Researchers move closer to 300% improved battery life
15th Mar 2010 | 08:44
Lithium-sulphur holds the key
The lithium-ion battery is a common sight in today's gadgets, but researchers at Stanford University have shown off technology that can be used to make longer-lasting lithium-sulphur batteries.
With early tests showing that lithium-sulphur can potentially last four times longer than regular batteries, the Nanostructured Li2S/Silicon Rechargeable Battery with High Specific Energytechnology project was discussed in Nano Letters.
"The recent development of sulfur/mesoporous carbon nanocomposite cathodes represents a particularly exciting advance, but in full battery cells, sulfur-based cathodes have to be paired with metallic lithium anodes as the lithium source, which can result in serious safety issues," explains the report.
Novel and metal free
"Here we report a novel lithium metal-free battery consisting of a Li2S/mesoporous carbon composite cathode and a silicon nanowire anode," it continues.
"This new battery yields a theoretical specific energy...which is four times that of the theoretical specific energy of existing lithium-ion batteries based on LiCoO2 cathodes and graphite anodes."
So, in a nutshell, the battery builds on research from a few years ago into an electrode made of silicon nanowires - which could hold ten times the charge of li-ion batteries - and has paired it with a clever lithium-sulphide cathode.
Upshot? Potentially gadgets that can last four times longer, and that's certainly exciting news.