Future Potential of Nanomaterials for Lithium-based Batteries

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:

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.

Read the full article.

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.


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