Amprius, the battery startup that started in Silicon Valley is growing high in demand with a new kind of battery. It seems that silicon base batters can store as much as 20% more energy that other batters being sold on the market.
Unlike most breakthroughs, Amprius is already selling to smartphone makers and has recently signed a thirty million dollar contract to fund their development in the next-generation of batteries that will be able to store at least 50% of energy that the Li-ion batteries we currently use today.
Yi Cui, the founder of Amprius was the mastermind behinds the development of the silicon nanotube anode, otherwise known as the transparent lithium-ion battery as well as the everlasting water-based battery. While these techs are yet to be sold in stores, Amprius has made a cathode that fashions out silicon nanoparticles that have been coated in layers of carbon to make them more rugged.
Another approach developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo is the performance improvement of commercial lithium-ion batteries. Scientists have discovered a new form of silicon anode that can be used as a substitute for conventional graphite anode. Researchers claim that this will leader to lighter, yet long-lasting batteries that will be utilized for everything from electric vehicles to health technologies.
While graphite has been useful for lithium-ion battery material, it also carries potential roadblocks that are needed to improve capability. This could be due to the relatively small amount of energy it stores. Meanwhile, Silicon has grown to become a favorite substitute with its capacity of 4,200 mAh/g, which is a higher capacity than graphite at 370 mAh/g.
As silicon material communicates with the lithium inside the cell during each charge cycle, the material will expand and contract up to 300%. This immense swelling can release cracks that will diminish the battery’s performance over time and lead to short circuits as well as cell failure.
Other attempts have turned up battery designs that use a sponge-like silicon anodes that is developed at the Nanoscale. The silicon nanowires measure only a few microns that bring carbon and graphene nanotubes into the mixture.
During recent testings of the new Nanoarchitecture, researchers reported that the anode design resulted in less contact between the electrode and the lithium which averted the expansion and contraction as produced to higher stability.
It is also said that the design of the silicon material created a capacity of over 1,000 mAh/g over 2,275 cycles. This is a significant improvement when compared to the average of 500 for graphite and the Coulombic efficiency of nearly 99.9%.
Researchers say that the new silicon anode will be able to carry as much as 60% increase in energy density of lithium ion batteries and my even see electric cars drive up to 500 kilometers per charge. They plan on commercializing the technology and expect it to be incorporated into new battery material within the next upcoming year.
In this day in age, as we grow to become slaves to mobile technology, battery technology plays a vital role.