While we may have a good understanding of battery application and potential, we still lack a great deal of knowledge about what is actually happening inside a battery cell during cycles. In an effort to build a better battery, ECS members from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have made a novel development to improve battery performance testing.

Future of energy

The team’s work focuses on the design and placement of the reference electrode (RE), which measure voltage of the individual electrodes making up a battery cell, to enhance the quality of information collected from lithium-ion battery cells during cycles. By improving our knowledge of what’s happening inside the battery, researchers will more easily be able to develop longer-lasting batteries.

“Such information is critical, especially when developing batteries for larger-scale applications, such as electric vehicles, that have far greater energy density and longevity requirements than typical batteries in cell phones and laptop computers,” said Daniel Abraham, ECS member and co-author of the newly published study in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society. “This kind of detailed information provides insight into a battery cell’s health; it’s the type of information that researchers need to evaluate battery materials at all stages of their development.”

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Deep-Fried Graphene for Energy Storage

The 5-µm-diameter graphene balls in these scanning electron microscope images contain graphene nanosheets radiating outward from the center.Credit: Chem. Mater.

The 5-µm-diameter graphene balls in these scanning electron microscope images contain graphene nanosheets radiating outward from the center.
Credit: Chem. Mater.

Materials scientists have developed a new technique that could provide a simpler and more effective way to produce electrode materials for batteries and supercapacitors, which could potentially lead to devices with improved energy and power densities.

The researchers have unlocked this new battery technology by exposing tiny bits of graphene to a process that is very similar to deep-frying.

Prior to this development, scientists had difficulty using graphene in electrodes due to the difficulty encountered when processing the material. However, the researchers out of Yonsei University have learned how to harness the material’s electrical and mechanical properties while retaining its high surface are by using an alternative technique.

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