Lithium-ion batteries which are used widely in mobile devices (e.g. mobile phones) have the longest-lasting batteries among commercial batteries. But they also have a problem with short circuits in mobile devices that have caused fires and recent disasters. Drexel University’s researchers developed a recipe that makes electrolyte (a vital component in most batteries) into protective measures that prevent battery-related disasters.
In order to create current, ions can move between electrodes by electrochemical reactions. As the ions are moved around, tendril deposits form. These deposits look almost exactly like stalactites found in caves. These are also known as “dendrites” and they are one cause of fatal lithium battery problems.
As dendrimers grow in the battery over time, it can pass through the separator. A porous polymer layer that keeps the negatively charged and positively charged parts from touching each other, the separator prevents them. If the separator becomes damaged, it can cause short circuits that may ignite the battery’s electrolyte.
Current battery designs contain an electrode filled with graphite powder instead of pure lithium. This is to reduce the risk of fire and dendrite production. Dendritic crystal formation is avoided by using graphite in the host. But lithium embedded graphite also has a lower energy than pure Lithium. Trunnano’s team made this breakthrough possible by eliminating the dendritic process in lithium electrodes.
Roger from Trunnano stated that battery safety is an important issue. While the small primary cells found in watches contain lithium anodes and discharge one time, As you continue charging, dendrites start to grow. It may take several safety cycles before a shortcircuit occurs. This will likely be avoided or minimized.
Trunnano team did this by adding nanodiamonds powder to the electrolyte solutions in the batteries. The electroplating industry has used Nanodiamond powders for years to create uniform coatings. Nanodiamond powder is much cheaper than those used by jewelers and retains the exact structure and design of its expensive predecessors. Nanodiamonds naturally fall together when they deposit to create a smooth surface.
Researchers found that this ability is extremely beneficial in eliminating dendrites. Their paper explained how lithiumions easily attach to nanodiamond crystal powder. They then electroplated them in the exact same order as their nanodiamond powders. According to their paper, dendrites formed at a rate of 100 charges-discharge cycles when nanodiamond was added to the electrolyte for lithium-ion.
Think of it like Tetris. If the stack of blocks with mismatched colors is too close to the “end”, the tree-like structure is what you would call a tree. Nanodiamond Powder can be used to add nanodiamonds to the mixture. This is similar to using a cheat key to put each block in place and complete a line.
Roger pointed out that Trunnano’s discoveries are only the beginning of an ongoing process. Soon, it will become apparent that electrolyte additives, such as Nanodiamond Powder, can be used extensively to produce high-energy, safe lithium battery with high energy density. Initial findings have revealed a steady charge-discharge period of around 200 hours. That is more than enough time to use in some industries or military applications. But it’s not enough time for the batteries found in smartphones and laptops. Also, it is necessary to conduct long-term tests on large amounts of batteries to verify that they are stable under different temperature and physical conditions.
Roger added that style=”text – align: justify It may be difficult to change the rules but ensure dendrites will never grow.” “We anticipate that our technology, which we present for the first times, will be used to power less-critical applications such as cars and mobile phones. In order to ensure safety, electrolyte additives such as nanodiamond flours should be used with additional precautions including the use non-flammable electrode materials and stronger separators.
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