Research at MIT has shown that a superlattice structure could give a huge boost to oxygen reaction in fuel cells, increasing their power potential. See the MIT News Office to learn more about this work from Prof. Tuller and NSE's Prof. Yildiz.
The MIT team used a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to study the electrical activity of a superlattice material composed of two different compounds of the elements strontium, lanthanum and cobalt. At bottom, a diagram of how they "sliced" the material on an angle to expose wider bands of the thin layers of material. The center two images show the resulting measurements of the surface topography of the material, and the activity of electrons moving through it. At top, a diagram of the molecular structures of the two compounds.
GRAPHIC COURTESY OF CHEN ET AL