An ultrafast nickel-iron battery from strongly coupled inorganic nanoparticle/nanocarbon hybrid materials

Nat Commun. 2012 Jun 26;3:917. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1921.


Ultrafast rechargeable batteries made from low-cost and abundant electrode materials operating in safe aqueous electrolytes could be attractive for electrochemical energy storage. If both high specific power and energy are achieved, such batteries would be useful for power quality applications such as to assist propelling electric vehicles that require fast acceleration and intense braking. Here we develop a new type of Ni-Fe battery by employing novel inorganic nanoparticle/graphitic nanocarbon (carbon nanotubes and graphene) hybrid materials as electrode materials. We successfully increase the charging and discharging rates by nearly 1,000-fold over traditional Ni-Fe batteries while attaining high energy density. The ultrafast Ni-Fe battery can be charged in ~2 min and discharged within 30 s to deliver a specific energy of 120 Wh kg(-1) and a specific power of 15 kW kg(-1). These features suggest a new generation of Ni-Fe batteries as novel devices for electrochemical energy storage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electric Power Supplies*
  • Iron / chemistry*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Nanotechnology / instrumentation*
  • Nanotubes, Carbon / chemistry
  • Nickel / chemistry*


  • Nanotubes, Carbon
  • Nickel
  • Iron