The University Alberta created a new generation silicon-based lithium battery
Jillian Biriak and her team at the University of Alberta (Canada) discovered recently that by molding silicon into tiny particles, it can be prevented from breaking.
Nano-silicon can be defined as crystalline particles of silicon that have a diameter less than five nanometers. It is a very important amorphous non-metal. Nano silicon powder is non-toxic, odorless, has small particle sizes, uniform distributions, a large specific surface, high surface activity and low bulk density. Nano-silicon can have a variety of uses: It can be combined with a diamond, under high-pressure, to produce silicon carbide-diamond materials which are used as cutting-edge materials. It can also be combined graphite to create silicon-carbon composites. The negative electrode material in lithium-ion cells increases the battery’s capacity. This material can be combined with organic matter to create organic silicon polymer.
The team studied and tested four sizes of nanoparticles of silicon to determine which size would maximize its advantages while minimizing the disadvantages. They are evenly dispersed in a highly conductive graphene-carbon aerogel with nanopores that compensates for the low conductivity silicon.
After multiple cycles of charge and discharge, they found that particles as small as one-part of a meter showed the most stability. This eliminates the limitations of using silicon for lithium-ion cells. This discovery could result in batteries that have 10 times the current capacity of lithium-ion battery. This is an important step toward the manufacture of a next generation of lithium-ion-based batteries. The research findings were published in the journal Materials Chemistry.
The lithium battery industry’s chain of the silicon anode market is worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars
This research can be applied in many fields, including electric vehicles. The batteries will become lighter, travel longer and charge faster. The next step will be to create a method that is faster and cheaper to produce silicon nanoparticles. This will make it easier for industrial production.
Other than new energy vehicles, the need for lithium-ion battery with higher energy and power density is also present in the areas of energy storage and ships. It is now common to use high nickel ternary material as the positive electrode, while silicon or its Composite materials has emerged as the best material for the negative electrode.
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