Batteries could be charged in minutes after new material research
Impression of rapidly flowing ionic diffusion within a niobium tungsten oxide
Credit: Ella Maru Studio
Smartphones could be charged in minutes after UK researchers discovered a new material to speed up the process.
The newly identified group of materials could help recharge batteries faster, increasing the likelihood of their adoption for electric cars and solar energy.
The speed at which a battery can be charged depends partly upon the rate at which positively charged particles, called lithium ions, can move towards a negatively charged electrode where they are then stored. A limiting factor in making ‘super’ batteries that charge quickly is the speed at which these lithium ions migrate, usually through ceramic materials.
Researchers at University of Cambridge, Diamond Light Source and Argonne National Laboratory in the US, have discovered a group of materials called niobium tungsten oxides through which lithium ions can move at astonishingly high rates.
Another advantage to these materials is that they are cheap and easy to make.
The research was funded in part by UK Research and Innovation’s Science and Technology Facilities Council and Engineering and Physical Sciences Council, and the European Union.
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