New high-energy cathode material can significantly increase safety, life of lithium batteries

April 7, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new high-energy cathode material that can greatly increase the safety and extend the life-span of future lithium batteries has been developed through the close international collaboration of researchers led by the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Hanyang University in South Korea.

Developing a very high-energy system with a long calendar and cycle life and excellent abuse tolerance is an important challenge that lithium battery developers are working on to meet the energy storage needs of the light-duty vehicle market and to help achieve President Barack Obama's goal of putting more than one-million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) on the road by 2015.

"The new high-energy material that we developed makes up a new class of oxide materials in which the composition of each particle is changing from the bulk to the outer layer," said Khalil Amine, manager of the advanced battery technology group at Argonne and the project's co-principal investigator. "Typically most oxide cathodes have a uniform composition throughout each particle, and offer low capacity and high surface reactivity with the electrolyte."

The transitional nature of this new class of oxide material's composition gives it greater functionality. "The basic idea behind our novel approach," Amine said, "is to design a particle that has a very high-energy composition at the bulk and an outer layer composition that is very stable against any reactivity with electrolyte. Those two design features will be able to improve significantly the life and safety of lithium battery materials while offering very high-energy characteristics for possible use in PHEVs."

The material has also demonstrated a very high-power capability, said Yank-Kook Sun, co-principle investigator and a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Hanyang University. "We are able to charge the material to 4.3 and 4.4 volts and attain a very high capacity of more than 210 milliampere hours per gram, with good power capability," he said. "Conventional cathodes have a capacity of 140 to160 mAh/g."

The research is described in the paper "High-energy cathode materials for long-life and safe lithium batteries," and is available on the Nature Materials website.

More information: www.nature.com/nmat/index.html

Provided by Argonne National Laboratory

Explore further: Argonne's lithium-ion battery technology to be commercialized by Japan's Toda Kogyo

Related Stories

Nanoball Batteries Could Charge Electric Cars in 5 Minutes

March 12, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers at MIT have designed a new battery that can recharge devices about 100 times faster than conventional lithium ion batteries. The design could lead to electric car batteries that charge in 5 minutes ...

Recommended for you

Brazilian wasp venom kills cancer cells by opening them up

September 1, 2015

The social wasp Polybia paulista protects itself against predators by producing venom known to contain a powerful cancer-fighting ingredient. A Biophysical Journal study published September 1 reveals exactly how the venom's ...

Naturally-occurring protein enables slower-melting ice cream

August 31, 2015

(Phys.org)—Scientists have developed a slower-melting ice cream—consider the advantages the next time a hot summer day turns your child's cone with its dream-like mound of orange, vanilla and lemon swirls with chocolate ...

Antibody-making bacteria promise drug development

August 31, 2015

Monoclonal antibodies, proteins that bind to and destroy foreign invaders in our bodies, routinely are used as therapeutic agents to fight a wide range of maladies including breast cancer, leukemia, asthma, arthritis, psoriasis, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.