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JULY 2019 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 51 must not. This small buffer will make the pro- duction process easier and prevent future is- sues in production. Having started the conversation about the importance of making sound early-stage design decisions, it is important to understand "what effects what" on the surface of the board to en - sure successful conformal coating is achieved. Implementing these lessons will prevent poten- tial production disasters not only with confor- mal coatings but also in other areas of produc- tion. In a nutshell, choose the right material for the protection required, apply it appropriately, and cure it well. Check for interactions with other process chemistries, thoroughly clean and dry the assembly before coating, and ul - timately, you will establish a solid and reliable electronic assembly process. DESIGN007 Phil Kinner is the global business and technical director of confor- mal coatings at Electrolube. To read past columns or contact Kin- ner, click here. Kinner is also the author of The Printed Circuit As- sembler's Guide to… Conformal Coatings for Harsh Environments. Visit I-007eBooks. com to download this and other free educational titles. Scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Na- tional Laboratory, Drexel University, and their partners have discovered a way to improve the energy density of promising energy-storage materials with conductive, two-dimensional ceramics called MXenes. The findings are published in Nature Energy. Today's batteries offer high energy-storage capacity, but slow charging speeds limit their application in con- sumer electronics and electric vehicles. Tomorrow's en- ergy-storage mainstays may be supercapacitors, which store charge at the surface of their electrode material for fast charging and discharging. However, they currently lack the energy density of batteries. "The energy storage community is conservative, us- ing the same few electrolyte solvents for all supercapaci- tors," said principal investigator Yury Gogotsi, a Drexel University professor who planned the study with his post- doctoral researcher Xuehang Wang. "New electrode ma- terials like MXenes require electrolyte solvents that match their chemistry and properties." The surfaces of different MXenes can be covered with diverse terminal groups, including oxygen, fluorine, or hydroxyl species, which interact strongly and specifi- cally with different solvents and dissolved salts in the electrolyte. A good electrolyte solvent-electrode match may then increase charging speed or boost storage ca- pacity. "Our study showed that the energy densi- ty of supercapacitors based on two-dimen- sional MXene materials can be significantly increased by choosing the appropriate sol- vent for the electrolyte," added co-author Lukas Vlcek of the University of Tennessee who conducts research in UT and ORNL's Joint Institute for Computational Sciences. "By simply changing the solvent, we can double the charge storage." The work was part of the Fluid Interface Reactions, Structures, and Transport (FIRST) Center—an Energy Frontier Research Cen- ter led by ORNL and supported by the DOE Office of Science. (Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory) Right Electrolyte Doubles Material's Ability to Store Energy

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