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Pulverizing Material Improved it For Use in Batteries

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 07:40AM
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Many technologies we have today are only possible because of how much energy lithium-ion batteries can store, and their ability to be recharged. As the devices they power have improved though, these batteries have been approaching their limits, requiring new technologies or chemistry for the future. Thankfully researchers at NIST have found a way to improve the characteristics of a material that one day could serve as an energy storage medium.

The material in question is a compound of hydrogen and boron, and either lithium or sodium, with one of the boron atoms replaced with carbon. The researchers previously discovered this substitution improved the compound's ability to conduct ions by a factor of ten. What they have now found is a way to overcome an issue with its behavior at different temperatures. When in an environment hotter than boiling water, the material would conduct ions quite well, but at lower temperatures, such as room temperature, it lost its conductivity and thus its performance. The recent discovery is that by crushing the material into nanoscale particles, it maintains it conductivity at room temperature and far lower, making it potentially viable for batteries.

Now the researchers are investigating how the material might be used in next-generation batteries, with the hope of convincing people of the material's potential.

Source: NIST



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