Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Next generation anode to improve lithium-ion batteries


Silicon-tin nanocomposite developed at UCR could lead to low cost, long lasting rechargeable batteries for electronic devices and electric vehicles

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have created a new silicon-tin nanocomposite anode that could lead to lithium-ion batteries that can be charged and discharged more times before they reach the end of their useful lives. The longer-lasting batteries could be used in everything from handheld electronic devices to electric vehicles.

The silicon-tin nanocomposite developed at UCR viewed by high angle angular dark field imaging. The larger green particles are silicon and the smaller red particles are tin.

Credit: UC Riverside

Titled "Tin Nanoparticles as an Effective Conductive Addition in Silicon Anodes," a paper describing the research was published Wednesday (Aug. 3) in the journal Scientific Reports. The project was led by Lorenzo Mangolini, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering in UCR's Bourns College of Engineering.

Lithium-ion batteries, the most popular rechargeable batteries in personal electronics, are composed of three main parts: an anode, a cathode, and a lithium salt dissolved in an organic solvent. While graphite is the material of choice for most anodes, its performance is a limiting factor in making better batteries and expanding their applications.

Both silicon and tin have been investigated as novel high-performance alternatives for graphite anodes. In the current research, Mangolini's group showed for the first time that combining both materials into a single composite leads to dramatic improvements in battery performance. In addition to tripling the charge capacity offered by graphite, the silicon-tin nanocomposite is extremely stable over many charge-discharge cycles, essentially extending its useful life. These features, coupled with a simple manufacturing process, could help the expansion of lithium-ion batteries for use in next-generation vehicles.

"Lithium-ion batteries are growing in popularity for electric vehicles and aerospace applications, but there is a clear need to alleviate range anxiety--the fear that a vehicle won't have enough charge to reach its destination--before we will see large-scale adoption. Any technology that can help is welcome, as long as it is simple and scalable, and our technology meets both those criteria," Mangolini said.

Mangolini said adding tin to the silicon, rather than another conductive material such as carbon black, would circumvent the low conductivity of silicon without decreasing energy storage.

"The synergistic effects between these two materials lead to batteries that exceed the performance of each of the two components alone, an improvement that is a result of the high electrical conductivity and good energy storage capacity of tin. This can be achieved with the addition of even minor amounts of tin, as small as 2 percent by weight," he said.


In addition to Mangolini, the research team comprised Lanlan Zhong, a graduate student in materials science and engineering and the first author on the paper; Chad Beaudette, an undergraduate in mechanical engineering; Juchen Guo, assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering; and Krassimir Bozhilov, associate adjunct professor of materials science and engineering and manager of UCR's Central Facility for Advanced Microscopy and Microanalysis.

Media Contact

Sarah Nightingale


Sarah Nightingale | EurekAlert!

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Greater Range and Longer Lifetime
26.10.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

nachricht 3-D-printed magnets
26.10.2016 | Vienna University of Technology

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>