Building a better battery, layer by layer

phys.org | 10/15/2018 | Staff
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A team of researchers from Shinshu University in Nagano, Japan is now closer to a thin, high-capacity lithium-ion battery that could open the door to better energy storage systems for electric vehicles. The research team was led by professor Katsuya Teshima, director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Science (CEES) at Shinshu University in Japan. They published their insights online in August in Scientific Reports.

"Lithium-ion batteries are very promising energy storage systems for electric vehicles that require relatively high energy densities," said author Nobuyuki Zettsu, a professor in the CEES and in the Department of Materials Chemistry at Shinshu University. "However, their high operating voltages commonly result in the oxidative decomposition of the electrode surface, which subsequently promotes various side reactions."

Batteries - Lot - Energy - Force - Battery

Lithium-ion batteries store a lot of energy, but the force it takes to make the battery disperse the energy is too much—so much, in fact, that the resulting damage makes the battery lose storage capacity.

To combat this issue, Zettsu and colleagues examined the electric and electrochemical properties of the high-voltage (>4.8 V, vs Li+/Li) cathode, where the electrons enter the battery cell.

Researchers - Capacity - Reduction - Contact - Area

"Many researchers have attempted to mitigate the observed capacity fading through the reduction of the direct contact area," Zettsu said, pointing to research projects where scientists covered the surface of the cathode with different materials in an attempt to reduce erosion. "Various fundamental studies have been performed to investigate the effects of the surface coating modification; however, none of them led to a considerable performance enhancement of high-voltage cathode-based battery cells."

Zettsu may have turned the tide on surface modifiers through the use of a self-assembled monolayer. His team applied an ultra-thin coating of fluoroalkylisilane to the surface of the cathodes. Fluoroalkylisilane, a type of silicone, organizes itself into the most efficient arrangement to conduct lithium ions and insulate...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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