The world is a big place, but it’s gotten smaller with the advent of technologies that put people from across the globe in the palm of one’s hand. And as the world has shrunk, it has also demanded that things happen ever faster – including the time it takes to charge an electronic device.
A cross-campus collaboration led by Ulrich Wiesner, the Spencer T. Olin Professor of Engineering in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, addresses this demand with a novel energy storage device architecture that has the potential for lightning-quick charges.
The group’s idea: Instead of having the batteries’ anode and cathode on either side of a nonconducting separator, intertwine the components in a self-assembling, 3D gyroidal structure, with thousands of nanoscale pores filled with the components necessary for energy storage and delivery.
“This is truly a revolutionary battery architecture,” said Wiesner, whose group’s paper, “Block Copolymer Derived 3-D Interpenetrating Multifunctional Gyroidal Nanohybrid for Electrical Energy Storage,” was published May 16 in Energy and Environmental Science, a publication of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
“This three-dimensional architecture basically eliminates all losses from dead volume in your device,” Wiesner said. “More importantly, shrinking the dimensions of these interpenetrated domains down to the nanoscale, as we did, gives you orders of magnitude higher power density. In other words, you can access the energy in much shorter times than what’s usually done with conventional battery architectures.”
How fast is that? Wiesner said that, due to the dimensions of the battery’s elements being shrunk down to the nanoscale, “by the time you put your cable into the socket, in seconds, perhaps even faster, the battery would be charged.”
The architecture for this concept is based on block copolymer self-assembly, which the Wiesner group has employed for years in other devices, including a gyroidal solar cell and a gyroidal superconductor. Joerg Werner, Ph.D. ’15, lead author on this work, had experimented with self-assembling filtration membranes, and wondered if the same principles could be applied to carbon materials for energy storage.
The gyroidal thin films of carbon – the battery’s anode, generated by block copolymer self-assembly – featured thousands of periodic pores on the order of 40 nanometers wide. These pores were then coated with a 10 nanometer-thick, electronically insulating but ion-conducting separator through electropolymerization, which by the very nature of the process produced a pinhole-free separation layer.
That’s vital, since defects like holes in the separator are what can lead to catastrophic failure giving rise to fires in mobile devices such as cellphones and laptops.
The next step is the addition of the cathode material – in this case, sulfur – in an amount that doesn’t quite fill the remainder of the pores. Since sulfur can accept electrons but doesn’t conduct electricity, the final step is backfilling with an electronically conducting polymer – known as PEDOT (poly[3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene]).
While this architecture offers proof of concept, Wiesner said, it’s not without challenges. Volume changes during discharging and charging the battery gradually degrade the PEDOT charge collector, which doesn’t experience the volume expansion that sulfur does.
“When the sulfur expands,” Wiesner said, “you have these little bits of polymer that get ripped apart, and then it doesn’t reconnect when it shrinks again. This means there are pieces of the 3D battery that you then cannot access.”
The group is still perfecting the technique, but applied for patent protection on the proof-of-concept work.
The Latest on: Self-assembling 3D battery
via Google News
The Latest on: Self-assembling 3D battery
- Here are all the companies from Y Combinator’s Summer 2021 Demo Day, Part 1on August 31, 2021 at 3:41 pm
Nearly 50% of YC startups are based outside of the United States, with India, U.K. and Mexico making up the largest part of that percentage. The company says it can save about $40,000 per well per ...
- 5 things I learned from the sneak peek of BMW's iX xDrive50on August 30, 2021 at 5:15 am
A little closer to home are the much-anticipated i4 M50 and iX xDrive50, both of which are slated to arrive in the Spring of 2022. Here are five things to know about the new BMW iX. In spite of ...
- Yeedi Vac Station review: An affordable self-emptying robot vac that also mopson August 23, 2021 at 3:00 am
Yeedi's latest offering is an impressive and affordable option for those who want to jump on the self-emptying robot vacuum trend.
- Self-Solving Rubik’s Cubeon August 19, 2021 at 5:00 pm
The internal mechanism of the original cube had been replaced by a spherical assembly around which the cube’s faces rotate. The sphere, which appears to be 3D-printed, houses six motors and gear ...
- You Can Now Build Your Own Glowing LED D20 (with A Whopping 2,400 LEDs)on August 10, 2021 at 4:59 pm
That’s right, there’s no fancy self-addressing ... in a barely-there 3D printed frame, linked together with ribbon cables to keep things compact. A Sony camera battery is slotted inside ...
- EV Company News For The Month Of July 2021on August 3, 2021 at 7:28 pm
battery and plastics recycling, the online data boom, 5G, IoTs, AI, cloud computing, cryptocurrency/bitcoin, renewable energy, energy storage (including vanadium), space tourism, 3D printing ...
- Tiny Robots Powered By Vibration Eyed for Medical Applicationson August 3, 2021 at 5:00 pm
As a new example of the latter, a team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a tiny, 3D-printed robot that responds to vibration to create self-actuation ... southwest ...
- The Self-Assembling Batteryon July 13, 2021 at 5:00 pm
But there are few reports of research into the basic architecture of the battery. Perhaps that’s why a recent press release and scientific paper by a team at Cornell University is so interesting: It ...
- Magnesium and microscopy drive material developmentson June 25, 2021 at 3:21 am
In addition, magnesium-based materials have large hydrogen-storage capacities, which could be harnessed in future battery technologies ... processes, self-assembly, charge harvesting in thin ...
via Bing News