Recently, scientists from Russia have discovered a battery design that offers several promising performance benefits — especially three times the capacity of the current solution — through experiments with new material, foreign media reported. The breakthrough comes from the material that replaces the battery electrode with a hollow nano-ball, which has the advantage that the device not only maintains more charge but also remains stable for a considerable period.
From smartphones to laptops to electric cars, lithium-ion batteries are powered by graphite as a negative pole. Anodes are a key focus for scientists seeking to improve battery performance.
For researchers at Russia’s National University of Science and Technology (MISIS), this means exploring possible more efficient alternatives to graphite anodes. Using a technique called ultrasonic spray pyrolysis, the ions of special metals become foggy through ultrasound and then the water evaporates at high temperatures, creating micro balls with hollow porous structures.
After integrating these batteries into lithium batteries as anodes, the team tested and observed some performance benefits. The new material not only enables batteries to have several times the capacity of conventional lithium-ion batteries but also preserves the hollowing properties of negative poles in 1,000 charging cycles. This cushions volume changes during charging to help the battery stay stable for a considerable period of life.
Study author Evgeny Kolesnikov said: “The porous nano balls we extracted (made up of Cu0.4Zn0.6Fe2O4) are used as negative materials and have three times the capacity of existing batteries on the market. “Furthermore, it allows for a five-fold increase in the number of charge and discharge cycles compared to other promising graphite alternatives. This improvement is achieved by the synergy of special nanostructures and the combination of the elements used. ”
As with previous studies, it’s far from easy to turn these promising experiments in a controlled lab environment into batteries that can power smartphones for three days. But such high capacity and excellent cycle stability are highly desirable features for the next generation of batteries, so the study opens up another promising avenue for scientists in the field to explore.