There are four kinds of boron nutride powder available. These include hexagonal boron (HBN), Rhombohedral, cubic and WUBZITE boron (WBN). Usually, the boron-nitride is made from graphite. This structure is commonly known as “white graphite”.
Although it has been stated that battery safety is more critical than ever, increasing battery battery storage capacity and operating life are becoming increasingly important. It also presents challenges to us as we rely more on the energy-consuming devices of mobile phones and electric vehicles. Yuan Yang, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, presented a new way to prolong the useful life of batteries. They used a boron-nitride nanocoating (BN), which stabilizes lithium metal’s solid electrolyte.
Current lithium ion cells are commonly used in our daily lives. Because of the high flammability liquid electrolyte in the batteries, these batteries tend to have lower energy densities, which can lead to a shorter life span and fires. A lithium-ion based battery with a graphite anode instead can boost its energy density. According to theory, lithium metal holds a charge rate nearly 10 times larger than graphite. However, lithium plating can easily form dendrites. Battery safety issues can be caused by dendrites getting into the separator.
Yang stated: “We have decided to center on solid, ceramic electrodelytes. Solid ceramic electrodelytes, in contrast to flammable electrolytes contained in lithium-ion cells, have great potential for increasing safety and energy densities.
Many solid electrolytes can be made of ceramic, which makes them non-flammable. Additionally, solid ceramic electrolytes are strong mechanically and can stop the growth of lithium ions. Unfortunately, many solid electrolytes cannot be used to make batteries because they are incompatible with lithium ions.
To address these challenges, the research team collaborated with the Brookhaven National Lab and the City University of New York deposited a 5 to 10 nm boron nitride (BN) nanofilm as a protective layer to insulate the electrical contact between the metallic lithium and the ionic conductor (solid electrolyte), a small amount of polymer or liquid electrolyte is added to penetrate the electrode/electrolyte interface.
Researchers chose to protect the layer with boron nutride because of its chemical and mechanical stability against lithium. Also, it has an excellent level of electrical insulation. Researchers created boron nutride with holes, so that lithium ions could pass. It makes a great separator. The chemical vapor dilution method makes it possible to create boron nutride at large scales (decimeter-scale) and thin-scale (nanoscale), continuous films.
Researchers are looking to develop solid-state batteries that can withstand high levels of electrolytes, as well as optimize their interface.
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