Laptops could work longer and electric cars could drive farther if it were possible to further increase the capacity of their lithium-ion batteries. The electrode material has a decisive influence on a battery’s capacity.
Lithium borosilicid framework -
Image: T. Fässler, M. Zeilinger/TUM
So far, the negative electrode typically consists of graphite, whose layers can store lithium atoms. Scientists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) have now developed a material made of boron and silicon that could smooth the way to systems with higher capacities.Loading a lithium-ion battery produces lithium atoms that are taken up by the graphite layers of the negative electrode. However, the capacity of graphite is limited to one lithium atom per six carbon atoms. Silicon could take up to ten times more lithium. But unfortunately, it strongly expands during this process – which leads to unsolved problems in battery applications.
Andreas Battenberg | EurekAlert!
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