I don’t know much about this other than what was posted at PNNL’s website last week, but I hope to see something published on this soon:
Researchers would like to develop lithium-ion batteries using titanium dioxide, an inexpensive material. But titanium dioxide on its own doesn’t perform well enough to replace the expensive, rare-earth metals or fire-prone carbon-based materials used in today’s lithium-ion batteries. To test whether graphene, a good conductor on its own, can help, PNNL’s Gary Yang and colleagues added graphene, sheets made up of single carbon atoms, to titanium dioxide. When they compared how well the new combination of electrode materials charged and discharged electric current, the electrodes containing graphene outperformed the standard titanium dioxide by up to three times. Graphene also performed better as an additive than carbon nanotubes. Yang discussed this work and provided an overview of the field of electrical storage materials.
Just for the record, it appears from a note on the website that ACerS member Jun Liu partnered with Yang on this research. Yang recently spoke at Oregon State University’s “Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference” held last week in Portland, Ore.