problems. In addition, to ease the gap between the energy supply and demand on the grid, we need sustainable energy storage devices. Promising storage devices are batteries and capacitors. Indeed, capacitors have undergone a series of development stages and nowadays, supercapacitors are at the frontline of energy research. Supercapacitors are considered as bridging the gap between conventional capacitors and batteries in terms of energy and power. They can store more energy than conventional capacitors and supply it at higher power outputs than batteries. Supercapacitors offer an excellent power-to-weight ratio which makes them suitable for high power requirements released in a short period. Over recent years, there has been a growing demand for supercapacitors due to modern applications like electric vehicles and power back-ups that require fast charge release.

The key determinants of an energy storage device's performance are the properties of the electrode materials. The ideal electrode would consist of (i) high conductivity to allow fast electron/hole transfer, and (ii) a high surface area to give many active sites. 2D materials have all these necessary parameters, which makes them next-generation electrode materials for high-performing energy storage devices. So far, graphene, metal oxides, dichalcogenides, and transition metal carbides/nitrides (MXenes), have been investigated for their potential roles in energy storage applications. The limited cycle life and inferior rate capabilities of these materials-based devices still hinder their practical applications. This bottleneck can be overcome by the smart choice of elemental combination along with carbon coupling that will improve rate capability and prolonged cycling stability.

In this project, we are aiming to develop a new class of electrode materials based on metal chalcogenide compounds and their carbon coupling nanostructures. This collaborative project is expected to produce economical, sustainable, high-performance metal chalcogenide electrode materials for next-generation energy storage devices. The project is aligned with the theme of developing materials and devices for sustainable energy storage and has enormous potential to impact energy storage devices, green energy technology, advanced materials, and sustainable energy materials.

Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.keele.ac.uk