Nanoengineering of Hybrid Carbon Nanotube-Metal Nanocluster Composite Materials for Hydrogen Storage

Jason Sese, Stanford University

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The use of hydrogen fuel is attractive because of its natural abundance in the environment, CO2 free emission, and high energy to mass ratio. Yet, viable high-density storage has been a major roadblock to implementation.

Adsorption of hydrogen on single walled carbon nanotubes has been proposed as a possible solution because of their low weight and high surface area. However, the binding energy of hydrogen is highly dependent on the nanotube size, and as of yet, controlled nanotube growth is unsatisfactory. Additionally, ideal mechanisms for hydrogen adsorption and desorption are still unknown.

In an effort to design hybrid carbon nanotube–metal nanocluster composite materials for hydrogen storage, we propose designing metal nanoparticles for two uses: (1) controlled chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of carbon nanotubes with the desired size, and (2) decoration of the nanotube with metal nanoparticles that catalyze H2 adsorption and desorption. To develop these nanoparticles, we plan to use a genetic algorithm, in conjunction with quantum ab-initio simulations, for evolutionary design of these particles based on target functional properties.

Abstract Author(s): Jason A. Sese - Department of Materials Science and Engineering<br />Kyeongjae (KJ) Cho - Department of Mechanical Engineering