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NEW technology three layer electrode lithium battery can increase the energy density 10-30 percent

Shenzhen Sinoli Electronic Co.,Ltd | Updated: Nov 04, 2016

Yang Yuan, an assistant professor at the school of materials science and engineering, Columbia University, developed a new method to improve the energy density of lithium ion batteries. The three layer structure of the electrode can be stable in the exposed air environment, thus making the battery power more durable, manufacturing cost is further reduced. The study can increase the energy density of lithium battery 10-30%, the relevant papers published in early October in the "Letters Nano" journal.          

Graphite /PMMA / Li three electrode in the battery electrolyte for 24 hours prior to immersion (left) and after (right) contrast. Before immersion in the electrolyte, the three electrode is stable in the air. After immersion, the reaction of lithium with graphite, the color becomes yellow.          

"When the lithium battery is first charged, they lose energy up to 5-20% in the first cycle," Yang said. "We have been able to avoid this loss through structural improvements. At the same time, our method has great potential in increasing battery life, and is expected to be used in portable electronic devices and electric vehicles."          

During the first charging period after being produced, a part of the electrolyte in the lithium battery can be changed from the liquid to the solid state and attached to the negative electrode of the battery. This process is irreversible and can reduce the storage energy of the battery.          

In the existing electrode manufacturing technology, the loss of this process to bring about 10%, but for the next generation of anode materials with high capacity, such as silicon, the loss will reach 20-30%, which will greatly reduce the actual available capacity of the battery.          

In order to compensate for the initial loss, the traditional method is to add some lithium rich materials to the electrode. However, most of these materials are not stable in the air environment, so they must be made in dry air with no water, so the cost of the battery is greatly increased.          

Yang Yuan developed this three layer of electrode structure to ensure that the electrode can be fully completed in the general air environment.          

First, he used a "PMMA" (i.e., common organic glass materials), to isolate the lithium with air and water contact; in the PMMA polymer and then add a layer of artificial graphite or silicon nanoparticles as active material; finally, he let PMMA polymer layer dissolved in the electrolyte of lithium battery, and thus will electrode material conduction.          

Yang Yuan explained: "so we can avoid the instability of lithium and lithium electrode between the air contact. Using the structure of the electrode can be completed in the general air environment, it is more easy to achieve the mass production of the battery electrode."          

Three layer structure of the electrode production process: PMMA in the initial state to ensure that lithium does not react with the water in the air. When the PMMA is dissolved by a battery electrolyte, the graphite is contacted with lithium to compensate for the initial loss caused by the reduction of the electrolyte.          

Yang Yuan's method of graphite electrode loss existing is reduced from 8% to 0.3%, the loss of the silicon electrode is reduced from 13% to -15% (negative numbers due to the addition of lithium materials, new lead battery capacity and the increase of the initial state of teaching). Excessive lithium can compensate for the loss of capacity in the subsequent cycle, so it can further enhance the cycle life of the battery.          

The energy density (or volume) of lithium ion batteries has been maintained at the annual growth rate of 5-7% over the past 25 years, and the Yang Yuan study provides a feasible solution to further increase the growth rate. His team is now working to reduce the thickness of the PMMA coating, in order to reduce its proportion in the lithium battery is lower, and strive to achieve industrial production.          

Yale University chemistry assistant professor Wang Hailiang said: "the design of three layers of electrode structure is very clever, can in the ordinary air environment to produce lithium metal electrode. The initial coulomb efficiency of the electrode has been a major problem in the lithium-ion battery industry, so this simple and effective compensation technology will inevitably lead to great interest."

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