Latest Lithium-ion Battery Advancements
In 2010, we wrote about better batteries using graphene nanotech. That was a collaboration between the Department of Energy and Vorbeck Materials. Scientists used graphene to enable lithium-ion batteries to recharge in minutes rather than hours. As you might expect, we’re back with more of the latest lithium-ion battery advancements.
“…Vorbeck and researcher Ilhan Aksay at Princeton University, [DOE] has demonstrated that small quantities of graphene—an ultra-thin sheet of carbon atoms—can dramatically improve the power and cycling stability of lithium-ion batteries and maintaining high storage capacity. Combined with Georgia Tech’s work on self-assembling nanotech, the pioneering work could lead to the development of graphene based batteries that have two major advantages. 1) They can store larger amounts of energy in the same size package, and 2) They can recharge much more quickly.”
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Keep Your Ion (Get it?) the Latest Lithium-ion Battery Advancements
Graphene and Lithium-ion
Graphene allows more ions to transfer between cathode and anode, decreasing charging time. But there’s a catch: although graphene improves efficiency, it increases the length of the path the ions must travel. This has impeded improvements in graphene-based batteries, but new research may have solution.
Ars Technica recently reported that scientists can use magnetism to align graphene and straighten paths taken by the ions. They coated the otherwise non-magnetic graphene flakes with iron oxide nanoparticles and introduced a magnetic field. Consequently, the “tortuosity of the paths through the electrode decreased by a factor of 4” when compared to the control group. That represents more than just coincidence or average.
Solid State Batteries
Recently, the inventor of the li-ion battery discovered solid state battery technology that could replace lithium-ion. With what, you ask? With a much more available resource: sodium! John Goodenough is that inventor, and our article referenced above offers a sneak peek into what might be the next dominant battery format.
One of the more impressive technologies came about with a report on self-healing li-ion batteries. With batteries, damage accumulates over time. As a result, the efficiency of the batteries degrades leading to eventual failure. Self-healing batteries promise to extend the life of these cells and packs beyond what’s expected.
Nano-sized Lithium-ion Batteries
The development of nano-sized Lithium-ion batteries also caught our eye. With these, we’re looking at miniaturization of components and technology. While these don’t promise power tool power levels, that leaves plenty of opportunity for electronics we have yet to even imagine.
You Might Say That’s Attractive
What does this mean? Well, if reproducible at scale, we might experience another wave of lithium-ion battery improvement. These are fascinating times. We’ll keep you apprised of new developments as we discover them. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the latest lithium-ion battery advancements. If you’re a Pro and you have a lithium-ion battery tips, add them in the comments below. You can also contact us with your own Pro tips.