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Industry Day - Innovative Solutions to Energy and Water

Friday, Nov 28, 2014, 08:30 am

1 CREATE Way, 2F CREATE Tower, Singapore 138602 Singapore

Project Presentations – Energy Thrust


High Performance and Low Cost Conductive Inks for Printed Electronics and Functional Coatings

Prof. Shlomo MAGDASSI, Casali Center for Applied Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry & Center for Nanoscience, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Nanomaterials have unique properties which enables their utilization in functional printing and coatings. Our research is focused on developing methods for preparation and formulations of nanomaterials, and utilization of these materials as conductive “inks” and “paints” for functional coatings and printed electronics. The formation and application of conductive inkjet inks composed of silver nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes will be reported. Recent discoveries of several routes for achieving high conductivity even at room temperature, which is important for plastics electronics will we discussed. While combining low sintering temperatures concepts with self assembly processes, we fabricate transparent conductive films that are suitable for optoelectronic devices (such as for smartphones)  and 3D conductive structures. Our findings enabled fabrication of inkjet printed solar cells, paper RFID antennas, touch screens, light sensors, plastic electroluminescent devices and smart windows.



Saving Energy Today with Low Cost and High Performance Electrochromic Coating

Assoc. Prof. LEE Pooi See, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Electrochromism has been gaining increasing attention due to its capability of tuning down energy consumption with its application in smart glass industry. The volume of smart glass produced is forecasted to grow from approximately 1.4 million sq ft in 2013 to approximately 929 million sq ft by 2022, according to a report by London office of Navigant Research. Electrochromic glass offers the highest performance among all when it comes to energy saving. For a window-to wall ratio of 0.6, electrochomic windows are able to deliver a 10-24% energy saving, 10-15% peak demand reduction in most climates; for hot climates, it adds to another 0-5% peak demand reduction. For this technology, competitive pricing is a clear prerequisite. In this talk, we introduce our invention on a low cost and high performance electrochromics technology, by offering solution processing and printable electrochromics coatings. We have achieved a laboratory prototype with fast switching speed and high coloration contrast.


Ultrafast Charging Lithium-ion Batteries Lasting 20 Years

Assoc. Prof. CHEN Xiaodong, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Rechargeable lithium ion batteries (LIBs) have revolutionized the portable electronics industry over the past 20 years and its market value reached $10 billion in 2013. The current market is dominated by LIBs using graphite anode and LiCoO2 cathode materials.  However, these LIBs suffer from sluggish charging, short product lifetime and potential safety hazards.  In addition, additives such as polymeric binders and conductive materials are used in these commercial LIBs, resulting in low volumetric density of electrode materials.  To address these issues, our technology aims to develop electrode materials for ultrafast charging LIBs with long product lifetime.  In addition, our technology enables the fabrication of elongated TiO2 nanotube electrode directly on the current collector, eliminating the usage of conductive materials and binders (additive free).  Compared with conventional graphite anode, our technology allows a battery to be charged to 70% in 2 minutes.  This is a fraction of the time taken by graphite materials with similar capacity (charging time is longer than 60 min).  The use of high-density TiO2 nanotubes as an additive-free electrode will also reduce the size of the battery.  We have also demonstrated high-rate charging-discharging (3 min per charging) for more than 10,000 cycles. This is equivalent to a product lifetime of more than 25 years (assuming one charging per day).



MAGCOOL: Green, Energy Efficient, Low Cost Magnetic Cooling

Assoc. Prof. R.V. RAMANUJAN, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

There is an urgent unmet need for improved energy efficiency and the development of green, environmentally friendly, materials and systems. “Green” magnetic cooling systems have achieved much higher cooling efficiency compared to existing, conventional gas compression systems. There is no use of refrigerants, compressor or ozone layer depleting gases in these magnetic cooling systems; hence, there is intense commercial interest. A key bottleneck is the current use of expensive, corrosion prone, difficult to manufacture, rare earth based magnetic cooling materials. Our innovation is the development of low cost, rare earth free magnetic cooling materials. Impact: Worldwide, and especially in Singapore, air conditioning and refrigeration form a major component of energy consumption. Hence, there is a huge, multi-billion $ market for novel green, efficient systems. These materials and prototype systems will be discussed in this presentation.



