Oct 20, 2016

A peek into the future of lithium batteries

Posted by in categories: chemistry, mobile phones

In a great example of a low-cost research solution that could deliver big results, University of Michigan scientists have created a window for lithium-based batteries in order to film them as they charge and discharge.

The future of lithium-ion batteries is limited, says University of Michigan researcher Neil Dasgupta, because the chemistry cannot be pushed much further than it already has. Next-generation lithium cells will likely use lithium air and lithium sulfur chemistries. One of the big hurdles to be overcome in making these batteries practical is dendrites — tiny branch-like structures of lithium that form on the electrodes.

Dendrites can pierce cell walls or limit the lithium’s potential. Neither is good for battery efficiency and can even lead to fires and explosions like those that have plagued the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – though the jury is still out on exactly what caused the Note 7’s well documented woes.

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