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Brookhaven National Laboratory Technology Marketing Summaries

Here you’ll find marketing summaries for technologies available for licensing from the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). The summaries provide descriptions of the technologies including their benefits, applications and industries, and development stage.

56 Technology Marketing Summaries
CategoryTitle and AbstractLaboratoriesDate
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Improved Ex-Situ Mercury Remediation

The present invention provides a process for the treatment of mercury containing waste in a single reaction vessel. The process is effective in treating various types of mercury contaminated waste; such as elemental mercury or mercury compounds, mercury contaminated bulk material, or mercury contaminated debris. The process is also effective for the treatment of mercury containing waste that also contains radionuclides, i.e. mixed wastes.

03/30/2015
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Dual Functional Cathode Additives for Battery Technologies

Lithium ion batteries are currently the most widely used power sources for consumer electronics, including laptops, tablets, and smart phones. Unlike these applications, where weight is the primary concern, for larger applications, such as for example electric vehicles, power density plays an important role. The batteries must be able to charge and discharge quickly as they react to sudden changes in load during actual driving conditions. Currently the cost of Li-ion batteries makes their... read more

03/30/2015
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Hole Blocking, Electron Transporting and Window Layer for Optimized Culn(1-x)GaxSe2 Solar Cells

Polycrystalline copper indium gallium selenide (CuIn(1-x)GaxSe2 or CIGS) based direct bandgap semiconductors are strong candidates for low cost, high-throughput solar energy harvesting thin film photovoltaic devices. State of the art CIGS devices demonstrate 15-18% power conversion efficiencies with best cell performance reaching 20.4%. However, this is well below the theoretical maximum of 32.8% predicted for the identical material composition with a 1.15 eV. The main reasons for this... read more

03/30/2015
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Splicing of Superconductor Materials

Low resistance splices are needed to join high temperature superconducting (HTS) materials in order to fabricate large-scale magnets for example, for accelerator, energy storage and medical applications. If the splice resistance is too high, the thermal, mechanical and electrical properties stability of the magnets can deteriorate leading to unnecessary power loss and distortion of the magnetic field. Thus, a novel method to prepare ultra-low resistance HTS splices was developed.

03/30/2015
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Renewable chemical feedstock

Fatty acids (oils) from the seeds of oilseed crops such as soybeans, sunflower and etc. are processed into vegetable oil for consumption and food preparation. Seeds of other plants naturally contain specialty fatty acids, called "modified fatty acids" ("mFAs"), that are useful as chemical feedstocks, replacing chemicals otherwise obtained from petroleum. Unfortunately seeds of these plants are not amenable to being grown and harvested in commercially relevant amounts.... read more

03/30/2015
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Nitride Stabilized Core-Shell Nanoparticles

Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells offer exciting possibilities as alternative energy sources. The limiting reaction in these fuel cells is the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) for which platinum is the best catalyst. Great strides have been made in reducing the overall amount of Pt required, and thus reducing the cost of the fuel cell, by coating a base metal nanoparticle core with a monolayer shell of Pt. Nevertheless, under voltage cycling conditions, as would be found in... read more

03/30/2015
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Core-Shell Fuel Cell Electrodes

Platinum is the best catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction, the limiting reaction in fuel cells. It is also one of the least abundant and most expensive metals. For the best utilization of platinum, monolayers of the noble metal are deposited on a less expensive particle core. These core-shell particles are then incorporated as catalysts, often on a gas diffusion layer or other support. To improve the utilization of platinum even further, the inventors have developed a method of... read more

03/30/2015
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Cubic Ionic Conductor Ceramics for Alkali Ion Batteries

Better materials for use as electrodes in lithium or sodium ion batteries are still being sought. Generally, the more positive ions can be accommodated in the electrode, the better for the capacity of the battery. The inventors report a class of compounds having the general formula Na3MIIIP3O9N or Na2MII2P3O9N, where MIII is one or a mixture of trivalent metal ions and MII is one or a mixture of divalent metal ions. They showed that for M = Ti or V sodium can be removed from the compounds by... read more

