In order to solve several problems in the designs of nanoscale lithium-ion batteries, researchers have developed a new way to boost their performance and longevity. Compared to the conventional lithium batteries which usually vary between 5 and 20 micrometers, nanosales batteries are small and are usually designed around 100 nanometers of dimension. As the study has shown, the nanoscale batteries can recharge in moments and store dramatically more energy, but fail extremely quickly. But the study of mollusk is trying to help fix the problem.
Scientists revealed that the nanoscale batteries have poor cycle stability, which means they lost most of their storage capacity after a charge/discharge cycle. Another problem with the nanoscale batteries is that it’s extremely difficult to work with the materials. Imagine working with the types of semiconductors that can only be measured in atomic widths, It becomes very difficult to control the number of electrons in a cell or the right amount of a material inside a semiconductor. The purpose of the study is to be able to combine lithium manganese nickel oxide molecules to carbon nanotubes, usually used in nanoscale batteries as conductive nanowires. And since the carbon nanotubes are very strong, they can sometimes provide additional structure in a battery cell but they are not very reliable into binding with other materials.
Scientists explain that mollusk shells which are primarily self-organized and multi-layered from a combination of calcium carbonite and diverse organic macormolecules, are formed in a very complex process for the needs of the specie and depending on the external environment.
The scientists main purpose is to represent that type of chemistry on the nanoscale batter which is to build a better battery with a new structure that be nudged into assembling itself into ideal nanoscale battery. They tested different possibilities using a technique called the Phage display in order to find a peptide that could stick to the lithium manganese nickel oxide. This chemistry was first combined an isolated peptide that would bind to nanotubes. After that they can be combined together to create a nanoscale structure which can possibly lead to a better battery longevity and better performance.
The application on the commercial usage is still not close but it’s a big step forward as to have a battery that has a self-organizing structure which can be easily applied to lithium-ion batteries. The hope is that this discovery can lead to a solution for the conventional problem encountered in batteries which is the long charging time and slow discharge rate.