24/7 Space News
One-atom-thick ribbons could improve batteries, solar cells and sensors
SPX stock illustration only
One-atom-thick ribbons could improve batteries, solar cells and sensors
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Sep 26, 2023

Researchers at UCL (University College London) have created one-atom-thick ribbons made of phosphorus alloyed with arsenic that could dramatically improve the efficiency of devices such as batteries, supercapacitors and solar cells.

The research team discovered phosphorus nanoribbons in 2019. The "wonder material", predicted to revolutionise devices ranging from batteries to biomedical sensors, has since been used to increase lithium-ion battery lifetimes and solar cell efficiencies.

However, phosphorus-only materials do not conduct electricity very well, hindering their usage for certain applications.

In the new study, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the researchers created nanoribbons made of phosphorus and tiny amounts of arsenic, which they found were able to conduct electricity at temperatures above -140 oC, while retaining the highly useful properties of the phosphorus-only ribbons.

Senior author Dr Adam Clancy (UCL Chemistry) said: "Early experimental work has already shown the remarkable promise of phosphorus nanoribbons, created for the first time by our UCL team in 2019. In 2021, for instance, it was shown that adding the nanoribbons as a layer to perovskite solar cells allowed the cells to harness more energy from the Sun.

"Our latest work in alloying phosphorus nanoribbons with arsenic opens up further possibilities - in particular, improving energy storage of batteries and supercapacitors, and enhancing near-infrared detectors used in medicine.

"The arsenic-phosphorus ribbons have also turned out to be magnetic which we believe comes from atoms along the edge, which makes them potentially of interest for quantum computers too.

"More widely, the study shows that alloying is a powerful tool for controlling the properties and thus applications and potential of this growing nanomaterial family." The researchers say same technique could be used to make alloys combining phosphorus with other elements such as selenium or germanium.

To be used as an anode material in lithium-ion or sodium-ion batteries, phosphorus nanoribbons currently would need to be mixed with a conductive material like carbon. By adding arsenic, the carbon filler is no longer necessary and can be removed, enhancing the amount of energy the battery can store and the speed at which it can be charged and discharged.

In solar cells, meanwhile, arsenic-phosphorus nanoribbons can further improve the flow of charge through the devices, enhancing the cells' efficiency.

The arsenic-phosphorus ribbons created by the research team were typically a few layers high, several micrometres long and tens of nanometres wide. They were made by mixing crystals formed from sheets of phosphorus and arsenic with lithium dissolved in liquid ammonia at -50 degrees C. (After 24 hours, the ammonia is removed and replaced with an organic solvent.) The sheets' atomic structure means the lithium ions can travel in one direction only, not laterally, causing cracking that creates the ribbons.

A key characteristic of the nanoribbons is that they also have extremely high "hole mobility". Holes are the opposite partners to electrons in electrical transport, so improving their mobility (a measure of the speed at which they move through the material) helps electrical current move more efficiently.

The nanoribbons could be produced at scale in a liquid that could then be used to apply them in volume at low cost for different applications.

Phosphorus nanoribbons were discovered at UCL by an interdisciplinary team led by Professor Chris Howard (UCL Physics and Astronomy). Since the isolation of 2-dimensional phosphorene sheets in 2014, more than 100 theoretical studies had predicted new and exciting properties that could emerge by producing narrow ribbons of this material.

Research Report:Production of Magnetic Arsenic-Phosphorus Alloy Nanoribbons with Small Band Gaps and High Hole Conductivities

Related Links
University College London
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
Recycling plastic not enough, warns UN environment chief
United Nations, United States (AFP) Sept 23, 2023
With the production of plastic on the rise worldwide and creating ever more pollution, the UN environment chief warned that humanity cannot just recycle its way out of the mess, and she called for a total rethink about the way we use plastics. "There are different sort of onramps to the highway to solutions. But I think everybody recognizes that the status quo is just not an option," said Inger Andersen, director of the UN Environment Program, in an interview Thursday with AFP on the sidelines of th ... read more

Chinese universities climb up leading global ranking

Kayhan Space Raises $7 million, Unveils First-Ever Autonomous Space Traffic Coordination Service

Two Russians, American reach space station

Rockets and Porsches: rich Russians flock to Baikonur spaceport

Third Subscale Booster for future Artemis missions fires up at Marshall

'Anomaly' ends Rocket Lab launch mid-flight

SpaceX deploys another 22 Starlink satellites

Musk biography describes troubled tycoon driven by demons

Curiosity Needs an Altitude Adjustment: Sols 3955-3956

"Sombrero Rock": A Case of Case-Hardening?

New milestones despite tricky boulders

Reading the Rocks: The Importance of the Margin Carbonate Unit on Mars

China capable of protecting astronauts from effects of space weightlessness

Tianzhou 5 spacecraft burns up on Earth reentry

Crew of Shenzhou XV mission honored for six-month space odyssey

China solicits names for manned lunar exploration vehicles

Terran Orbital Announces Closing of $32.5 Million Public Offering

Iridium and McQ develop remote monitoring solution for Canadian Armed Forces in the Arctic

Terran Orbital announces pricing of Public Offering

Intelsat Inflight Connectivity expanded to all Airbus aircraft

Hit soccer video game adds mixed-gender teams, sheds FIFA name

Mineral-hungry clean tech sees countries seeking to escape China's shadow

One-atom-thick ribbons could improve batteries, solar cells and sensors

FAA proposes rule to reduce space debris as SpaceX launches 22 satellites into orbit

Tiny sea creatures reveal the ancient origins of neurons

New recipes for origin of life may point way to distant, inhabited planets

Exoplanet with a large iron core adds to puzzle of how planets form

On the road to spotting alien life

Webb finds carbon source on surface of Jupiter's moon Europa

Hidden ocean the source of CO2 on Jupiter moon

Juice: why's it taking sooo long

Possible existence of Earth-like planet predicted in Outskirts of Solar System

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.