Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nanotubes may give the world better batteries

26.10.2018

Rice U. scientists' method quenches lithium metal dendrites in batteries that charge faster, last longer

Rice University scientists are counting on films of carbon nanotubes to make high-powered, fast-charging lithium metal batteries a logical replacement for common lithium-ion batteries.


Rice University graduate student Gladys López-Silva holds a lithium metal anode with a film of carbon nanotubes. Once the film is attached, it becomes infiltrated by lithium ions and turns red.

Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University

The Rice lab of chemist James Tour showed thin nanotube films effectively stop dendrites that grow naturally from unprotected lithium metal anodes in batteries. Over time, these tentacle-like dendrites can pierce the battery's electrolyte core and reach the cathode, causing the battery to fail.

That problem has both dampened the use of lithium metal in commercial applications and encouraged researchers worldwide to solve it.

Lithium metal charges much faster and holds about 10 times more energy by volume than the lithium-ion electrodes found in just about every electronic device, including cellphones and electric cars.

"One of the ways to slow dendrites in lithium-ion batteries is to limit how fast they charge," Tour said. "People don't like that. They want to be able to charge their batteries quickly."

The Rice team's answer, detailed in Advanced Materials, is simple, inexpensive and highly effective at stopping dendrite growth, Tour said.

"What we've done turns out to be really easy," he said. "You just coat a lithium metal foil with a multiwalled carbon nanotube film. The lithium dopes the nanotube film, which turns from black to red, and the film in turn diffuses the lithium ions."

"Physical contact with lithium metal reduces the nanotube film, but balances it by adding lithium ions," said Rice postdoctoral researcher Rodrigo Salvatierra, co-lead author of the paper with graduate student Gladys López-Silva. "The ions distribute themselves throughout the nanotube film."

When the battery is in use, the film discharges stored ions and the underlying lithium anode refills it, maintaining the film's ability to stop dendrite growth.

The tangled-nanotube film effectively quenched dendrites over 580 charge/discharge cycles of a test battery with a sulfurized-carbon cathode the lab developed in previous experiments. The researchers reported the full lithium metal cells retained 99.8 percent of their coulombic efficiency, the measure of how well electrons move within an electrochemical system.

###

Co-authors of the paper are Rice alumni Almaz Jalilov of the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia; Jongwon Yoon, a senior researcher at the Korea Basic Science Institute; and Gang Wu, an instructor, and Ah-Lim Tsai, a professor of hematology, both at the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Tour is the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry as well as a professor of computer science and of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice.

The research was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Institutes of Health, the National Council of Science and Technology, Mexico; the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel, Brazil; and Celgard, LLC.

Read the abstract at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adma.201803869.

This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu/2018/10/25/nanotubes-may-give-the-world-better-batteries/

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Related materials:

Asphalt helps lithium batteries charge faster: http://news.rice.edu/2017/10/02/asphalt-helps-lithium-batteries-charge-faster-2/

Graphene-nanotube hybrid boosts lithium metal batteries: http://news.rice.edu/2017/05/18/graphene-nanotube-hybrid-boosts-lithium-metal-batteries-2/

Tour Group: https://www.jmtour.com

Wiess School of Natural Sciences: https://naturalsciences.rice.edu

Images for download:

http://news.rice.edu/files/2018/10/1028_DENDRITE-1-WEB-1dipimh.jpg

Microscope images of lithium metal anodes after 500 charge/discharge cycles in tests at Rice University show the growth of dendrites is quenched in the anode at left, protected by a film of carbon nanotubes. The unprotected lithium metal anode at right shows evidence of dendrite growth. (Credit: Tour Group/Rice University)

http://news.rice.edu/files/2018/10/1028_DENDRITE-2-WEB-1kbbdqg.jpg

An illustration shows how lithium metal anode developed at Rice University are protected from dendrite growth by a film of carbon nanotubes. (Credit: Tour Group/Rice University)

http://news.rice.edu/files/2018/10/1028_DENDRITE-3-WEB-1mvfwgd.jpg

Rice University scientists have discovered that a film of multiwalled carbon nanotubes quenches the growth of dendrites in lithium metal-based batteries. (Credit: Tour Group/Rice University)

http://news.rice.edu/files/2018/10/1028_DENDRITE-4-WEB-xbb87z.jpg

Rice University graduate student Gladys López-Silva holds a lithium metal anode with a film of carbon nanotubes. Once the film is attached, it becomes infiltrated by lithium ions and turns red. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)

http://news.rice.edu/files/2018/10/1028_DENDRITE-5-WEB-slp34y.jpg

Rice University chemist James Tour, left, graduate student Gladys López-Silva and postdoctoral researcher Rodrigo Salvatierra use a film of carbon nanotubes to prevent dendrite growth in lithium metal batteries, which charge faster and hold more power than current lithium-ion batteries. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,970 undergraduates and 2,934 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. To read "What they're saying about Rice," go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview

Media Contact

David Ruth
david@rice.edu
713-348-6327

 @RiceUNews

http://news.rice.edu 

David Ruth | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adma.201803869

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Research shows black plastics could create renewable energy
17.07.2019 | Swansea University

nachricht A new material for the battery of the future, made in UCLouvain
17.07.2019 | Université catholique de Louvain

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: MOF@SAW: Nanoquakes and molecular sponges for weighing and separating tiny masses

Augsburg chemists and physicists report how they have succeeded in the extremely difficult separation of hydrogen and deuterium in a gas mixture.

Thanks to the Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology developed here and already widely used, the University of Augsburg is internationally recognized as the...

Im Focus: Better thermal conductivity by adjusting the arrangement of atoms

Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters.

In the electronics and computer industry, components are becoming ever smaller and more powerful. However, there are problems with the heat generation. It is...

Im Focus: First-ever visualizations of electrical gating effects on electronic structure

Scientists have visualised the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely-tuned high performance electronic devices.

Physicists from the University of Warwick and the University of Washington have developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in...

Im Focus: Megakaryocytes act as „bouncers“ restraining cell migration in the bone marrow

Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.

Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...

Im Focus: Artificial neural network resolves puzzles from condensed matter physics: Which is the perfect quantum theory?

For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.

Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Hidden dynamics detected in neuronal networks

23.07.2019 | Life Sciences

Towards a light driven molecular assembler

23.07.2019 | Life Sciences

A torque on conventional magnetic wisdom

23.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>