More studies at the interface of battery materials, along with increased knowledge of the processes at work, are unleashing a surge of knowledge needed to more quickly address the demand for longer-lasting portable electronics, electric vehicles and stationary energy storage for the electric grid.
An unexpected property of nanometer-scale antimony crystals — the spontaneous formation of hollow structures — could help give the next generation of lithium ion batteries higher energy density without reducing battery lifetime. The reversibly hollowing structures could allow lithium ion batteries to hold more energy and therefore provide more power between charges.
Atomic distortions emerging in the electrode during operation provide a “fast lane” for the transport of lithium ions.
To develop higher capacity batteries, researchers have looked to lithium sulfur batteries because of sulfur’s high theoretical capacity and energy density. But there are still several problems to solve before they can be put into practical applications. The biggest is the shuttling effect that occurs during cycling. To solve this problem and improve lithium sulfur battery performance, the researchers created a sandwich-structured electrode using a novel material that traps polysulfides and increases the reaction kinetics.