A newly developed lithium-ion battery is ready to be used widely. This battery holds the capacity to get charged with in 10 minutes and offers three times as much energy as its existing counterparts provide.
This battery could be used for cells and hybrid cars as well.
The battery is now under a provision patent and will be commercially available in the coming three years.
Chongwu Zhou, professor at the University Of Southern California Viterbi School Of Engineering, who led the team to develop the battery, said that the research was very much exciting and it was opening the door for design of the next generation lithium-ion batteries.
He worked with graduate students Mingyuan Ge, Jipeng Rong, Xin Fang and Anyi Zhang with the coordination of Yunhao Lu of Zehjiang University in China.
Silicon has been majorly used in the research as it is cheap and has a high potential capacity in battery anodes.
Problem with the silicon designs was that they were basically tiny plates of the material that had broken down from repeated swelling and shrinking during charging/discharging cycles and had become unsuitable for use.
The team also experimented with porous silicon nano-wires that were less than 100 nano-meters across and were of few microns length.
These tiny pores on the nano-wires enabled silicon to expand and contract without breaking while increasing the surface area simultaneously and that then resulted in the diffusion of lithium-ion in and out of the battery and gave an improved performance.
To solve the problem, Zhou’s team took commercially available nano-particles and tiny silicon spheres and etched them with the same pores as the nano-wires.
The particles functioned similarly and could be made in any quantity desired.