JUL 02, 2019 2:03 PM PDT

New Insight Into Lithium-Ion Battery Technology

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

The same battery technology utilized in our smartphones and laptops are used in electric cars. These are lithium-ion batteries that are virtually used for anything electronic. Recently, lithium-ion battery technology has not been progressing in improvement. To expand on areas of improvement and increase the use of electric cars, the very science of these batteries must be understood particularly in how they wear out over time.

Now, researchers have captured a detailed X-ray image of lithium-ion battery electrodes which indicates that damage mostly comes from repeated charging. The comprehensive image can help manufactures better design longer-lasting and reliable batteries for use in smartphones and cars.

Purdue University: In-depth computational models of commercial lithium-ion battery electrodes specifically reveal where damage happens with use. (Purdue University image/Kejie Zhao)

“The creation of knowledge is sometimes more valuable than solving the problem of battery electrode damage,” states Dr. Kejie Zhao of Purdue University. “Before, people didn’t have the techniques or theory to understand this problem.”

Findings were published in the journals Advanced Energy Materials and the Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, and describe how an X-ray tool driven by artificial intelligence is capable of scanning thousands of particles in a lithium-ion battery electrode at once using machine-learning algorithms. The unique technique brings an understanding to how damaging the electrodes deteriorates a battery’s charging capacity. Results show that damage to the battery particles does not necessarily happen in one location or at the same time but that some particles may actually fail more quickly than others.

Purdue University: Researchers have created a new technique that scans thousands of particles in the electrode of a battery at once. The goal is to understand how cracks in these particles impact battery performance, so that the industry can build more reliable batteries with higher charging capacity. (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility image/Yang Yang)

“Most work had been focused on the single particle level and using that analysis to understand the whole battery. But there’s obviously a gap there; a lot differs between a single particle at a micron scale and the whole battery at a much larger scale,” said Dr. Zhao, whose is a professor of mechanical engineering. “The capacity of batteries doesn’t depend on how many particles are in the battery; what matters is how the lithium ions are used.”

“It’s hard for a battery to have a high capacity and be reliable at the same time,” says Dr. Zhao. “Increasing a battery’s capacity often means sacrificing its reliability.”

Source: Purdue University

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
APR 14, 2021
Technology
How Can Mario Kart Teach Us About Improving World Poverty?
APR 14, 2021
How Can Mario Kart Teach Us About Improving World Poverty?
Rushing down Rainbow Road and receiving power from the floating square icons on the screen, or even slipping on a banana ...
MAY 21, 2021
Neuroscience
Reasoning Exercises Boost Children's Math Skills, say Researchers
MAY 21, 2021
Reasoning Exercises Boost Children's Math Skills, say Researchers
Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have found that children who practice visual working memory and rea ...
MAY 25, 2021
Technology
Telehealth May Be Here To Stay, But Economic Challenges Could Cause Access Issues
MAY 25, 2021
Telehealth May Be Here To Stay, But Economic Challenges Could Cause Access Issues
The widespread use of telehealth, or the use of technology to facilitate an “appointment” with a doctor, bec ...
JUN 04, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Neurotechnology and Saliva Tests Detect Psychoactive Effects of Cannabis
JUN 04, 2021
Neurotechnology and Saliva Tests Detect Psychoactive Effects of Cannabis
Researchers from contract research organization, KGK Science, working on behalf of neurotechnology firm Zentrela, have f ...
JUN 08, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Improving the Accuracy of Space Weather Predictions
JUN 08, 2021
Improving the Accuracy of Space Weather Predictions
When magnetized plasma is released from the surface of the sun in a phenomenon known as coronal mass ejections, they can ...
JUN 17, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
A RADICA Approach to Viral Diagnostics
JUN 17, 2021
A RADICA Approach to Viral Diagnostics
  The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a wave of new technologies for rapid viral diagnostics, given just how critical ...
Loading Comments...