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Nanoscale Improvements Make Big Difference in Li-ion Batteries

Posted on: 10/28/2013
Researchers at the University of California (UC), San Diego are using precise nanoscale designs to potentially improve lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery durability and discover expanded uses of electrode architectures.

The team created nanowire that blocks diffusion of lithium across its silicon surface and promotes layer-by-layer axial lithium diffusion, known as lithiation, of the nanowire’s germanium core. By coating germanium nanowires with silicon, the researchers stopped nearly all surface diffusion of lithium ions into the nanowires. Lithiation occurred layer by layer along the axis of the nanowire, in contrast to lithiation from the surface of nanowires not covered with silicon.

The UC San Diego team believes this work could lead to an effective way to tailor volume expansion of li-ion battery electrodes and potentially minimize cracking, improve durability, and influence how researchers look at different electrode architectures.

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