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Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are working to fabricate the next generation of materials to be utilized as electrodes in energy storage applications from batteries to supercapacitors. Shown here is a monolithic porous carbon scaffold with interconnected macropores via ice templating. In ice templating, porous materials are synthesized by the freezing of a liquid that then becomes a removable template for the formation of pores. By combining this "cool" technique with other strategies, the researchers have been able to fashion hierarchical porous carbon (HPC) materials, whose porosity is tunable across several length scales--from microns to nanometers. This ability to tune the structure and textural properties of these HPCs will allow the researchers to tailor the material in order maximize the amount of energy storage in the electrode. This can potentially enable the future power plants in electric vehicles to weigh less, enabling them to better compete with their internal combustion driven counterparts. The research shown here was funded by PNNL’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development program, and the image was captured with a Helium Ion Microscope at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national scientific user facility located at PNNL.

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Document Title: Ice templating – the “cool” way to make porous materials that resemble a dry parched earth
Category: Science as Art
Media Type: Photos
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URL of this page: http://picturethis.pnl.gov/picturet.nsf/by+id/DRAE-,2H3X3

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