The rising recognition of lithium-ion batteries in recent times has put pressure on the world’s supply of cobalt and nickel—two metals integral to present battery designs—and despatched prices surging.
In a bid to develop different designs for lithium-based batteries with much less dependency on those scant metals, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Know-how have developed a promising new cathode and electrolyte system that replaces costly metals and traditional liquid electrolyte with decrease cost transition metallic fluorides and a solid polymer electrolyte.
In a standard lithium-ion battery, power is released during the movement of lithium ions between two electrodes—a cathode and an anode, with a cathode, usually comprising lithium and transition metals including cobalt, nickel, and manganese. The ions flow between the electrodes via a liquid electrolyte.
For the study, which was published on 9 September in the journal Nature Materials and sponsored by the Army Research Office, the analysis team fabricated a brand new type of cathode from iron fluoride active materials and a strong polymer electrolyte nanocomposite. Iron fluorides have more capability than traditional cobalt- or nickel-based cathodes. Also, iron is 300 times more reasonable than cobalt and 150 times cheaper than a nickel.
To create such a cathode, the researchers developed a course to infiltrate a solid polymer electrolyte into the prefabricated iron fluoride electrode. They then hot pressed the entire construction to increase density and reduce any voids.
Two main characteristics of the polymer-based electrolyte are its capability to flex and adjust the swelling of the iron fluoride while cycling and its capacity to form stable and versatile interphase with iron fluoride.