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The University in Alberta created a new generation silicon-based lithium battery
Jillian Biriak and her team at the University of Alberta (Canada) discovered recently that making silicon nano-sized particles can help prevent it from breaking.
Nano-silicon can be defined as crystalline particles of silicon that have a diameter less than five nanometers. It is a very important non-metal, amorphous substance. Nano silicon powder is non-toxic, odorless, has small particle sizes, uniform distributions, a large surface area and high surface activity. Nano-silicon can have a variety of uses: It can be used to make high temperature coatings and refractory material, and it can also be mixed with diamonds under high pressurized to form composite materials. These materials can then be used as cutting materials and combined with graphite to form composite materials made from silicon and carbon. The negative electrode material in lithium-ion cells increases the battery’s capacity. This material can be combined with organic matter to create organic silicon polymer.
The team studied and tested four sizes of nanoparticles of silicon to determine which size would maximize its advantages while minimizing the disadvantages. The silicon nanoparticles are evenly dispersed in a highly conductive graphene-carbon aerogel with nanopores that compensates for the low conductivity.
After multiple cycles of charge and discharge, they found that particles as small as one part per meter showed the most stability. This eliminates the limitations of using silicon for lithium-ion cells. This discovery may lead to the development of new lithium-ion battery generations with a capacity 10 times greater than the current ones. The research findings were published in the journal Materials Chemistry.
The lithium battery industry’s chain of the silicon anode market is worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars
This research can be applied in many fields, including electric vehicles. The batteries will become lighter, travel longer and charge faster. Next step will be to create a method that is faster and cheaper to produce silicon nanoparticles. This will make it easier for industrial production.
Other than new energy vehicles, the need for lithium-ion battery with higher energy and power density is also present in the areas of energy storage and ships. It is now common to use high nickel ternary material as the positive electrode, while silicon or its composites are the most promising materials for the negative electrode.
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