Singapore researchers have developed a technique for producing longer lasting Lithium-ion batteries. This will help in developing high performance batteries, enhancing their durability and taking lesser time for charging of mobile phones, laptops, tablets and electric cars.
Researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of A*STAR, Singapore have published their new finding in the ‘Advanced Materials’ journal. They have invented a generalised method of producing anode materials for lithium-ion batteries. The anodes are made from metal oxide nanosheets, which are ultrathin, two-dimensional materials with excellent electrochemical and mechanical properties.
The IBN research team who developed this novel technique was led by Prof Jackie Ying, IBN Executive Director. Other members of the team included Ayman Amin AbdelHamid, Dr Yue Yu and Dr Jinhua Yang.
The nanosheets have remarkable characteristics as they are 50,000 times thinner than a sheet of paper, allowing faster charging of power compared to current battery technology. The wide surface area of the nanosheets makes better contact with the electrolyte, thus increasing the storage capacity. The material is also highly durable and does not break easily, which improves the battery shelf life. Existing methods of making metal oxide nanosheets are time-consuming and difficult to scale up.
Scientists at the IBN came up with a simpler and faster way to synthesise metal oxide nanosheets using graphene oxide. Graphene oxide is a 2D carbon material with chemical reactivity that facilities the growth of metal oxides on its surface.
Graphene oxide was used as the template to grow metal oxides into nanosheet structures via a simple mixing process, followed by heat treatment. The researchers were able to synthesize a wide variety of metal oxides as nanosheets, with control over the composition and properties.
Releasing a press statement, IBN said, “The new technique takes one day to produce the nanosheets, compared to one week for previously reported methods. It does not require the use of a pressure chamber and has just two steps in the synthesis process, making the nanosheets easy to manufacture on a large scale.”
It added, “Tests showed that the nanosheets produced using this generalized approach have excellent lithium-ion battery anode performance, with some materials lasting three times longer than graphite anodes used in current batteries.”
Speaking about the quality of nanosheets, Jackie Y Ying, said, “Our nanosheets have shown great promise for use as lithium-ion anodes. This new method could be the next step toward the development of metal oxide nanosheets for high performance lithium-ion batteries. It can also be used to advance other applications in energy storage, catalysis and sensors.”
IBN is the world’s first bioengineering and nanotechnology research institute. Established in 2003, IBN’s mission is to conduct multidisciplinary research across science, engineering, and medicine for breakthroughs to improve healthcare and quality of life.