Energy Conversion from Flowing Salinity Gradients over Nanoscale Metal Layers

Project: Research project

Project Details


Current approaches for electric power generation from nanoscale conducting or semiconducting layers in contact with moving aqueous droplets are promising as they show efficiencies of around 30%, yet they pose challenges regarding fabrication (multistep processes involving exfoliation, atomic layer deposition, and/or chemical vapor deposition) and scaling (the structures are feasible to prepare over cm2 areas but the energy conversion scales with surface area, so m2 areas are desirable). Indeed, there has been no single-step synthesis approach for preparing energy transducers that is also feasible for covering large (m2) areas until now. Moreover, use of aqueous droplets pose performance limitations due to drop size (surface tension of water) and drop speed (terminal velocity on earth). This project overcomes two key challenges: the first is to prepare and evaluate, at reasonable speed, a number of single- and dual-element all-inorganic nanoarchitectures synthesized in a single step over large areas to pursue an exploratory investigation into the principles and limits of operation involving energy conversion from flowing salinity gradients over nanoscale metal layers. The second is to pursue experiments and computer simulations aimed at elucidating the dynamics and the mechanism of operation so as to further extend the limits of operation and performance inside continuous liquid flow cells.
Effective start/end date6/7/196/6/21


  • Army Research Office (W911NF1910361)


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