Geekin’ Out, Battery Style: In-Plane Vacancy-Enabled High-Power Si–Graphene Composite Electrodes

It seems like new technology keeps popping up monthly on the battery front, and it’s hard to know what’s possibly real and what’s just vaporware, but Domenick found this very intriguing new lithium/silicon technology, that seems pretty legitimate.  Check out the post on Autoblog Green, here.  It comes from a story from Northwestern University, here.

Here’s the short story from the Northwestern site:

“… First, to stabilize the silicon in order to maintain maximize charge capacity, they sandwiched clusters of silicon between the graphene sheets. This allowed for a greater number of lithium ions in the electrode while utilizing the flexibility of graphene sheets to accommodate the volume changes of silicon during use.

“Now we almost have the best of both worlds,” Kung said. “We have much higher energy density because of the silicon, and the sandwiching reduces the capacity loss caused by the silicon expanding and contracting. Even if the silicon clusters break up, the silicon won’t be lost.”

Kung’s team also used a chemical oxidation process to create miniscule holes (10-20 nanometers) in the graphene sheets – termed “in-plane defects” – so the lithium ions would have a “shortcut” into the anode. This reduced the time it takes the battery to recharge by up to 10 times.”

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