Related topics: electric cars · battery · lithium ion battery

Peering into batteries: X-rays reveal lithium-ion's mysteries

Billions of smartphone owners are familiar with the dreaded "low battery" symbol on their devices. While consumers groan, scientists are working to understand why and when lithium-ion batteries in phones, plug-in electric ...

A battery with a twist

Markus Niederberger's team of researchers at ETH has used stretchable materials to develop a battery that can be bent, stretched and twisted. For applications in bendable electronic devices, this is precisely the kind of ...

'Nanochains' could increase battery capacity, cut charging time

How long the battery of your phone or computer lasts depends on how many lithium ions can be stored in the battery's negative electrode material. If the battery runs out of these ions, it can't generate an electrical current ...

New coating brings lithium metal battery closer to reality

Hope has been restored for the rechargeable lithium metal battery—a potential battery powerhouse relegated for decades to the laboratory by its short life expectancy and occasional fiery demise while its rechargeable sibling, ...

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Lithium-ion battery

Lithium-ion batteries (sometimes abbreviated Li-ion batteries) are a type of rechargeable battery in which lithium ions move from the anode to cathode during discharge, and from the cathode to the anode when charged.

Lithium ion batteries are common in consumer electronics. They are one of the most popular types of battery for portable electronics, with one of the best energy-to-weight ratios, no memory effect, and a slow loss of charge when not in use. In addition to uses for consumer electronics, lithium-ion batteries are growing in popularity for defense, automotive, and aerospace applications due to their high energy density. However, certain kinds of mistreatment may cause conventional Li-ion batteries to explode.

The three primary functional components of a lithium ion battery are the anode, cathode, and electrolyte, for which a variety of materials may be used. Commercially, the most popular material for the anode is graphite. The cathode is generally one of three materials: a layered oxide, such as lithium cobalt oxide, one based on a polyanion, such as lithium iron phosphate, or a spinel, such as lithium manganese oxide, although materials such as TiS2 (titanium disulfide) were originally used. Depending on the choice of material for the anode, cathode, and electrolyte the voltage, capacity, life, and safety of a lithium ion battery can change dramatically. Recently novel architectures have been employed to improve the performance of these batteries. Lithium ion batteries are not to be confused with lithium batteries, the key difference being that lithium batteries are primary batteries containing metallic lithium while lithium-ion batteries are secondary batteries containing an intercalation anode material.

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