Battery-powered cars offer many environmental benefits, but a car with a full tank of gasoline can travel further. By improving the energy capacity of lithium-ion batteries, a new electrode made from iron oxide nanoparticles could help electric vehicles to cover greater distances.
Electric vehicles could travel further when powered by a higher-capacity lithium-ion battery made with inexpensive iron oxide nanoparticles.
Developed by Zhaolin Liu of the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Singapore, and Aishui Yu of Fudan University, China, and co-workers, the electrode material is inexpensive, suitable for large-scale manufacturing and can store higher charge densities than the conventional electrodes used in lithium-ion batteries1.
These batteries store and release energy by shuttling lithium ions between two electrodes connected in a circuit. During charging, lithium ions escape from the cathode, which is made from materials such as lithium cobalt oxide. The ions migrate through a liquid electrolyte and into the anode, which is usually made of graphite riddled with tiny pores. When the battery discharges, the process runs in reverse, generating an electrical current between the electrodes.
Iron oxides have a much higher charging capacity than graphite, but the process is slow. Forcing lithium ions into the material also changes its volume, destroying the anode after just a few charging cycles.
Liu, Yu and team reasoned that an anode made from iron oxide nanoparticles would charge more quickly, because its pores would give ready access to lithium ions. The pores may also allow the material’s structure to change as the ions pack inside.
The researchers made 5-nanometer-wide particles of an iron oxide known as á-Fe2O3, simply by heating iron nitrate in water. They mixed the particles with a dust called carbon black, bound them together with polyvinylidene fluoride and coated the mixture onto copper foil to make their anodes.
During the first round of charging and discharging, the anodes showed an efficiency of 75–78%, depending on the current density used. After ten more cycles, however, the efficiency improved to 98%, almost as high as commercial lithium-ion batteries. Research by other teams suggests that during the first few cycles, the iron oxide nanoparticles are broken down until they reach an optimum size.
After 230 cycles the anode’s efficiency remained at 97%, with a capacity of 1,009 milliamp hours per gram (mA h g−1 ) — almost three times greater than commercial graphite anodes. The material experienced none of the degradation problems that have plagued other iron oxide anodes.
The team is now working to optimize the nanoparticle synthesis and increase the efficiency of the anode’s initial charging cycles.
The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Institute of Materials Research and EngineeringAssociated links
Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision
06.12.2016 | Fraunhofer IFAM
IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world
05.12.2016 | IHP - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
06.12.2016 | Earth Sciences
06.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy