Small, high-charge, long-life rechargeable batteries

By | July 28, 2014
Perhaps this sounds too good to be true: Batteries that are even more compact than ever, with a higher charge capacity than ever possible before. At least, given current mobile device batteries, it would seem that this is just a dream.

But according to this article, that could change: their latest research shows that this may be possible by putting a pure lithium anode into a protective carbon sheath, which protects it from instabilities. They're not quite there – they only retain 99% capacity after 150 charge cycles, as opposed to 99.9% that commercialization would need – but their research looks quite promising.

Full journal article: http://www.nature.com/nnano/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nnano.2014.152.html

/via +Susan Stone 

Team achieves ‘holy grail’ of battery design: A stable lithium anode
Engineers use carbon nanospheres to protect lithium from the reactive and expansive problems that have restricted its use as an anode Engineers across the globe have been racing to design smaller, cheaper and more efficient rechargeable batteries to meet the power storage…

15 thoughts on “Small, high-charge, long-life rechargeable batteries

  1. Sophie Wrobel

    +Lacerant Plainer I'm not so sure that 'ink' would be appropriate at that level: We're after particular substrate properties (like the particular carbon sheath structure in the Li-anode batteries), which comes from the substrate chemical structure, and not just form. So in my opinion, printed chemical pathways, lasers, and microwaves are currently more promising for putting maker culture into practical nano uses than nano ink.

    I'd expect someone in that lab to try applying the globular structures to the sheath material soon; perhaps that may result in an actually usable battery. And if we could then print it (though I doubt we'll be that far by the time they figure out a battery)? That would be very amazing!

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  2. Lacerant Plainer

    +Sophie Wrobel oh nice. I need to explore that. I was looking at the printer head size and 'droplet' size on the 3D printer. Since nano would mean the ink could not be more than a few molecules across. Then I came across SETs …. a single electron! But the techniques to manipulate material at this scale are a real challenge. While chemical processes are easier to manage, some of the work in Rice University is fascinating. They 'Bombard' the substrate in three different ways…. using lasers and microwaves…. the 'shells' left behind of materials are 'C' shaped…. just a few nanometers across. It's properties? It has a negative refractive index. Truly an invisible material.

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  3. Sophie Wrobel

    +Lacerant Plainer google must have sorted me as irrelevant – top secret algorithms and all!

    Nanotechnology combined with 3d printing when we get it down to that scale is going to be a fascinating field to watch. Already there are some fascinating results by printing chemical reaction pathways and thus creating substances that are otherwise very rare – and this combination is going to change a lot of our consumer behaviors.

    Ping +Nils Hitze

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  4. Lacerant Plainer

    Thanks +Sophie Wrobel 🙂 Appreciate your kind words! In fact I just completed a course on Nanotechnology and I find some of the concepts and findings incredibly fascinating including the nanoscale behaviour of materials and the ways one can manipulate them.

    I was drawn into this journey by a very old Feynman book (and subsequent lecture in Tokyo) where he talked about the nanoworld.

    I enjoy the posts you make for sure, though for some reason I don't see you in my all stream… Do ping me in if you like !

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  5. Sophie Wrobel

    Haha +Dirk Reul , thanks for that! Though +Lacerant Plainer and I already do enjoy interacting with each other every now and then. 😉

    +Lacerant Plainer I agree, and I do enjoy your posts (yes, I remember the one you pinged me on – they're always a joy to read, and you seem to do more background research than I do before posting, which makes your posts all the more fun to read!)

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  6. Phil Mervis

    I remember reading about using Lithium Titanate as the anode but I believe the issue came to a much lower energy density.

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  7. Lacerant Plainer

    LOL +Sophie Wrobel I recently have been very involved in battery tech… both at the nanoscale and at the meta scale (if that makes sense). There is some really interesting stuff happening. I dunno if I can embellish this 😉 I try to get some interesting views on the news being churned out.

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