Imperfect graphene opens door to better fuel cells

March 17, 2015 4:33 PM

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Imperfect graphene opens door to better fuel cells

The honeycomb structure of pristine graphene is beautiful, but Northwestern University scientists, together with collaborators from five other institutions, have discovered that if the graphene naturally has a few tiny holes in it, you have a proton-selective membrane that could lead to improved fuel cells.

A major challenge in fuel cell technology is efficiently separating protons from hydrogen. In a study of single-layer graphene and water, the Northwestern researchers found that slightly imperfect graphene shuttles protons—and only protons—from one side of the graphene membrane to the other in mere ...

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