03/30/2015
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Gas Diffusion Electrodes and Methods for Fabricating and Testing Same

A typical membrane electrode assembly (MEA) consists of five distinct layers: A polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) sandwiched between an anode and a cathode catalyst layers, each with a gas diffusion layer (GDL) to provide electrical connection and the path for inlet gaseous reactants in fuel cells or outlet products in hydrogen generators. To make highly efficient MEAs with low catalyst loadings, the nanocatalysts need to be well connected electronically to the GDLs and protonically to the... read more

03/30/2015
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Improving Radar Antenna Performance with Eigenvalue Processing of Cross-Polarization Signals

This invention comprises an atmospheric radar apparatus and a method for measuring a meteorological or other type of variable of a target having reflection symmetry without bias caused by coherent antenna cross-polar coupling in the atmospheric radar signals.

03/30/2015
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Fast Superconducting Switch for Superconducting Power Devices

Superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) offers an attractive alternative to chemical and electromechanical energy storage. This grid-enabling switch can maintain a large ratio of the stored energy to the static energy loss in the SMES and has the ability to by-pass the current through a fast, high-voltage superconducting switch. Strategic bursts of power can play a crucial role in maintaining grid reliability, especially with today's congested power lines and the high penetration... read more

03/30/2015
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Simple, Ethanol-Driven Synthesis of Core-Shell Nanoparticles

Well-defined core-shell nanoparticles offer high-surface-area catalysts with tunable surface properties. Challenges lie in synthesis and characterization of atomically-ordered core-shell interfaces, which are important for enhancing both activity and stability. This "green" synthesis method uses ethanol - a simple solvent for metal precursors "as the reductant to produce highly ordered ruthenium-platinum core-shell nanocatalysts with a tunable number of platinum layers.

03/30/2015
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Germanium Oxide Nanoparticlesfor Superior Battery Electrodes

Compared to the graphite found in some batteries, similar elements such as tin, silicon, and germanium have much higher theoretical capacities for lithium ions, making them strong candidates for electrode materials. These new amorphous germanium oxide nanoparticles demonstrate a very high capacity for lithium that also resists degradation over many charge-discharge cycles.

03/30/2015
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Modification of Lignin Content of Plant Cell Walls

The use of woody biomass for the energy-effective production of biofuels is challenged by the difficulties encountered in breaking down lignin. This technology uses modified (iso)-eugenol methyltransferases to reduce the lignin content and cross-linking in plant cell walls. Its adaptation to biofuel production may lead to more effective use of woody biomass.

03/30/2015
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Mutant Fatty Acid Desaturase and Method for Directed Mutagenesis

This technology provides methods for specifically optimizing the activity of enzynes in a desired direction. By identifying the amino acids in the active site of the enzymes that participate in catalytic activity, this method provides a way to simultaneously select the optimal amino acid to replace each native residue such that mutant enzymes with optimally charged activities are discovered.

03/30/2015
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In-Situ Mercury Remediation

In Situ Mercury Stabilization (ISMS) is a method that can remove toxic mercury from soil, sediment, sludge, and other industrial waste.

03/30/2015
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Desaturase Genes for improved Plant Seed Oils

Fatty acid desaturase genes are delivered to host plants in expressible form to provide lower saturated fatty acid content in seeds.

03/30/2015
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Mutant Fatty Acid Desaturase and Method for Directed Mutagenesis

This technology provides methods for selecting for specific 18:0 fatty acid desaturase genes that produce desaturases that have enhanced activities towards fatty acid chains containing fewer than 18 carbons. The selection procedure is simple and provides a collection of individual mutant desaturase genes.

