On February 18th researchers at the University of California, San Diego, developed an ultrasonic launcher that could not only be used in any battery, but also bring the commercial viability of lithium-metal batteries one step closer to commercial viability,media reported. Lithium metal batteries are not an effective and viable option at the moment, because they are too short-lived in electric or electronic vehicles. But these batteries do have twice the capacity of today’s best lithium-ion batteries.
The device developed by the researchers is an integral part of the battery, which generates a circulating current in the electrolyte liquid between the anode and the cathode by emitting ultrasonic waves, making it more likely that lithium will form uniform, dense deposits on the anode during charging, thus avoiding a degradation of the performance and short circuit of lithium-metal batteries.
The device is made of ready-made smartphone components that produce sound waves ranging from 100 million to 10 billion hertz. In mobile phones, these devices are primarily used to filter wireless cellular signals and to recognize and filter voice calls and data. The researchers used them to generate electricity in the battery electrolyte.
The researchers showed that lithium-metal batteries fitted with the device could be charged and discharged 250 times in 10 minutes, from zero to 100 percent, and lithium-ion batteries could charge and discharge more than 2,000 times.