A new report by TechXplore examines a recently published review paper on the potential in nanomaterials for rechargeable lithium batteries. In the paper, lead-author and ECS member Yi Cui of Stanford University, explores the barriers that still exist in lithium rechargeables and how nanomaterials may be able to lend themselves to the development of high-capacity batteries.
When trying to design affordable batteries with high-energy densities, researchers have encountered many issues, including electrode degradation and solid-electrolyte interphase. According to the paper’s authors, possible solutions for many of these hurdles lie in nanomaterials.
Cui’s comprehensive overview of rechargeable lithium batteries and the potential of nanaomaterials in these applications came from 100 highly-reputable publications, including the following ECS published papers:
- “Colossal Reversible Volume Changes in Lithium Alloys“
- “High Capacity, Reversible Silicon Thin-Film Anodes for Lithium-Ion Batteries“
- “Inorganic Glue Enabling High Performance of Silicon Particles as Lithium Ion Battery Anode“
- “Active/Inactive Nanocomposites as Anodes for Li-Ion Batteries“
- “Si/TiN Nanocomposites Novel Anode Materials for Li-Ion Batteries“
- “Effects of Nanosized Adsorbing Material on Electrochemical Properties of Sulfur Cathodes for Li/S Secondary Batteries“
- “Electrochemical and Infrared Studies of the Reduction of Organic Carbonates“
- “Morphological and Structural Studies of Composite Sulfur Electrodes upon Cycling by HRTEM, AFM and Raman Spectroscopy“
While many of today’s electronics are powered by lithium batteries, Cui and his team agree with many researchers that there is still a lot of work to be done in order to reach the technology’s capacity potential.
(MORE: See Cui and other ECS members’ contributions to lithium battery technology.)
This from TechXplore:
Nanomaterials offer possible solutions at both the particle-level and at the electrode-level. Nanomaterials tend to be more resistant to mechanical degradation than other materials. One solution is to use nanoparticles or nanowires that are below the critical fracture size for a lithium electrochemical cell.
Further, the authors state that nanomaterials could act as a “glue” at the electrode level to stop cracking and fracturing susceptible materials.
While the authors address a myriad of issues in lithium rechargeable batteries that could potentially be solved by the use of nanoparticles, the application would not be without complications.
For instance, the authors recognize that the overall surface would have to increase, raising the likelihood of unwanted side reactions.