University of Alberta wants to use nano-silicon materials to build new lithium batter
01-22-2019, 09:10 AM,
University of Alberta wants to use nano-silicon materials to build new lithium batter
Chemists at the University of Alberta aim to create a new generation of silicon-based lithium batteries, whose charge capacity is 10 times higher than that of current battery batteries.
Jillian Buriak, a chemist at the University of Alberta and professor of Canadian research chair on nanoenergy materials, said: "We want to conduct a variety of tests to see the different effects of different sizes of silicon nanoparticles on the internal fragmentation of batteries."
For large capacity batteries, silicon has great potential for application, because the material has abundant reserves. Compared with graphite, silicon materials in batteries absorb more lithium ions. However, after many charges and discharges, silicon is prone to fragmentation or fracture, because after absorbing and releasing lithium ions, the material itself will expand and shrink, and cracks are prone to occur.
According to current research, if silicon is made into nano-particles, linear or tubular, it will help to prevent its fragmentation. Buriak and his team wanted to know to what extent the volume of such structures needed to optimize the properties of silicon materials and minimize their adverse effects.
Researchers divided silicon nanoparticles into four different sizes and evenly dispersed them in highly conductive graphene aerogels with nano-pore size, which can compensate for the lack of conductivity of silicon. They found that within a diameter of 1 meter, there were 3 billion nanoparticles, which could provide long-term stability after multiple charges and discharges.
Buriak explained: "As the size of particles shrinks, we find that stress control increases, because alloying and dealloying based on lithium `breathes'.
The research shows that this technology can be used in all kinds of applications depending on battery energy storage equipment. Imagine if the battery size of the user's electric vehicle is the same as that of Tesla's battery, but the mileage may be increased 10 times, the charging time may be shortened to 1/10 of the previous one, and the weight of the vehicle's battery is only 1/10 of the previous one.

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