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Researchers use DNA to direct assembly of FePO4 cathode material; close to 100% of theoretical storage capacity

A team from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore has used DNA to functionalize double wall carbon nanotubes (DWNTs) and to direct the growth of ultra-small FePO4 nanoparticles (~5 nm) uniformly distributed on the DNA@DWNT for the development of a novel network nanostructure.

The synthesized FePO4-DNA@DWNT nanostructure was used as a cathode in lithium-ion batteries, and demonstrated a specific capacity of 174 mAh g-1 for FePO4 active material—nearly 100% of the theoretical storage capacity—as well as excellent cycle life, the team reported in a paper published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science.

DNA is known in the use to assemble various nanostructures by its well-defined sequential base pairs [e.g., earlier post], but the great potential of its regularly arranged functional groups such as PO43- groups have not been explored to nanomaterials synthesis.

...This work provides a promising approach to use not only base-pair based sequence property of DNA, but also its regularly arranged functional groups to fabricate various nanostructures with desired properties for high performance energy conversion/storage devices.

—Guo et al.


  • Chun Xian Guo, Yi Qiang Shen, Zhili Dong, Xiaodong Chen, Xiong Wen (David) Lou and Chang Ming Li (2012) DNA-Directed Growth of FePO4 Nanostructure on Carbon Nanotubes to Achieve Nearly 100% Theoretical Capacity for Lithium-Ion Batteries Energy Environ. Sci., doi: 10.1039/C2EE21320F



Another step toward 400+ Wh/Kg future long lasting batteries.

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