Nanosized materials are known to take on peculiar properties compared to the bulk material. Their electronic and mechanical properties are known to improve e.g. higher electrical conductivity and greater strength. Their electrochemical redox properties can change dramatically, e.g. in the case of Ag°, the E° value for Ag° → Ag+ + e can change by up to half a volt as the particle size decreases. Nanodimensional materials also have an extraordinarily high surface area to volume ratio. All of these properties would bring beneficial effects if they could be retained when the material is assembled into a structure capable of being used as an electrode – nanostructured electrodes.
Here we consider selected examples illustrating the importance of nanostructured electrodes in energy conversion (organic solar cells and fuel cells) and storage (batteries and capacitors). These examples involve the use of inorganic as well as organic conducting and semiconducting materials.