As a powerful lithium-ion battery, lithium sulfur can store up to five times as much energy per unit of weight, but faces a much shorter life span. The good news is that a team at Monash University in Australia, led by Dr Mahdokht Shaibani, has found a stable new lithium-sulfur battery structure that is expected to increase the life of a smartphone to five days, according to a recent report in The Journal of Science Progress.
(From Monash University, via:Science Advances)
It is reported that the new structure allows lithium sulfur batteries to have unprecedented charge and discharge efficiency, thus increasing the typical life of smartphones to several days. Dr. Mahadkot Chabani noted that:
Ironically, because of the large capacity of the lithium-sulfur battery sulfur electrode, it was often difficult to cope with the resulting intense pressure in large-scale applications, which made it prone to rupture.
This stress-induced deformation and connection failure of key components — the carbon substrate responsible for transferring electrons to insulated sulfur and the polymer adhesive that binds the two materials together — eventually leads to rapid decay of battery performance.
With this in mind, Shaibani worked with an international research team to find ways to connect the two more firmly together. Interestingly, instead of using adhesive materials to form dense networks, she decided to “give sulfur particles some breathing space.”
(Pictured: Dr. Mahdokht Shaibani, via New Atlas)
As shown in the figure, the new lithium-sulfur battery structure still relies on conventional adhesives, but takes a different approach, creating a super bridge between the carbon matrix and sulfur particles, allowing extra space to expand as the battery expands during charging.
In other words, the team created a similar network, but placed only a minimal amount of adhesive between adjacent particles, increasing the space to accommodate structural changes and the stresses they produce.
In the initial experiment of more than 200 cycles, the new lithium-sulfur battery structure has shown a glimmer of hope — charging and discharging efficiency of more than 99%. As far as it knows, this high-capacity electrode is unprecedented.
The researchers point out that the new battery could provide up to five days of battery life for smartphones, or allow electric cars to travel more than 1,000 kilometers without charging. Subsequent plans to further expand testing to explore the future of being an EV-powered or solar energy storage battery.
At the same time, the research team also applied for the relevant patents. Compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries, the new lithium-sulfur battery structure not only improves performance, but also promises to significantly reduce costs and environmental impact.
Details of the study have been published in the recent issue of the journal Science Advances under the original title:
Expansion-tolerant architectures for stable cycling of ultra-high-loading-loading siadhes in lithium-bies