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New Techniques to Develop Better Lithium Batteries

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Published on : Apr 24, 2019

Lithium-ion batteries are extensively used in our daily lives. However, they are prone to have low energy density which often leads to recharging the battery. Also, as a result of highly flammable electrolyte, there are chances of them catching fire or sometimes exploding. However, researchers have come up with a technique to develop a better Li-ion batteries that support longer shelf life and safe usage.

Researchers thought that replacing the graphite anode with lithium metal can solve the issue of low energy density. This is because lithium metal, theoretically, has an output capacity 10 times better than graphite anode. However, there are chances of short circuit if the lithium metal penetrates the separating membrane during lithium plating.

How Researchers Developed the New Technique for Better Battery Life?

Researchers focused on solid ceramic electrolyte to improve battery life. Most solid electrolytes are ceramic which eliminate the safety concerns in a battery. Also, these solid ceramic electrolytes offer better energy density as compared to conventional graphite anode. Further, these ceramic electrolytes offer better mechanical strength to the battery. They can suppress the growth of lithium dendrites in a lithium-ion battery, too. This results in lithium used as a coating option in the battery.

According to researchers, lithium metal is a crucial element when it comes to enhancing the battery life. Hence, it is important to use solid ceramic electrolytes as anode. However, it is also essential to come up with chemically and mechanically stable interface to use these batteries in real-life applications. It is important to have a highly insulating surface but it should also conduct lithium ions smoothly. Also, a thin metal will prevent the energy density issues in the batteries.

To address these concerns, researcher used an ultra-thin layer of boron nitride as a protection layer between lithium metal and ionic conductors. They used boron nitride because it is chemically and mechanically stable with lithium metal providing better electric insulation.

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