Researchers at the QUT (Queensland University of Technology) are reportedly proposing a brand-new carbon nanostructure, designed to store renewable energy in the mechanical form.

Energy storage is one of the greatest challenges faced in renewable energy researches. The researchers have shared the main target to discover a material with a high storage capacity & energy storage material to efficiently help discharge a huge amount of energy. The recent project is an attempt to overcome these energy storage development hurdles. The new structure for energy harvesting and storage applications has been developed from a DNT (diamond nanothread).

Several portable energy storage devices rely on the chemical form of storing energy such as batteries. The DNT structure does not incorporate the same limiting properties of the batteries, including the potential to leaks or explosions and temperature sensitivity.

QUT Centre’s for material science’s Dr. Haifei Zhan & his team of researchers adopted computer modeling to propose this ultra-thin, 1-dimensional carbon threads structure. These threads will be capable of storing energy while they are stretched and twisted. The spring is forced into the coil by turning the key. The coil releases the extra tension that is held within once the key is released, which ensures the transfer of the mechanical energy.

Theoretically, the researchers have tested the carbon nanotubes against the diamond nanothreads. Through this process, they discovered that the bundles of diamond nanothread were structurally more stable than that of the carbon nanotubes, signifying they could be more effectively coiled and store and release more energy without deterioration.

These DNT bundles could power the tiny robotics & electronics, including the biomedical diagnostic systems. The next phase of the research, despite the theoretical nature of the structure, is to develop a mechanical energy system of the experimental nanoscale as the proof of concept. Dr. Zhan & his team will be building the mechanical energy storage system for the next 2-3 years. The system is likely to be implemented in various applications, including wearable tech and smart textiles.

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