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New Alloy Lithium Batteries

Author: Source: Datetime: 2017-11-02 15:11:51
Lithium-ion batteries are the heart of every device, from smartphones and laptops to ever-growing electric vehicles. As a result, there is much interest in using advanced materials to enhance their performance in many ways, making them lighter, more compact and capable of holding more energy. A new tin-aluminum alloy developed by Texas engineers can play a role in all three, and can even make them faster and cheaper to produce.

For many years, large-scale production of solar power batteries relied on graphite and copper as the anode, which stored energy in battery charging. Over the years, researchers have found alternative materials that can overcome the limitations of these materials, including high production costs and limited storage capacity (for example, silicon can store 10 times the energy, despite it posing another series of problems ).
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Creating the current anode is a painstaking, multi-step process where graphite is coated on copper foil. But Karl Kreder, a recent study by materials scientists and authors at the University of Texas at Austin, explains lead, which is both a manufacturing process and an inefficiency of the battery itself.

"So the active material (graphite) is coated on the inactive current collector (copper)," he told New Atlas. This adds bulk and immaterial mass to the system. By combining the heat collector with the active material, a higher capacity of active material can be used while using less inactive current collecting material.

Kreder and his team have made a simplified manufacturing method for the complicated steps, the finicky coating process. Tin can be added directly to the aluminum is cast into lumps to form an alloy, which can then be mechanically rolled (a relatively inexpensive common metallurgical alloying process) to metal foil nano. This last step, the particles in the material is reduced, is very important.

"Tin is known with lithium alloys," Kreder explains. "Unfortunately, if tin is used, or micron-sized tin particles, tin breaks during cycling due to volume expansion in lithium alloys, which means that if you make a cell with large tin particles it will only survive Dozens of charge and discharge cycles, however, if you make nano-sized tin particles, the particles will not crack during the alloying process.
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