03/30/2015
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Metal Nitride Catalysts to Enhance Hydrogen Evolution Reactions

This novel and inexpensive composition of cobalt molybdenum nitride offers high catalytic activity for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) - a critical reaction in a number of growing energy generation and utilization technologies. For example, water electrolysis can transform electrical energy produced by solar cells into chemical fuels that can be more easily stored and transported. HER is one of the two half-reactions in water electrolysis, and the efficiency of catalysts directly... read more

01/10/2014
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Biomass-derived Hydrogen-evolution catalyst and electrode

A simply made, inexpensive combination of biomass and earth-abundant metals has resulted in a durable catalyst for splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen, which can be used as a fuel. Biomass comprising protein-rich seeds or nuts of legumes heated in the presence of transition metal salts produced a material that is useful as an electrocatalyst and an electrode. The costs associated with electrolysis, the splitting of water into oxygen and hydrogen, are no longer dictated by the price per... read more

01/10/2014
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Non-Noble Metal Water Electrolysis Catalysts

This invention comprises an inexpensive catalyst system for water electrolyzers by replacing the noble-metal catalysts that are typically used in electrolyzer systems. A molybdenum-nickel nitride nanosheet catalyst has been found to be very stable.

01/10/2014
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Enhanced Thin Film Organic Photovoltaic Devices

A novel structure design for thin film organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices provides a system for increasing the optical absorption in the active layer. The waveguided structure permits reduction of the active layer thickness, resulting in enhanced charge collection and extraction, leading to improved power conversion efficiency compared to standard OPV devices.

01/10/2014
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Catalysts for interconversion of CO2H2 and formic acid

Catalyst compounds for the energetically feasible interconversion CO2 plus H2and formic acid are disclosed as are methods for using the catalysts for CO2 capture and H2 release from formic acid.

01/09/2014
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Interdigitated Electrical Contacts for Low Electronic Mobility Semiconductor Photovoltaic Devices

Structures useful for forming contacts to materials having low charge carrier mobility are described. Methods for their formation and use are also described. These structures include interdigitated electrodes capable of making electrical contact to semiconducting materials having low electron and/or hole mobility. In particular, these structures are useful for organic semiconducting devices made with conducting polymers and small molecules. They are also useful for semiconducting devices... read more

01/09/2014
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Conductive Polymer/Fullerene Blend Thin Films with Honeycomb Framework

This composite conductive polymer/fullerene blend material can be fabricated to exhibit regular, micrometer-sized pores. The pores allow the material to transmit light while the hexagonal framework is conducting. The material is self-assembled from an organic solvent containing the fullerene and the conducting polymer using the Breath Figure Technique.

01/09/2014
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Intermetallic M-Sn5 (M=Fe, Cu, Co, Ni) Compounds

Among electrode materials for lithium ion batteries, tin offers a high theoretical capacity about 2.5 times that of graphite by weight. Unfortunately, when lithium alloys with tin the matrix undergoes a very large volume change. This change in volume results in a loss of capacity over a few charge-discharge cycles. By adding a transition metal to the tin, this volume change can be mitigated. The novel phase of FeSn5 or CoSn5 exhibits a capacity nearly twice that of FeSn2, the previous... read more

01/09/2014
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Regeneration of Aluminum Hydride

Alane is one of the most promising solutions to storing hydrogen for use in hydrogen fuel cells. This technology provides exceptional improvement in solving the difficult problem of economically preparing the material.

01/09/2014
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Electrocatalysts on Carbon Nanoparticles

Carbon nanostructures offer extremely high surface areas and so are attractive candidates to support dispersed catalysts. These nanostructures, however, are not necessarily as conductive as is required for most methods of deposition of noble metal catalysts onto support structures. The inventive catalysts include an atomically thin layer of a transition metal on the carbon nanostructure which is then coated with an atomically thin layer of a catalytically active noble metal. These catalysts... read more

01/09/2014
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Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Reduction with Reduced Platinum Oxidation and Dissolution Rates

Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for accelerating the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells. Under operating conditions, though, platinum catalysts can dissolve. When used in place of pure platinum, platinum-metal oxide composites can spare the precious metal when used as fuel cell catalysts.

01/09/2014
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Synthesis of Metal-Metal Oxide Catalysts and Electrocatalysts

Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for accelerating the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells. Under operating conditions, though, platinum catalysts can dissolve. When used in place of pure platinum, platinum-metal oxide composites can spare the precious metal when used as fuel cell catalysts.

