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The presence of a little sodium in carbon-based energy technology enhances the performance of electrodes by two-folds than that of the three-dimensional graphene which is currently in use. A new research conducted at Michigan Technological University by Yun Hang Hu, professor of materials science and engineering, and his team has developed a brand-new method of synthesizing sodium-embedded carbon nanowalls. This was recently published in the journal Nano Letters.

In case of metal-doped carbon, the metals simply adhere to the surface of the carbon and get oxidized easily. But, in sodium-embedded carbon, the carbon structure protects the sodium metal. This dream metal was created by a temperature-controlled process that resulted in a black carbon powder with trapped sodium atoms.

Further, in collaboration with the scientists at the University of Texas and University of Michigan, they established that the sodium was embedded inside the carbon structure, and not just adhered to it. They then tested their invention in several energy devices. It was found that it performed far better than graphene in super-capacitors and dye-sensitized solar cells.

Scientist Hu envisions sodium-embedded carbon to have a bright future as it offers improvements in batteries, solar tech, super-capacitors, and fuel cells. 

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