Samsung develops lithium-ion battery with nearly double the life

June 30, 2015 by Bob Yirka weblog
SiC-free graphene growth on Si NPs. (a) A low-magnification TEM image of Gr–Si NP. (b) A higher-magnification TEM image for the same Gr–Si NP from the white box in a. (Insets) The line profiles from the two red boxes indicate that the interlayer spacing between graphene layers is ~3.4 Å, in good agreement with that of typical graphene layers based on van der Waals interaction. (c) A high-magnification TEM image visualizing the origins (red arrows) from which individual graphene layers grow. (d) A schematic illustration showing the sliding process of the graphene coating layers that can buffer the volume expansion of Si. Credit: Nature Communications 6, Article number: 7393 doi:10.1038/ncomms8393

(Phys.org)—A team of researches affiliated with Samsung's Advanced Institute of Technology, along with colleagues from other institutions in Korea has found a way to greatly extend lithium-ion battery life. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the team describes their new technique and the results they achieved using it.

Consumers want their phone batteries to last longer—that is no secret, and battery life has been extended, but mostly due to improved efficiency of the electronics that depend on it. Researchers at and elsewhere have been working hard to find a way to get more power out of the same size battery but have to date, not made much progress. In this new effort, the researchers looked to silicon and graphene for a better battery.

The team started by using silicon as the material for their anode, rather than the traditional graphite—it is denser and therefore can hold more charge—and is something other researchers have tried before. The problem has always been that in order to charge it, lithium must be added, which causes the anode to expand, a deal breaker for small electronic devices. To circumvent that problem, the researches grew carbide-free graphene (to keep it from forming they developed a process which included using a mild oxidant) on its surface creating a protective and restrictive coating. In addition to preventing expansion, the graphene also helped prevent the silicon from breaking down over time (which occurs due to constant expanding and contracting).

Testing showed that the arrangement resulted in a battery that had an initial energy density that was 1.8 times that of conventional batteries, and held steady at 1.5 times after repeated use. Translated to the real world that would mean a battery that at least initially, would last nearly twice as long as conventional batteries. That is impressive, of course, but the fly in the ointment is the graphene—despite a lot of time, effort and money invested, scientists still have not figured out a way to manufacture the stuff in bulk, which means, that the new design will not be available to consumers until a way can be found to produce the .

Explore further: Novel battery uses light to produce power

More information: Silicon carbide-free graphene growth on silicon for lithium-ion battery with high volumetric energy density, Nature Communications 6, Article number: 7393 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8393

Abstract
Silicon is receiving discernable attention as an active material for next generation lithium-ion battery anodes because of its unparalleled gravimetric capacity. However, the large volume change of silicon over charge–discharge cycles weakens its competitiveness in the volumetric energy density and cycle life. Here we report direct graphene growth over silicon nanoparticles without silicon carbide formation. The graphene layers anchored onto the silicon surface accommodate the volume expansion of silicon via a sliding process between adjacent graphene layers. When paired with a commercial lithium cobalt oxide cathode, the silicon carbide-free graphene coating allows the full cell to reach volumetric energy densities of 972 and 700 Wh l−1 at first and 200th cycle, respectively, 1.8 and 1.5 times higher than those of current commercial lithium-ion batteries. This observation suggests that two-dimensional layered structure of graphene and its silicon carbide-free integration with silicon can serve as a prototype in advancing silicon anodes to commercially viable technology.

Related Stories

Novel battery uses light to produce power

June 17, 2015

To move the world toward sustainability, scientists are continuing to explore and improve ways to tap the vast power of sunlight to make fuels and generate electricity. Now they have come up with a brand-new way to use light—solar ...

Charging portable electronics in 10 minutes

June 10, 2014

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering have developed a three-dimensional, silicon-decorated, cone-shaped carbon-nanotube cluster architecture for lithium ion battery anodes that ...

From graphene hydrogels to high-performance anodes

March 18, 2015

How can the electrodes of batteries be made more efficient? In the journal Angewandte Chemie, American scientists describe a powerful approach that uses solvated graphene frameworks as the anode material. Assembled in a lithium ...

Recommended for you

Researchers control soft robots using magnetic fields

March 29, 2017

A team of engineering researchers has made a fundamental advance in controlling so-called soft robots, using magnetic fields to remotely manipulate microparticle chains embedded in soft robotic devices. The researchers have ...

How to outwit noise in quantum communication

March 29, 2017

How to reliably transfer quantum information when the connecting channels are impacted by detrimental noise? Scientists at the University of Innsbruck and TU Wien (Vienna) have presented new solutions to this problem.

Testing the performance of semiconductors—with light

March 29, 2017

Semiconductors are the cornerstone of modern electronics. They're used in solar cells, light emitting diodes (LEDs), microprocessors in laptops and cell phones, and more. Most of them are made of silicon, but silicon has ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

greenonions
not rated yet Jun 30, 2015
the new battery design will not be available to consumers until a way can be found to produce the graphene.


I wonder if this counts.

http://www.gizmag...s/37635/
pborse
not rated yet Jul 03, 2015
Exactly, new economic ways to produce graphene are required

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.