01/09/2014
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Improved Growth of High-Temperature Superconductors with HF Pressure Control

A new method of growing high-temperature superconductors controls hydrogen fluoride gas pressure and creates larger, more uniform crystal structures in these versatile materials. Superconductors offer extreme efficiency by transmitting electric current without any dc resistive loss, and high-temperature versions further reduce cost by requiring less extreme cooling. This process of growing the crystalline structures in cuprate superconductors promises higher quality fabrication for a broad... read more

01/09/2014
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Nanoparticle Superlattices for Custom-designed Metamaterials

Many properties of materials depend on their structural symmetry—for example, piezoelectricity is simply not observed in high-symmetry configurations. When the building blocks of a lattice are isotropic (perfectly uniform), they rarely form a low-symmetry crystal system. Now, by controlling the interlinking of isotropic nanoparticles, it is possible to custom-design the symmetry of a self-assembled lattice and enhance the desired properties in the full nanomaterial.

12/30/2013
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CUBICON Materials that Outperform Lithium-Ion Batteries

The demand for batteries to meet high-power and high-energy system applications has resulted in substantial research and development activities. Lithium-ion batteries are a chief contender today, but they still suffer from limitations in energy and power density because of their existing cathode designs. These newly invented cubic ionic conductor (CUBICON) battery materials improve safety and performance when used as electrodes or in cases requiring high ionic conductivity—all while... read more

12/30/2013
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Spiral Biasing Adaptor for Drift Detectors and Arrays

Bias is applied to silicon drift detectors (SDDs) to force electrons to drift toward the anode. A spiral SDD is a special type of SDD detector that utilizes a cylindrical geometry. Its smaller anode has lower capacitance and therefore less sensitivity to electronic noise, improving resolution. In spiral SDDs, ion implants are required as both the rectifying junction and a voltage divider that creates the potential field forcing the electrons to drift toward the anode. Coupling these two... read more

12/30/2013
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Synthesis of YBCO Superconductors Using Low-Pressure Processing

YBa2Cu3O7 (YBCO) is an especially useful second-generation high-temperature superconductor because it becomes superconducting at temperatures above that of liquid nitrogen. Unfortunately, YBCO synthesis is often complex, expensive, and difficult to execute on industrial scales. Now, this practical, scalable, and low-cost technique can produce large YBCO tapes and wires for use in high-field magnets or to carry electrical current.

12/30/2013
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Electrochemical Synthesis of Pd Nanorods and Nanowires on High Surface Area C Supports

Anisotropic growth of palladium nanoparticles on high surface area carbon supports is encouraged by the choice of surface preparation and electrochemical deposition parameters. The resultant nanorods and nanowires have extremely smooth surfaces, improving their catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells, as well as for other reactions. These ultra-smooth surfaces can be used as-grown, or may be subjected to further processing, such as deposition of monolayers of... read more

04/22/2013
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Removing Strongly Adsorbed Surfactants and Capping Agents from Nanostructures

During production, nanostructures are often capped by surfactants or other capping agents to keep them from agglomerating. These moieties often interfere with the properties of the nanostructures, and must be removed before further processing can occur. This technology is directed toward removing even strongly adsorbed surfactants and capping agents from metal, metal alloy, and core-shell nanostructures without damaging the nanostructure surface, facilitating their applications in... read more

04/22/2013
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Platinum- and Platinum Alloy-Coated Palladium and Palladium Alloy Particles and Uses Thereof

Platinum is an excellent catalyst for many reactions. However, it is also very expensive. The catalytic activity per gram of platinum can be increased by using a particle composite consisting of an atomically thin layer of the metal on a palladium alloy particle. When used as an electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction, this structure exhibits up to twenty times the platinum mass catalytic activity of commercially available platinum/carbon electrocatalysts. These structures can be... read more

07/02/2012
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Activated Aluminum Hydride Hydrogen Storage Compositions

Aluminum hydride is the best known alane and has been known for over 60 years. It is potentially a very attractive medium for onboard automotive hydrogen storage, since it contains 10 wt.% hydrogen with a high volumetric density of hydrogen. Pure aluminum hydride requires heating to about 150°C before it desorbs significant hydrogen. Doping it with alkali metal hydrides reduces the desorption temperature, but the dopants limit the hydrogen storage capacity in proportion to the amount... read more

