The Nanoparticles by Design Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) experimented with a new structure of the silicon anode of lithium-ion batteries. They found that a multi layered structure enables the battery to improve in power and safety. The research is still in the proof-of-concept phase.
Silicon as a material for the anode instead of graphite offers several advantages. One atom of silicon can bind four atoms of lithium, while six atoms of carbon are needed to bind one atom of lithium. That makes the capacity of a silicon anode more than ten times greater but also destabilizes the structure of the battery. Now the OIST team came up with a solution by using nanostructured layers of silicon. The team used a so called Cluster Beam Deposition machine to precisely control the physical structure of the silicon layers.
“The goal in battery technology right now is to increase charging speed and power output,” explained Dr. Marta Haro Remon, first author of the study. “While it is fine to charge your phone or your laptop over a long period of time, you would not wait by your electric car for three hours at the charging station.”
Image Source: © OIST | OIST.jp