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Oct 3, 2021

Unplanned Discovery: A Super Material for Batteries and Other Energy Conversion Devices

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

Unplanned discovery could lead to future pivotal discoveries in batteries, fuel cells, devices for converting heat to electricity and more.

Scientists normally conduct their research by carefully selecting a research problem, devising an appropriate plan to solve it and executing that plan. But unplanned discoveries can happen along the way.

Mercouri Kanatzidis, professor at Northwestern University with a joint appointment in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, was searching for a new superconductor with unconventional behavior when he made an unexpected discovery. It was a material that is only four atoms thick and allows for studying the motion of charged particles in only two dimensions. Such studies could spur the invention of new materials for a variety of energy conversion devices.

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