Lithium Gets a Good Wrap

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Shadi Dayeh, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, has been designing new electrode architectures that could solve one of lithium batteries’ biggest problems.  When lithium diffuses across the surface of a lithium-ion battery electrode, it causes the electrode to expand and contract depending on its charging or discharging.  This eventually leads to cracking and ultimate disintegration of the anode or cathode – weakening and finally disabling the battery. Dayeh, working with colleagues at the University and Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories, came up with nanowires that, “Block diffusion of lithium (Li) across their silicon surface and promote layer-by-layer axial lithiation of the nanowire’s germanium core.” Seeing possibilities …

Rice – That’s Nice, and Lights Up, Too

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Rice University announced the development of a spray-on (in this case airbrushed) coating that stores electricity, a bit reminiscent of Stanford’s paper battery on which a coating could be applied to act as a battery. Mitsubishi has demonstrated a paint that could act as an extremely thin-film solar cell, but Rice’s technology shows promise. Five layers comprise the various components of a lithium-ion battery and can seemingly be applied to almost any surface, including in one demonstration, a beer stein – showing an intoxicating range of possibilities. But Pulickel Ajayan, materials science professor has more serious considerations. According to the University’s news.  “This means traditional packaging for batteries has given way to a much more flexible approach that allows all …