Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering News

A Longer Life for Lithium Ion Batteries

A Longer Life for Lithium Ion Batteries

A scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of a cross-section of Guo and Wang's silicon scaffold anode.
A scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of a cross-section of Guo and Wang's silicon scaffold anode.

Recently published research by Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering assistant professor Chunsheng Wang and postdoctoral research associate Dr. Juchen Guo describes the synthesis of a new and improved electrode composite for use in rechargeable lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries that could substantially increase their functional lifespan.

Rechargeable Li-ion batteries are used in a wide range of products and equipment, and have shown potential for use in electric vehicles. But before that can happen, Guo says, they need to be more durable and store and put out more power.

"A current challenge to developing lithium ion batteries with higher energy is replacing the current low capacity negative electrode, which is made of graphite, with a new material with a much higher capacity," he explains. "Silicon is a good candidate in terms of its capacity, which is ten times higher. However, the great shortcoming of silicon is that during the charge/discharge process, silicon particles undergo large changes in their volume as the lithium ions are inserted and extracted. This causes a lot of stress, and as a result the silicon particles will eventually be pulverized, and the battery's electrode structure will be demolished."

Most previous research on this problem focused on the nano-sized silicon particles themselves, or silicon nanowires, but improvement was limited. Guo and Wang came up with a different approach.

"The idea was to incorporate nano-size silicon particles into a 3D scaffold structure made of polymer," says Guo. "The porous structure of the scaffold can accommodate the volume change of the silicon particles, keeping the electrode intact and increasing the lifespan of the battery. Our results demonstrate a significantly improved cycle life compared to those reported in most of the previous studies."

For More Information:

Juchen Guo and Chunsheng Wang. "A polymer scaffold binder structure for high capacity silicon anode of lithium-ion battery," Chem. Commun. 2010, 46, 1428–1430 »

Visit Professor Wang's web site »

Related Articles:
Bad Virus Put to Good Use: Breakthrough Batteries
New Nanocomposite Anodes Speed Battery Charging
All-In-One: $300K for Development of Interface-Free Battery
C. Wang Wins NSF Grant for Battery Research
Kofinas Awarded Patent for Flexible Batteries
UMD Partners with Army to Launch Extreme Battery Research Center
Department of Energy renews NEES EFRC for four years
Room To Move: Spacing Graphite Layers Makes a Better Battery Anode
C. Wang Enters R&D Partnership with Huizhou Eve Energy
Chunsheng Wang Promoted

September 20, 2010


Prev   Next


Current Headlines

Anisimov Named Distinguished University Professor

UMD Leads Development of Safer Water-in-Salt Electrolyte Lithium Battery

UMD Ph.D candidates win awards for next generation batteries and electrochemical compressor

Fourth Consecutive Win for UMD Electrochemical Society Student Chapter

UMERC Director Keynote Speaker at Battery Safety Conference in November

iGEM Looks to Fight Global Warming with Synthetic Biology

ChBE Student Represents UMD in DOE Cleantech UP Business Plan Competition

Flexus Living & Learning Community Honored by Women in Engineering ProActive Network