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- Jun 08, 2018 -

Scientists have been looking for ways to improve batteries and the solution seems to be graphene which will power batteries. After some research, scientists have found that a specially-crafted graphene electrode can allow a lithium-ion battery to store 10 times as much power and charge 10 times faster and last longer too.

When discharging, lithium is forced out of the graphite anode into the cathode and during charging the reverse occurs. The process allows the anode to handle and store lithium which dictates the output voltage, total capacity (mAh), and charging speed. Researchers, using graphene, have completely upended the limitations of the anodes.

This type of new anode is still made from sheets of graphene but the researchers have created millions of small holes through each layer of graphene. The plan is to make the lithium ion jump through the nanoholes instead of traveling around the edge of each graphen layer. The engineers have also introduced clusters of silicon between each layer of graphene which on its own can only carry one lithium ion per six carbon atoms, but each silicon atom can hold four lithium ions. The result of this combination is an anode that can store 10 times more power and 10 times the charging speed. The life cycle of the battery after 150 charge/discharge cycles, seem to be five times more effective than any lithium-ion battery currently on the market.

The team of scientists is now working round the clock to improve the cathode and electrolyte. If this new development reaches the commercial use, we are looking at week-long smartphone batteries within few years.

 It’s safe to say that, this new research could enable batteries to be much smaller but still hold the capability of current lithium-ion battery.