Battery Power - Summer 2016 - (Page 4)
Cleaning Up Hybrid Battery Electrodes Improves Capacity and Lifespan
Hybrid batteries that charge faster than conventional ones could have
significantly better electrical capacity and long-term stability when
prepared with a gentle-sounding way of making electrodes. Called ion
soft-landing, the high-precision technique resulted in electrodes that
could store a third more energy and had twice the lifespan compared
to those prepared by a conventional method. Straightforward to set up,
the method could eventually lead to cheaper, more powerful, longerlasting rechargeable batteries.
"This is the first time anyone has been able to put together a functioning battery using ion soft-landing," said chemist and Laboratory Fellow
Julia Laskin of the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National
The advantages come from soft-landing's ability to build an electrode
surface very specifically with only the most desirable molecules out of a
complex mixture of raw components.
"It will help us unravel important scientific questions about this energy
storage technology, a hybrid between common lithium rechargeable
batteries and supercapacitors that have very high energy density," said
lead author, PNNL chemist Venkateshkumar Prabhakaran.
Although lithium ion rechargeable batteries are the go-to technology
for small electronic devices, they release their energy slowly, which is
why hybrid electric vehicles use gasoline for accelerating, and take a
long time to recharge, which makes electric vehicles slower to "fill" than
their gas-powered cousins.
One possible solution is a hybrid battery that crosses a lithium battery's
ability to hold a lot of charge for its size with a fast-charging supercapacitor. PNNL chemists wanted to know if they could make superior
hybrid battery materials with a technology, called ion soft-landing, that
intricately controls the raw components during preparation.
To find out, Laskin and colleagues created hybrid electrodes by spraying a chemical
known as POM, or polyoxometalate, onto supercapacitor electrodes made of microscopically small carbon
tubes. Off-the-shelf POM has
both positively and negatively
charged parts called ions, but
only the negative ions are
needed in hybrid electrodes.
Ion soft landing distributes negative POM ions
(bright spots) evenly onto a supercapacitor,
leaving unwanted positive ions behind.
Battery Power * Summer 2016
Limited by its design, the
conventional preparation technique sprays both the positive and negative ions onto
the carbon nanotubes. Ion
soft-landing, however, sepa-
Volume 20, Issue 2
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Battery Power - Summer 2016
Toolbox Energy Storage Systems: Modeling, Simulating and Testing Battery Systems of (H)EVs
Enhancing Smartphone Battery Performance During GSM Pulses Through The Use of a Parallel Supercapacitor
ICs & Semiconductors
Testing & Monitoring
Research & Development
Calendar of Events
Battery Power - Summer 2016