- Published: Monday, 04 August 2014 16:43
Ancient Material to Boost Li-On Battery Energy Density?
by Arlissa Vaughn
Last month, researchers at the University of California announced their exciting implementation of a material that could boost Lithium-Ion (Li-On) battery life by more than 300 percent. What is the revolutionary and innovative material? Sand.
This ancient substance is being used all over the world in modern high-tech equipment in the form of silicon. Silicon is an ideal semi-conductor and commonly used in electronic components. However, in terms of using a silicon anode, the material has not yet made a solid presence -- until now.
Taking pure quartz sand and grinding it to the nanometer scale, the team at the University of California was able to produce a sponge-like silicon material with high porosity. It is precisely the porosity of the new nano-silicon material that has yielded the improved results of Li-On batteries.
The energy density of nano-silicon anodes is more than three times higher than that of traditional graphite based counterparts. The increased productivity for related battery charges has potential to lower costs, increase consumerism, and encourage development of new products.
Overall, the refinement of the nano-silicon material and its' application could improve the charging longevity of a variety of devices ranging from the tiniest cell phone to the massive battery packs of electric vehicles and unmanned aircraft. As a manufacturer of power supplies for several industrial markets including EV and aircraft, Aegis Power Systems is especially excited to see how this could transpire.
[Photo Credit: Kevin Krejci]