The process could speed the commercial development of devices, materials and technologies that exploit the physical properties of nanoparticles, which are thousands of times thinner than a human hair.
The particles’ small size means they behave differently compared with conventional materials, and their unusual properties are inspiring research towards new applications.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh and California Institute of Technology built their fuel cell using a nozzle-free electrospinning device – a rotating drum in a bath of liquid under high voltage and temperature.
Nanofibres are produced from the liquid on the surface of the drum, which are spun onto an adjacent hot surface.
As the fibres cool to form a fuel cell component, nanocrystals emerge on their surface, creating a large surface area.
Our approach of electrospinning offers a quick and inexpensive way to form nanomaterials with high surface area. This could lead to products with improved performance, such as fuel cells, on an industrial scale.
Source : University of Edinburgh