Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the United States have developed a new type of electrolyte that could dramatically improve the range of electric vehicles,media reported. By replacing graphite material from lithium battery anodes with pure lithium metal, it is expected to achieve a new breakthrough in energy density and charging speed. In addition, new electrolytes made of soft and solid materials can effectively inhibit the growth of branches that cause serious damage to battery performance.
Smooth-surfacebattery anode X-ray image (from Berkeley Lab)
Lithium metal has high hopes in the energy sector due to its excellent energy density. With continuous improvement, lithium-pure metal electrodes are expected to increase battery capacity by up to 10 times today, dramatically reducing the time it takes to charge.
But the biggest obstacle to scientists is the potential to seriously damage battery performance. This annoying structure forms on the graphite anode when the battery is charged and discharged, and eventually causes the lithium battery to fail or even catch fire.
Many battery research projects have focused on how to inhibit the growth of these branches. Lately, however, we have seen some promising solutions.
These include adding aprotective layers to the anodes to prevent the growth of branches, or using carbon nanotube brackets to achieve the same effect, or even introducing tape into the mixture.
Study illustration (from Nature Materials)
The good news is that a team of scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Carnegie Mellon University have come up with new answers to new soft solid electrolytes.
It is reported that the electrolyte is designed to promote the movement of ions between the two poles of the battery. But on lithium-metal batteries, the team selected soft, porous polymer susmometers and filled them with nanoceramic particles.
With x-ray imaging techniques for up to 16 hours of observation, laboratory tests have shown that this soft, solid-binding electrolyte solution has significant advantages. The electrode surface remains fairly smooth throughout the test.
In another control group that did not use a so-called PIM composite electrolyte material, the researchers observed signs of growth of chiplitos at an early stage. Looking ahead, it hopes that new technologies will help dramatically increase the battery density of electric vehicles.
Details of the study have been published recently in the journal Nature Materials.
Originally titled “Universal chemomechanic design rules for solid-ion conductors to prevent dendrite formation in lithium metal lithis.”