Extraordinary Chemistry Seminar 16.01.17

12 January 2017

Monday 16th January 2017

3pm - 4pm

Nyholm Room, Ground Floor, CIB

Electro-spun nanofibre electrodes for energy conversion and storage

by Prof Thomas Nann

Macdiarmid Institure and School of Chemical and Physical Science, Victoria University of Wellington


Bulk heterojunction composites are the dominating materials in many areas of energy conversion and storage research, for example in dye sensitised solar cells (DSSCs) or battery electrodes. However, given the random nature of these composites, charges that transfer across phase boundaries are often ‘trapped’ in phase islands or cannot migrate to their anticipated destination. This problem has been identified already two decades ago, and a large amount of research has been invested in aligning the different materials in these composites.

Electro-spun nanofibres offer a large surface area due to their small diameter, as well as directionality and connectivity. An electrode comprising of a composite made up of an electro-spun material A and a ‘filling’ material B would not meet the perfect alignment criterion mentioned above, but would represent a much better (and cheaper) option compared with a random bulk heterojunction composite.

We present the synthesis and performance of a number of inorganic, electro-spun nanofibre electrodes in applications such as solar energy conversion and batteries.