Energy Storage Capacity and Superconductivity of Nanosized Titanium Diboride, and Multifunctionality of Carbon-based Nanostructures: Development of Nano-engineered Solutions
Doctor of Philosophy
Nanotechnology has risen into prominence since the discovery of the “buckyball” in 1985,2 due to the enhanced tunability and performance of nanomaterials.3 Keenly awaited, scalable and facile application of nanotechnology, however, remains challenging. In petroleum industry, for instance, implementation barriers in scalability, controllability, and profitability have been hindering the advancement of nanotechnology innovations. The potential of fine tuning material properties and creating novel solutions is yet to be realized. Industrial friendly, scalable synthesis of nanosized titanium diboride and multifunctional nanostructures are exploited in this thesis, to include chemical vapor deposition, liquid exfoliation and electrochemical deposition. State of the art characterization techniques reveal atomic level properties in physical structure and chemical composition. After iterative material development cycles, the performance of prototypes are evaluated experimentally and theoretically. Lithium ion storage capacity and type II superconductivity are first time reported for nanosized titanium diboride. Remarkable theoretical capacity of 385.7 mAh/g and superconductive critical temperature of 5.8 K are attributed to the dimensional confinement of the nanoscale. Titanium diboride nanoparticles exhibit remarkable charge storage capacity, demonstrating great potential for applications as lithium ion battery anode and supercapacitor material. Their high energy storage capacity together with their newly discovered superconductivity manifest the distinctive material characteristics induced by dimensional confinement. Looking beyond the enhancement of material properties offered by the nanoscale, the multifunctionality of nanostructures are explored. Impelled by the virtues of carbon nanotubes and Fe@C core-shell nanoparticles, multifunctional, nano-engineered prototypes are designed and fabricated, combining hydrophobicity, mechanical and chemical resistance, and superparamagnetic, florescent and photocatalytic properties. The multifunctionality of infiltrated carbon nanotubes and Fe@C-CNx nanostructures appeal to various applications such as protective composite and reusable photocatalyst. Bridging the gap between academic research and industrial application, nano-engineering and design thinking approaches in this thesis develop nanostructures to solve explicit problems. Size confinement induced properties and innovative designs of nano-engineered structures are vital to convey the value of nanotechnology. The developed prototypes provide innovative solutions to various existing problems, including low durability of drilling tools, high friction in mechanical operations, critical environment energy storage and hazardous water waste.
Nanotechnology; titanium diboride