06/29/2012
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Ruthenium on Carbon Nanostructures for Supercapacitor Electrodes

Supercapacitors are electrical storage devices that can deliver a huge amount of energy in a short time. Such a surge of energy is important in hybrid electric and fuel cell-powered vehicles, as well as in a wide range of electronic and engineering applications. Since the energy storage capability and the current carrying capability of supercapacitors are proportional to their capacitance, it is important to have as much surface area as possiblein the electrode. A smooth and conformal... read more

04/29/2011
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Fluorinated Precursors of Superconducting Ceramics

Fluorinated precursors for superconducting ceramics typically increase the critical current in the superconductors they produce. Here the fluorinated precursors are obtained by combining salts of a rare earth, an alkaline earth, and copper in solution, spraying the solution onto a substrate, and heating the covered substrate in a fluorine-containing atmosphere. This is accomplished without the use of trifluoroacetates or physical deposition techniques. The method is suitable for producing... read more

04/29/2011
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Fluorinated Precursors of Superconducting Ceramics

Fluorinated precursors for superconducting ceramics typically increase the critical current in the superconductors they produce. Here the fluorinated precursors are obtained by combining salts of a rare earth, an alkaline earth, and copper in solution, spraying the solution onto a substrate, and heating the covered substrate in a fluorine-containing atmosphere. This is accomplished without the use of trifluoroacetates or physical deposition techniques. The method is suitable for producing... read more

04/29/2011
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Nanodevices for Spintronics and Methods of Using Same

 Graphene magnet multilayers (GMMs) are employed to facilitate development of spintronic devices.  Spintronics is a field in which the spin of charge carriers is used in addition to their electrical charge to create small and energy efficient electronic devices.  Current spintronic devices include magnetic field sensing devices used in hard drives and magnetic random access memory (MRAM), based on the properties of magnetic multilayers.

04/22/2011
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Underpotential Deposition-Mediated Layer-by-Layer Growth of Thin Films

Platinum is a very good, albeit expensive, electrocatalyst. In order to increase the catalytic activity of an electrocatalyst per mass of noble metal (the mass activity), nanoparticles of less expensive materials are coated with atomically thin layers of platinum. First a monolayer of a sacrificial base metal such as copper or lead is deposited onto a core particle via underpotential deposition. Then the base metal is replaced by galvanic displacement with the catalytically active more noble... read more

04/22/2011
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Segmented Nanowires Displaying Locally Controllable Properties

The electrical, chemical, mechanical, and optical properties of nanostructures depend on their physical dimensions and chemical compositions. Current methods of forming nanowires rely on knowing the average values for these parameters. As a result, there is poor control over local properties of the nanowires, which may vary from spot to spot in an uncontrolled fashion. By using knowledge of the size-dependent phase diagram, the inventors have developed methods of controlling the properties... read more

04/22/2011
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High Temperature Interfacial Superconductivity

Cuprate superconductors exhibit relatively high transition temperatures, but their unit cells are complex and large. Localizing a superconducting layer to a small thickness is difficult with bulk cuprates due to the challenges of growing layers with precise thicknesses. The inventive structures can be used to make superconducting field effect transistors (SuFETs), using the interfacial superconducting layer as the channel.

04/22/2011
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Platinum-Coated Non-Noble Metal-Noble Metal Core-Shell Electrocatalysts

Platinum is a very good, albeit expensive, electrocatalyst. In order to increase the catalytic activity of an electrocatalyst per mass platinum (the platinum mass activity), nanoparticles of less expensive materials are coated with atomically thin layers of platinum. The nanoparticles have a core-shell structure and include palladium, gold, and their alloys with other transition metals. The platinum-coated composite can be used as an electrocatalyst in place of pure platinum, for example, in... read more

04/08/2011
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Hollow Nanoparticles as Active and Durable Catalysts

Platinum is an excellent catalyst for many reactions. However, it is also very expensive. The catalytic activity per gram of platinum can be increased by using a hollow nanoparticle consisting of an atomically thin shell of the metal surrounding a hollow core. When used as an electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction, this structure exhibits much higher platinum mass catalytic activity than solid nanoparticle electrocatalysts. These structures can be used in fuel cells and other... read more

