The use of nano-technology can greatly enhance the ability of lithium-ion battery energy storage
Silicon (right) covered in carbon fiber (left), the formation of more storage, lighter electrode. Photo courtesy of: Li-Feng Cul et al., Nano Letters
With annual sales of 27 billion U.S. dollars, lithium-ion battery is a rechargeable battery There is no doubt the market leader. However, people always want to do better. Now, scientists report that they can greatly enhance the use of nano-technology lithium-ion battery energy storage capacity, or to maintain the existing level of storage conditions greatly reduce the battery weight. The new results can bring more small notebook computers, electric cars and other travel further a large number of applications.
In the traditional rechargeable batteries, with positively charged lithium-ion stored in carbon-based anode, with the battery discharge current to the cathode. This technique has the advantage of charging and discharging several times after the carbon can still maintain lightweight and durable, while the disadvantage is that carbon atoms 6 to support a lithium-ion. Recently, researchers have experimented with crystalline silicon production of anodes, each silicon atom can support about four lithium atoms, in theory, would enhance the energy storage efficiency.
In 2007, a materials scientist at Stanford University team led by Yi Cui did. They produced using crystalline silicon nanowire anode, this material is very thin, so the losses caused by inflation and less flexible. This battery can store 10 times the conventional lithium-ion battery charge. But the problem is crystal material damage after charging and discharging several times, and finally broken, the battery has so damaged.
Therefore, in a recent study, Yi Cui's team covering the outer layer of amorphous silicon with carbon nano-line replacing the fragile silicon nanowires. The inherent stability of the carbon core enables researchers to make amorphous silicon with a full lithium-ion. The result of this new carbon - silicon mixture of 6 times the anode has a traditional full-charge capacity of the carbon anode, the early tests, they also compared the performance of all-silicon anode is more stable. The results were published in a forthcoming issue of the "Nano Letters" on. Using this result, the battery company eventually will be able to produce lightweight battery, which is the key to the future manufacture of electric vehicles. Cui Yi pointed out that the battery companies can also keep the battery weight conditions, an increase of 50% of storage capacity.
University of Texas, material chemists, battery experts Arumugam Manthiram the results of this very highly. But he also said that because of this new material with the batteries must also be combined with other components and confirmed that its cheap, safe, fast charge, so that the results will improve in the future, the extent to which the battery is not yet clear. "This is a very challenging task." Manthiram said, "This is why the battery was so slow technological progress causes."
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