Buckytubes have the intrinsic characteristics desired in material used as electrodes in batteries and capacitors, two technologies of rapidly increasing importance. Buckytubes have a tremendously high surface area (~1000 m2/g), good electrical conductivity, and very importantly, their linear geometry makes their surface highly accessible to the electrolyte.
Research has shown that Buckytubes have the highest reversible capacity of any carbon material for use in lithium-ion batteries [B. Gao, Chem. Phys. Lett. 327, 69 (2000)]. In addition, Buckytubes are outstanding materials for supercapacitor electrodes [R.Z. Ma, et al., Science in China Series E-Technological Sciences 43 178 (2000)] and are now being marketed.
Carbon Nanotubes in Fuel Cell Applications
Buckytubes also have applications in a variety of fuel cell components. They have a number of properties including high surface area and thermal conductivity that make them useful as electrode catalyst supports in PEM fuel cells. They may also be used in gas diffusion layers as well as current collectors because of their high electrical conductivity. Buckytubes' high strength and toughness to weight characteristics may also prove valuable as part of composite components in fuel cells that are deployed in transport applications where durability is extremely important.