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Print 12 comment(s) - last by randomly.. on Feb 18 at 9:55 PM

Never replace that rechargeable battery again.

The now nearly ubiquitous lithium-ion battery is quite possibly one of the best things ever to happen to portable electronics. Modern batteries boast good capacities, recharge rates, and charge cycle lifespans. Unfortunately, this does not preclude them from having a lifespan at all. And as anyone who has had to replace a laptop battery or even a cell phone battery knows, they are not inexpensive.

A paper published in the ACS journal 
Nano Letters by researchers from Boston College outlines a new material engineered to replace standard anode materials and performs better than other recently engineered nanowire structures. Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dunwei Wang and his team's new anode uses two-dimensional titanium disilicide (TiSi2) lattices sprinkled with silicon in a structure that they call a nanonet.

The nanonet material's charge/discharge rate was measured to be between five and ten times as fast as standard carbon-based anode material at 8,400mA/g. It's specific capacity during these tests was over 1,000mA-h/g, which doesn't place it ahead of some germanium and silicon anode materials, but firmly ahead of the previously mentioned carbon. The anode material was also incredibly durable, losing only .1% capacity per cycle between the 20th and 100th test cycles.

Wang says the nanonet structure is the key to the durability and speed of the new material. The structure makes it incredibly resilient, while the conductivity creates a good environment for the insertion and removal of the lithium ions. This provides fast recharge times with very little affect to capacitance over the battery's life.

The team plans to next examine the effectiveness of nanonet structures for li-ion battery cathodes.



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Why reinvent technology already on the market?
By Saturnus on 2/18/2010 4:14:29 PM , Rating: 2
There's already 2 competing nanostructure battery technologies on the market that already provide exactly the benefits this "discovery" tries to achive.

Most famously is the LFP (LithiumFerroPhosphate) cells from A123 systems and others. They have the same slightly lower energy density, very high recharge times (under 40 minutes for full recharge), 20 or more times as many charge cycles than standard obsolete lithium batteries, much higher current capacity than almost any other battery type, safer than any other battery (they can't catch fire, explode, and does not contain any enviromentally unfriendly materials), they even almost cost the same now.

Why reinvent something on the market that already does what they try to do better?




RE: Why reinvent technology already on the market?
By menace on 2/18/2010 6:14:42 PM , Rating: 2
To put out something competitive and not have to pay royalties to the competing patent holder, why else?

Also may be possible this scales more affordably. For example, perhaps they could sell a battery with 75% of the performance of the competitor's offering at half the price.


By menace on 2/18/2010 6:19:42 PM , Rating: 2
Oops I should read the article more closely, it was research. Still the scale affordable argument may be possible. Or maybe this is just how our 'stimulus' money gets unrinated away.


Yawn
By aegisofrime on 2/18/10, Rating: -1
RE: Yawn
By Qapa on 2/18/2010 8:42:58 AM , Rating: 5
You should probably stop reading tech news, as most (>90%) is about stuff that "will be".

Yes, some are more immediate than others. Some may even go into vapor.. but all of them create a craving for the future..

Oh definitely don't read medical news about experimental treatments.. those take 5-10 years of study to.. then decide whether it can be used or not ... :)

Or, in one single word: relax :)


RE: Yawn
By Vagisil on 2/18/2010 8:44:23 AM , Rating: 1
I think i share your feelings on this, I love tech and tech news but nothing annoys me more than seeing "New technology very promising, Ready by 2030" i think its more about being impatient and wanting these advances when i hear of them.

Some of these papers compare to the suggestion that we'll be living in cities on the moon by the year 2000 and we'll be driving to work in hovercraft.


RE: Yawn
By Flunk on 2/18/2010 8:52:18 AM , Rating: 2
I think you have a misconception of how long it takes to get this sort of technology to market. Even if the research on the materials was completed last year there is still a lot of research and development to be done. Studies that are released today could take years to be used in a consumer product (5-20, although it varies).

I'm not saying that any of these specific battery technologies will be in any specific consumer device in any timeframe. Just that's it's unreasonable to expect such a quick turnaround.

We will definitely see improved batteries in the next 5-10 years, the but technology that will be adopted is a mystery at this point.


RE: Yawn
By bug77 on 2/18/2010 8:55:24 AM , Rating: 2
Moreover, the way we harness electrical power today is so crude, that any breakthrough may be superseded several times by the time it is actually ready for mass production. We have that much ground to cover.


RE: Yawn
By randomly on 2/18/2010 9:16:23 AM , Rating: 2
It's true there is a high infant mortality rate for newborn technologies on their way to market. When it comes to batteries though I'm happy to hear about anything that helps even a little.

Our whole society, standard of living, and way of life are built around our use of energy. Batteries are a pivotal technology in that and what our future will be is very closely tied to how batteries develop.

Only an average fade of 0.1% capacity per cycle between 20th and 100th cycle is unfortunately not that good. That's an 8% loss in 80 cycles, which projected out gives the battery a cycle life of only a few hundred cycles. This is the realm of junky Lead Acid car batteries. There are already current production lithium cells with cycle lifes in excess of 5,000 cycles.

1000mah/g capacity on the other hand is pretty good, this is about 3 times what is currently achieved with graphite anodes. Unfortunately anode materials are not the weak link in lithium batteries and their capacity is already 3-4 times the capacity of the cathode materials. High energy density cathode materials are what we really need.

But it's early days on this, maybe something good will come out of it.

We better hope so.


RE: Yawn
By lightfoot on 2/18/2010 12:46:33 PM , Rating: 3
This technology may not ever help us. We would be much better off extending unemployment benefits another 6 months instead of researching useless battery technology. Why worry about the future when there are people who still don't have cell phones today?


RE: Yawn
By randomly on 2/18/2010 9:55:42 PM , Rating: 2
Now that was funny :-)


RE: Yawn
By cruisin3style on 2/18/2010 4:14:55 PM , Rating: 2
Why have a baby in 9 months when you can have an abortion today!


“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads











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