New open access paper published in Journal of Power Sources on an interlaboratory study on supercapacitor data evaluation. Supercapacitors are quick-charging energy savers crucial for building a strong, eco-friendly energy future. However, there’s inconsistency in reporting practices that’s hindering accurate device performance comparison within the literature. Spearheaded by our colleagues at the University of Cambridge (Jamie Gittins and Alexander Forse), the study uncovers major issues, such as the use of wrong formulas and varied interpretations of key terms, causing significant variability in data reporting.

We’ve noticed even more variation in non-ideal capacitive behavior reports. We also plaidoyer in favor of optimized machine-learning tools that automatically derive relevant key data directly from various data files under different testing conditions. Such an “approved” tool, especially when being part of open science, would enormously reduce the variation seen from today’s use of individual approaches toward supercapacitor data analysis.

Many thanks to the research participants: Jamie Gittins, Yuan Chen, Stefanie ArnoldVeronica Augustyn,
Andrea BalducciThierry BrousseElzbieta FrackowiakPedro Gomez-RomeroArchana KanwadeLukas KöpsPlawan JhaDongxun LyuMichele MeoDeepak Pandey, Le Pang, Mario Rapisarda, PhDDaniel Rueda Garcíaía, Saeed SaeedParasharam ShirageAdam ŚlesińskiFrancesca SoaviJayan ThomasMagdalena TitiriciHongxia WangZhen XuAiping YuMaiwen ZhangAlexander Forse

New paper published in Advanced Functional Materials in lead by the teams of Michael Naguib and Agnieszka Maria Jastrzębska. MBenes, a new class of post-MXene materials, stand out due to the inclusion of boron in their structure, replacing carbon and nitrogen. This distinct composition provides a fresh perspective on boron’s impact in two-dimensional materials. The challenge in processing MBenes lies in the wet-chemical etching and delamination of the initial MoAlB phase, mainly due to the strong bonding of aluminum with surrounding elements. This research successfully addresses this challenge by treating MoAlB with an aqueous HCl/H2O2 solution for varying durations of 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours. The process results in individual, single-to-few layered MBene flakes, particularly notable in the 48-hour etched sample. Detailed analysis through a combination of theoretical and experimental X-ray diffraction techniques reveals that the optimally delaminated 48-MBene possesses a Mo2B2 orthorhombic lattice structure. Additionally, the formation of Mo oxide within these MBenes introduces both direct (1.2 eV) and indirect (0.2 eV) optical band gaps, significantly enhancing their photocatalytic efficiency. This is especially evident in their ability to decompose methylene blue, a commonly used organic pollutant, achieving about 90% decomposition under UV and simulated white light, with a rate thrice as fast as some MXene hybrids. Moreover, the 48-MBene shows exceptional capability in harnessing the full spectrum of visible light to generate reactive oxygen species. In contrast, the 24-hour and 72-hour treated MBenes exhibit lesser performance due to incomplete delamination or oxidation. These findings pave the way for using MBenes in environmental cleaning applications, highlighting their potential in addressing water contamination issues.

Welcome visiting CSC scholars Bin Wang and Yun Liao! Both will be working on advanced electrochemical desalination technologies along the water/energy research nexus. Welcome aboard!