Functional Materials: An insight into Energy storage for sustainable development
Functional materials generally showcase the ability of a material to carry out a specific ‘function’ under a determined stimulus. In a broader perspective, they are mentioned as those materials that possess their own unique native properties and functions. Functional materials register their existence in variety of all nature of materials includes ceramics, metals, polymers, and organic molecules. The associated nature of electric, optic, and magnetic properties is correlated to have its application in the fields of dielectric, ferroelectric, piezoelectric, semiconductors, ionic conductors, superconductors and multiferroic materials. Materials Scientists, Physicists and Chemists are relentlessly on the pursuit to understand the relationship between composition, structure, processing, and properties that allow the production of improved materials for known applications as well as for new users in an economic way.
Energy production and storage with higher efficiency are the major challenges for the sustainable development of society of human beings. Functional materials can be applied in the field of energy storage owing to its light weight and high energy density nature. The properties of functional materials may address the solution of major issues in energy storage such as diffusion/migration of ions and the conduction of electrons in an improper manner. The structural flexibility and the physicochemical properties rendered by this class of materials makes this an ideal candidate for storing charges in batteries, fuel cells for diverse applications.
The three generations of functional materials metal-metal alloys, metal-polymer composites and metal-carbon coated structures have considerably improved the efficiency of charge separation and electrode process kinetics over the years. The inclusion of specific energy capacity, improvisation of exchange membranes and porous nature of the electrode materials are the key challenges to address the issue of Energy storage. The other structural parameters such as adequate kinetics, desorption nature, conversion mechanisms for charge compensated values should be addressed based on the invention on Metal-organic framework materials. Functional materials with self-assembled structures can act as a potential candidate to overcome the issues in near future to address the energy storage solutions.