New glue for fast-charging lithium batteries

A team of Korean researchers has found a way it says can ”dramatically improve” the performance of dual-ion batteries.

Experimental dual-ion batteries are dramatically faster at charging than conventional lithium, and could be more energy-dense.

While dual-ion batteries still use lithium, the battery chemistry is different. They can rely more on carbon-based graphite rather than precious metals.

But there are still several chemical problems to solve. The graphite expands and contracts during charge and discharge, which could disrupt the battery structure.

Then there’s the binder, which holds all of the battery parts together. Conventional lithium-ion binders don’t perform well in dual-ion batteries.

These researchers have come up with a promising new binder recipe, a polymer made from azide, a nitrogen-based compound, and acrylate, a carbon-based compound.

The combination of these two ingredients keeps the graphite in the battery stable, even as it expands and contracts.

Diagram of battery interior

It was also simple to incorporate into the battery, needing only an hour for the reaction to occur.

Dual-ion batteries made with this binder lasted well for more than 3,500 discharges and recharges. They could also recharge quickly, restoring 88% of their capacity in under 2 minutes.

“Dual-ion batteries are not only cost-effective but also leverage Earth’s abundant graphite resources,” says team leader Professor Soojin Park, a researcher in the department of chemistry at the Pohang University of Science and Technology, South Korea.

“This research will stimulate further exploration of dual-ion batteries, extending beyond electric vehicles to various other applications.”

They’ve published their findings in Advanced Materials.

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