Two Qatari high school students succeeded in manufacturing a battery using silver grafted titanium carbide MXene nanocomposites in lithium-ion batteries, within the framework of the National Science Promotion Programme (NSPP), which is one of university programmes to encourage research among students and adolescents in the university and secondary schools in the country.
The winning project was "Silver grafted Ti3C2-MXene Nanocomposite as Novel Anode Materials for Lithium-Ion-Battery" by Dr Abdul Shakoor, Research Assistant Professor at Centre for Advanced Materials — Qatar University.
The students who got the opportunity to work on the project were Saqer Hamad al-Rumaihi and Essa Ahmad al-Mohannadi from Jassim Bin Hamad secondary school for boys.
The NSPP aims to promote research culture and increase the research capacity by endorsing tools such as "Learning by Doing" and "Hands-On experience." By using such tools in the high school education system, students will be more encouraged to do research and benefit Qatar.
Through this process, students will get an opportunity to experience research under faculty mentors' supervision from the university.
Simultaneously, the NSPP grant will provide training to prepare the students to join the university.
Discussing about the research topic, Dr Abdul Shakoor said: "Our proposal was about silver grafted titanium carbide MXene nanocomposites, as a novel anode material for lithium-ion batteries. In the energy storage field, the batteries are composed of cathode, anode, and electrolyte. Every compartment of the battery is important and that's why people are researching new anode materials. MXene has proven to be a fascinating material with its numerous applications. Thus, we used MXene and silver to make a new anode material for lithium-ion batteries. The new materials worked very well for the battery performance."
When asked about their experience, the students said: "We learnt the working of many sophisticated laboratory instruments, using and preparing many different chemicals, materials synthesis techniques, sample characterisations using XRD, scanning electron microscopes and etc."
While sharing their opinion on NSPP, the students said: "We think the programme is very beneficial to high school students. Students get a lot of things and learn, a lot of things and experience, collaboration with many departments, etc. We had a wonderful experience with supervisors and teachers. The programme was really very helpful and we think every student should work out to get into this kind of programme."