Saving Energy with Smart Windows Enabled by Thermochromic Coatings

Dr. LONG Yi, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Air conditioning is a major contributor to energy consumption in developed countries. Smart windows are an efficient means to regulate temperature through adaptive response to weather conditions. Compared with photochromic and electrochromic materials, thermochromic material is the most economical smart material without extra energy input.

Vanadium dioxide (VO2) is a promising thermochromic material that blocks infrared (IR) transmission at higher temperatures, but becomes more IR transparent at lower temperatures. However, efficient exploitation of this fundamental property requires maximizing of solar modulation and luminous transmission. The former property is the solar transmission difference between hot and cold state, and larger solar modulation will be more effective in mitigating air conditioning use. A high luminous transmission at all temperatures is necessary to ensure good indoor visibility and save lighting costs.  

We developed different nanostructured VO2, namely nanothermochromic composite, controlled porosity, antireflection overcoat, biomimetic nanostructuring and hybrid structures with unprecedented combination of high solar modulation and luminous transmission.



Project Presentations - Water Thrust


Bughunter: Electrochemical Lateral Flow Immunosensor Detection to Bacterial Contamination and Biopen: A Glow Alert System to Monitor Water Toxicity

Prof. Robert MARKS, Ben-Gurion University, Israel

A new technology for which a proof of principle exists and a patent is pending consists in combining an elecrochemical tranducer technology (for quantitation) to a lateral flow immunoassay for a convenient rapid and cheap disposable testing requiring a 50 USD reader.



Cleaning Up Oil Spill/Organic Contaminants With Highly Efficient and Recyclable Carbon Aerogels

Prof. ZHANG Hua, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

We developed a simple method to prepare novel carbon aerogels. The carbon aerogels with hydrophobicity, high sorption capacity and good recyclability have been prepared with a facile method using an economic, environmentally friendly raw material. The carbon aerogel possesses the high sorption capacity of 50-190 times its own weight. Beause of its good thermal stability and mechanical properties, the distillation, combustion and squeezing processes can be used for recycle of the carbon aerogels. Most importantly, the natural source and simple preparation method make the arbon aerogel cost-effective for possible industrial application. Therefore, the arbon aerogel is highly promising as an economic, efficient and safe sorbent for environmental and ocean protection.



Bamboo-deTox: Bamboo Remediation of Polluted Water

Prof. Robert MARKS and Asso/Prof. Ariel KUSHMARO, Ben-Gurion University, Israel

A technology was developed which consists in modifying chemically bamboo to adsorb organic contaminants from water for its cheap environmental friendly technique.



Colorimetric Reading Toxic Components in Aqueous Solution

Assoc. Prof. CHEN Xiaodong, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

With increasing trends of global population growth, urbanization, pollution over-exploitation, and climate change, the safe water supply has become a global issue and is threatening our society for the sustainable development. Therefore, there is a growing need for a water-monitoring platform with the capability of rapidness, specificity, low-cost, and robustness.  This presentation is to summarize our recent development in the design and application of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) based colorimetric assays to detect contaminants in aqueous media.



Multifunctional and High Performance Microbial Fuel Cell for Waste Water Treatment and Energy Generation

Assoc. Prof. ZHANG Qichun, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

In this talk, I will talk our recent progress in two directions: (1) we developed a method to fabricate hybrid conducting biofilms, which dramatically enhance the performance of MFCs (at least 5 times). Currently, we are seeking the support to enlarge our scale (up to 50 L) to treat waste water. In addition, we also have realized that MFCs can be employed to deal with waste sea water with different pH value. (2) Since the pH value of cancer cells is different from normal cells, we have developed an inorganic-organic hybrid probe, which is very sensitive to the pH changes in cells and is a promising probe to identify and image cancer cells through NIR excitation. Also NIR-controlled drug release to cancer cells is under investigation.