Researchers from various institutes across Korea have found a way to nearly double the life of the lithium-ion battery.
In an ever-pressing race to create a more efficient and longer-lasting battery for electronics, researchers across the globe are looking toward alternative materials to make the li-ion battery stronger. A team of researchers associated with Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology, including ECS member Jang Wook Choi, have combined silicon and graphene to yield an amazing increase in lithium-ion battery efficiency.
This from phys.org:
The team started by using silicon as the material for their anode, rather than the traditional graphite—it is denser and therefore can hold more charge—and is something other researchers have tried before. The problem has always been that in order to charge it, lithium must be added, which causes the anode to expand, a deal breaker for small electronic devices. To circumvent that problem, the researches grew carbide-free graphene (to keep it from forming they developed a chemical vapor deposition process which included using a mild oxidant) on its surface creating a protective and restrictive coating. In addition to preventing expansion, the graphene also helped prevent the silicon from breaking down over time (which occurs due to constant expanding and contracting).
From this, researchers have shown the potential to build battery with 1.8 times the energy density of conventional batteries. Before degradation takes its toll, this battery would initially last twice as long as the batteries we are currently using in our hand-held electronics.
This issue with sending this product to mass production lies in the materials used that are so essential to achieving these results, namely graphene.
Seeing as researchers have not yet found a way to produce graphene in mass quantities, this new and improved battery will not be hitting the shelves in the immediate future.
You can find the full paper in Nature Communications.
Head over to the Digital Library to see some of Choi’s past work, including: