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Researchers have identified new solid materials that could lead to the manufacture of non-toxic lithium-ion batteries, according to a study recently published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials.
Batteries are made of two oppositely charged electrodes separated by a liquid, gel-like, or solid 'electrolyte' medium through which electrically charged atoms, or ions, move. In many cases, these electrolytes are toxic and flammable, so researchers have been looking for non-toxic alternatives.
Makoto - Moriya - Shizuoka - University - Japan
Makoto Moriya of Shizuoka University in Japan investigated molecular crystals for this purpose. To obtain the crystals he added an organic compound to lithium salt. The molecules self-assembled to form channels through which lithium ions moved, creating an electric current. Changing the crystals' structures affected their ion-conducting functions.
Ion conductivity in these materials was not as high as in organic liquids, inorganic ceramics...
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