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Graphitic Carbon Materials for Energy Applications

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The importance of developing new types of energy is evident from the fact that the global energy consumption has been accelerating at an alarming rate due to the rapid economic expansion worldwide, increase in world population, and ever-increasing human reliance on energy-based appliances. In this context, advanced technologies for both energy conversion and storage are being extensively studied around the world. Carbon nanomaterials and nanotechnology have been demonstrated to be an enabling technology for creating high-performance energy conversion and storage devices.1-3 Just like all other devices, performances of the energy-related devices depend strongly on the properties of the materials they employ. Comparing to conventional energy materials, carbon nanomaterials possess some unusual size-/surface-dependent properties useful in enhancing the energy conversion and storage performances.2,3 This article is aiming to summarize our work on the design and development of carbon nanomaterials for advanced energy conversion (i.e., solar cells and fuel cells) and storage (i.e., supercapacitors and batteries) (see, right panel), along with some discussions on challenges and perspectives in this exciting field.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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