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Scientists at Stanford University have developed a new lithium-based electrolyte that could pave the way for future battery-powered electric cars. In the paper, published in the journal Nature Energy, the researchers show how their new electrolyte design improves the performance of lithium-metal batteries.
The national accelerator laboratory, professor of materials science and engineering and photon science Cui Yi (transliteration), said: "the most used in lithium ion battery of electric vehicle and its energy density is fast approaching the theoretical limit, so we put the eyes on the lithium battery, it is more light than lithium ion battery, and on the unit weight and volume can supply more energy."
Lithium-metal can store more energy than graphite anodes, so by replacing them, lithium-metal batteries can hold twice as much power per kilogram as conventional lithium-ion batteries. But in the process, the lithium metal anode reacts with the liquid electrolyte, leading to the growth of lithium microstructure dendrites on the surface of the anode, which eventually causes the battery to catch fire and malfunction.
Researcher Zhiao Yu said: "The electrolyte problem has always been the Achilles heel of lithium-metal batteries, and in our study, we used organic chemistry to rationally design and create new, stable battery electrolytes." In this study, Yu and his team explored whether they could solve the stability problem with a common, commercially available liquid electrolyte.
"We hypothesized that adding fluorine atoms to the electrolyte molecules would make the liquid more stable. Fluorine is a widely used element in the electrolyte of lithium-ion batteries. We used its ability to attract electrons to create a new molecule that allows the lithium metal anode to function well in the electrolyte, "Yu continued.
The result is a new synthetic compound, FDMB for short, which is easy to produce in large quantities.