Description: The nanocomposite energy applications for plasma reactor produced nanoparticles are reviewed. Nanoparticles are commonly defined as particles less than 100 nm in diameter. Due to this small size, nanoparticles have a high surface-to-volume ratio. This increases the surface energy compared to the bulk material. The high surface-to-volume ratio and size effects (quantum effects) give nanoparticles distinctive chemical, electronic, optical, magnetic and mechanical properties from those of the bulk material. Nanoparticles synthesis can be grouped into 3 broad approaches. The first one is wet phase synthesis (sol-gel processing), the second is mechanical attrition, and the third is gas-phase synthesis (aerosol). The properties of the final product may differ significantly depending on the fabrication route. Currently, there are no economical large-scale production processes for nanoparticles. This hinders the widespread applications of nanomaterials in products. The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is engaging in research and development of advanced modular hybrid plasma reactors for low cost production of nanoparticles that is predicted to accelerate application research and enable the formation of technology innovation alliances that will result in the commercial production of nanocomposites for alternative energy production devices such as fuel cells, photovoltaics and electrochemical double layer capacitors.
Date: September 1, 2008
Creator: Kong, Peter C. & Kawczak, Alex W.
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