Graphene and silicon anode yields 10 times faster charge and can hold a charge 10 times greater.
Researchers at Northwestern University had made a breakthrough that could lead to a new battery with much more run time and a faster recharge time. The researchers created a new electrode for lithium-ion batteries that allows the battery to hold a 10x greater charge. At the same time, the battery is also able to recharge ten times faster than current designs.
The researchers say that the technology they have developed will be on the market in the next three to five years. The team has published a research paper on the discovery in the Advanced Energy Materials journal.
"We have found a way to extend a new lithium-ion battery's charge life by 10 times," said Harold H. Kung, lead author of the paper. "Even after 150 charges, which would be one year or more of operation, the battery is still five times more effective than lithium-ion batteries on the market today."
Current batteries are limited by their charge density, which is how many lithium ions can be packed into the anode or cathode and by their charge rate. Experiments before used silicon to replace the carbon normally used in a battery, but normal silicon didn’t work. The team's breakthrough stabilizes the silicon to maximize the charge capacity and sandwiched that silicon between layers of graphene to accommodate volume changes during the battery use.
"Now we almost have the best of both worlds," Kung said. "We have much higher energy density because of the silicon, and the sandwiching reduces the capacity loss caused by the silicon expanding and contracting. Even if the silicon clusters break up, the silicon won't be lost."
The team will next look at the cathode after focusing their research previously on the anode.
However promising this new technology seems, we’ve all seen this before time and time again. Researchers develop new battery technologies, and we sit around and wait for it to hit the market. The last breakthrough we reported on was a fluoride battery that promises ten times the storage density of a comparable lithium-ion battery.