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Three-Dimensional Batteries to Replace Conventional Lithium-ion Batteries

A recent research report presented during the 241st National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) indicates that soon we will have three-dimensional batteries to power electric cars that are available with the dealers.

According to Amy Prieto, leader of the research study team, the prototype version of the three-dimensional lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery matches the size of a normal cell phone battery and gets recharged in flat 12 minutes when compared to a normal lithium-ion battery that takes nearly two hours. Also the new three-dimensional battery can be discharged or used twice the number of times than a conventional lithium-ion battery.

The conventional Li-ion batteries utilize graphite to work as anode (negative electrode) and lithium compound as the cathode (positive electrode), and an electrolyte to separate the negative and positive electrodes. The electrically charged Lithium ions are set in an arrangement to travel from the carbon anode to the lithium cathode by utilizing the electrolyte solution during the discharge and vice versa while recharging. But the arrangement was found to be the major disadvantage for the battery because it took more amount of time to get recharged. The conventional Li-ion also has a limited two years of life period and needed exclusive built-in circuits to avoid overheating.

The researchers made the basic changes within the interior of the battery to overcome the problems related to slow recharging and overheating. They substituted the graphite anode with nanowires of copper antimonide.

The minute nano-wires measuring 1/50,000th width of a strand of human hair incorporates more surface area to store twice the number of lithium ions in comparison with the graphite per unit volume. The utilized nanowires are found to be chemically more secure than graphite with improved heat resisting capabilities.

Inside the prototype three-dimensional battery, the researchers have set the nanowires in a closely-packed three dimensional arrangement. The nanowires are given a fine layer of electrolyte coat to bifurcate the anode from the cathode and enclosed it with traditionally utilized lithium. It was proved in the laboratory tests that the prototype took only 12 minutes to get recharged instead of the two hours by a normal lithium-ion battery. The commercial version of the new batteries is anticipated to be thinner because of the three-dimensional properties to contain more lithium per unit volume and is expected to have twice the lifespan of normal batteries.



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