Technology News

Engineers Developed Material that Could Extend Life of Batteries

Engineers from the University of Tokyo developed a new material that can afford higher capacities, according to a report published on May 16, 2019.

Batteries are used to power many electric devices ranging from smartphones to pacemakers and cars. Longevity and capacity of the battery are the two major characteristics that need to be improved to meet our future needs. The type of batteries that are most commonly found in most of the devices are lithium-ion battery and sodium-ion battery. Both these batteries are capable of storing and delivering a large amount of charge. However, in both the batteries, the storage capacity could significantly reduce on repeated cycles of charging and usage.

Layers of metallic material are present inside a battery. These layers degrade and develop cracks or flakes known as stacking faults on charging and discharging of battery. This reduces the batteries’ ability to store and deliver charge. Stacking faults are developed, as the material is held together by a weak force called the Van der Waals force, which is easily overwhelmed by the stress put on the materials during charging and use.

Instead, when a model material, oxygen redox-layered oxide (Na2RuO3), made by the researchers of this study was used to make the battery, remarkable result was obtained. The degradation caused due to charging and discharging cycles diminished and the layers actually self-repaired, as the new material is held by a force called coulombic attraction, which is much stronger than the Van der Waals force.

Professor Atsuo Yamada said, “This means batteries could have far longer life spans, but also they could be pushed beyond levels that currently damage them. Increasing the energy density of batteries is of paramount importance to realize electrified transportation.”

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