04/08/2011
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Azido Functionalized Poly(3-hexylthiophene) and Method of Forming Same

Conductive polymers are finding mainstream applications in organic light-emitting diodes, capacitors, batteries, organic transistors, sensors, solar cells, actuators, textiles, electromagnetic interference, electrostatic discharge, antistatic packaging, and paints and coatings. In order to make these materials more robust, it would be desirable to be able to crosslink them. However, crosslinking often damages the electronic properties of the polymers. By adding crosslinking species as side... read more

04/08/2011
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Hydrogen Absorption Induced Metal Deposition on Palladium and Palladium-Alloy Particles

Platinum is an excellent catalyst for many reactions. However, it is also very expensive. The catalytic activity per gram of platinum can be increased by using a particle composite consisting of an atomically thin layer of the metal on a palladium alloy particle. When used as an electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction, this structure exhibits up to twenty times the platinum mass catalytic activity of commercially available platinum/carbon electrocatalysts. These structures can be... read more

04/02/2011
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Electrocatalyst Having Gold Monolayers on Platinum Nanoparticle Cores and Uses Thereof

Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for accelerating chemical reactions in fuel cells for electric vehicles. During stop-and-go driving, though, it dissolves. This destroys the catalytic activity of the expensive metal. By adding gold overlayers or gold clusters to the platinum catalyst, dissolution is retarded during charge-discharge cycling.

04/02/2011
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Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Reduction with Reduced Platinum Oxidation and Dissolution Rates

Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for accelerating the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells. Under operating conditions, though, platinum catalysts can dissolve. When used in place of pure platinum, platinum-metal oxide composites can spare the precious metal when used as fuel cell catalysts.

04/02/2011
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Electrocatalyst for Alcohol Oxidation at Fuel Cell Anodes

Ethanol and other alcohols are nearly ideal reactants for fuel cells. Unfortunately they are difficult to oxidize, requiring breaking of carbon-carbon bonds. This ternary catalyst consisting of platinum and rhodium on carbon-supported tin dioxide nanoparticles effectively splits the carbon-carbon bonds of alcohols at room temperature in acid solutions. Other catalysts require much higher applied voltages to split the bonds, making them impractical for use in a power source such as a fuel... read more

04/02/2011
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Electrocatalysts for Alcohol Oxidation in Fuel Cells

Platinum is an excellent catalyst and electrocatalyst. It is also expensive and vulnerable to poisoning by carbon monoxide in the reaction environment. By supporting platinum on nickel or cobalt tungstate, the amount of platinum necessary to achieve the same catalytic activity for oxidizing alcohol in a fuel cell is reduced, as is the tendency for the platinum to lose its activity during contact with carbon monoxide. Adding about ten percent ruthenium or molybdenum oxide to the binary... read more

04/02/2011
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Electrocatalysts having Platinum Monolayers on Palladium, Palladium Alloy, and Gold Alloy Core-Shell Nanoparticles, and Uses Thereof

Platinum is a very good, albeit expensive, electrocatalyst. In order to increase the catalytic activity of an electrocatalyst per mass platinum (the platinum mass activity), nanoparticles of less expensive materials are coated with atomically thin layers of platinum. The nanoparticles have a core-shell structure and include palladium, gold, and their alloys with other transition metals. The platinum-coated composite can be used as an electrocatalyst in place of pure platinum, for example, in... read more

04/02/2011
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Carbon Monoxide Tolerant Electrocatalyst with Low Platinum Loading and a Process for its Preparation

Platinum is an excellent catalyst for many reactions. However, it is also easily poisoned by carbon monoxide and very expensive. Tolerance to carbon monoxide can be increased by using a particle composite consisting of clusters or an atomically thin layer of the platinum on a ruthenium particle. When used as an electrocatalyst for the oxidation of fuel at a fuel cell anode, this structure exhibits low platinum loading and elevated tolerance to carbon monoxide when compared to commercially... read more

04/01/2011