Researchers have created a battery capable of surviving extreme temperatures -
Most modern electronic devices carry a lithium battery.
A type of battery that does not necessarily react well to extreme temperatures.
The chemical reactions that occur in these batteries are indeed very sensitive to temperatures below 0 and above 35 degrees Celsius.
This obviously poses a problem when using these devices in extreme conditions.
For now, using and recharging a lithium battery in a very cold environment requires the presence of a heat source, which is obviously not practical.
But researchers have finally found a solution to use lithium batteries in an extremely cold environment, at -40 or even -60 ° Celsius.
Change of perspective
Nano-engineers at the University of California have used a weakly binding electrolyte rather than an electrolyte that accelerates the transmission of ions between the electrodes, as was the case so far in studies to improve capacities. lithium batteries in extreme conditions.
The viability of lithium batteries was thus preserved for a longer time.
Better still: the latter could even chain several recharging cycles in ultra-low temperatures using a weakly binding electrolyte and thus facilitating ion capture and their deposition on the anode.
Since the ions can easily leave the electrolyte socket, it does not take much energy for them to reach the anode, hence the possible operation of the battery in ultra-low temperatures and the slow creation of deposit.
"We have found that the bond between lithium ions and the electrolyte, and the structures that the ions absorb in the electrolyte, signify the life or death of these low temperature batteries," said one of the authors of study.
A better lifespan
Moreover, the use of a weakly binding electrolyte also makes it possible to reduce the degradation of the battery.
"The way lithium ions interact with the electrolyte at the atomic level not only allows a long, very low temperature cycle, but also prevents the formation of dendrites," said the researcher.
It was by looking at the molecular and atomic structures of the components of lithium batteries that the researchers made this discovery.
“By fundamentally understanding how these systems combine, we can come up with all kinds of new design principles for the next generation of energy storage systems.
This work demonstrates the power of nanotechnology, where determining what is happening on a small scale allows the design of large-scale devices, ”added the researcher.
This research could therefore make it possible to manufacture lithium batteries that are resistant and functional in extremely cold environments.
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