Metal-Organic Frameworks as Templates for New Materials Featuring High Complexity and Ordered Porosity

Noelle Catarineu | 21-LW-015

Project Overview

Improved energy storge devices are the cornerstone of sustainable energy infrastructure. While great strides have been made in the production of energy from renewable sources, most of this energy comes from wind turbines and solar panels that cannot deliver uninterrupted power. Energy storage devices are needed to deliver power when it is dark, cloudy, or calm. Electronic devices such as batteries and supercapacitors are suitable for this purpose and are also increasingly in demand for electronic consumer goods.

During this project we developed methods to produce electrodes from porous precursors that possess high surface areas and microporosity but are not electrically conductive. Using heat treatment, we converted the insulating materials to a graphite-like product that retained the porosity of the precursor. We then 3D printed this porous conductive material to produce an electrode. We achieved exceptionally high area capacitance of 17 F/cm due to the hierarchical porosity of our product. Furthermore, our electrodes were produced from non-toxic and abundant resources.

Mission Impact

The positive results of this work provide for increased energy security. Global hostilities and global warming motivate the expansion of energy sources away from oil and natural gas toward renewable sources. However, efficient energy storage devices are required for uninterrupted power delivery. The combination of exceptional energy and power storage of our electrodes improves the state-of-the-art of current devices. Our devices rely on abundant metal sources, obviating the need for obtaining critical materials from foreign nations.

This work included the development of methods for 3D printing materials with advanced functionality. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a leader in the field of additive manufacturing, and the achievements of this project brought a new type of material to the Laboratory's suite of printable precursors. This capability expands domestic manufacturing capabilities and helps ensure the production of secure goods and items. This project added expertise in energy storage mechanisms at LLNL. Staff members gained new skills in electrochemical testing, and a postdoctoral researcher was converted to permanent staff during this project.