A Longer Life for Lithium Ion Batteries

A Longer Life for Lithium Ion Batteries

A Longer Life for Lithium Ion Batteries

A scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of a cross-section of Guo and Wang's silicon scaffold anode.
A scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of a cross-section of Guo and Wang's silicon scaffold anode.

Recently published research by Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering assistant professor Chunsheng Wang and postdoctoral research associate Dr. Juchen Guo describes the synthesis of a new and improved electrode composite for use in rechargeable lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries that could substantially increase their functional lifespan.

Rechargeable Li-ion batteries are used in a wide range of products and equipment, and have shown potential for use in electric vehicles. But before that can happen, Guo says, they need to be more durable and store and put out more power.

"A current challenge to developing lithium ion batteries with higher energy is replacing the current low capacity negative electrode, which is made of graphite, with a new material with a much higher capacity," he explains. "Silicon is a good candidate in terms of its capacity, which is ten times higher. However, the great shortcoming of silicon is that during the charge/discharge process, silicon particles undergo large changes in their volume as the lithium ions are inserted and extracted. This causes a lot of stress, and as a result the silicon particles will eventually be pulverized, and the battery's electrode structure will be demolished."

Most previous research on this problem focused on the nano-sized silicon particles themselves, or silicon nanowires, but improvement was limited. Guo and Wang came up with a different approach.

"The idea was to incorporate nano-size silicon particles into a 3D scaffold structure made of polymer," says Guo. "The porous structure of the scaffold can accommodate the volume change of the silicon particles, keeping the electrode intact and increasing the lifespan of the battery. Our results demonstrate a significantly improved cycle life compared to those reported in most of the previous studies."

For More Information:

Juchen Guo and Chunsheng Wang. "A polymer scaffold binder structure for high capacity silicon anode of lithium-ion battery," Chem. Commun. 2010, 46, 1428–1430 »

Visit Professor Wang's web site »

Related Articles:
ChBE PhD Candidate Wins MRS Gold Award
New Nanocomposite Anodes Speed Battery Charging
All-In-One: $300K for Development of Interface-Free Battery
The Battery Revolution
UMD Engineers Discover Root Cause of Solid-State Battery Failure
Advance could yield safer, longer-range electric car batteries
UMD engineers, colleagues work to triple the energy storage of lithium-ion batteries
Wachsman and group overcome high resistance, low capacity solid-state battery barriers
A higher-energy, safer and longer-lasting zinc battery
Exploding e-Cigarettes Are a Growing Danger to Public Health

September 20, 2010


Prev   Next

Current Headlines

Ronald Walsworth Joins UMD’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

University of Maryland Launches Quantum Technology Center

Mapping Nucleation Kinetics with Nanometer Resolution

Kjellerup Co-organizes Biofilms Conference

MEI² Receives Two New Innovative Vehicle Technology Awards

BIOE, UMB to Host October Symposium

Taking Aim at Blood Infections

Engineering Sustainable Solutions…Globally!

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar