Researchers have developed a new way to improve the efficiency of ultra-thin sheets of catalysts used to produce chemicals and electricity in fuel cells.
Materials are subject to surface deformation and destruction due to the violation of symmetry in their crystal structure. Scientists from John Hopkins University have developed technology to make these crystals ultra-thin, reducing the distance between atoms and increasing their reactivity.
The team manipulated the deformation of atoms, making crystal lattices incredibly subtle, as a result of which they become more supplied. This can be compared with how one sheet bends is much easier than a whole stack. Configuring the thickness of the material, the scientist managed to create a voltage changing its properties, including how the molecules are kept together. This made it possible to speed up the course of the desired reactions on the surface.
According to chemists, the method developed by them increases the activity of catalysts by 10-20 times, which requires 90% less precious metals than in existing devices.
One example of using the discovery of scientists is to increase the efficiency of automotive fuel cells by optimizing the transformation reactions. This promising technology for electric vehicles, but requires the use of expensive catalysts from rare metals, such as platinum and palladium, which significantly limits its potential.
Another option to reduce the cost is to use alternative materials. Recently, chemists created