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Create an artificial tellurium layer to extend battery life by 4 times

wallpapers Tech 2021-01-20
Recently, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and the Cockrell School of Engineering have found a way to stabilize one of the most challenging parts of lithium-sulfur batteries and accelerate the commercialization of lithium-sulfur battery technology.
Recent research by researchers from these two universities in the United States indicated that an artificial tellurium layer can be built in situ inside the battery and covered on lithium metal, which can extend the battery's service life by 4 times.
Lithium-sulfur battery was once hailed as the next-generation battery technology, which is expected to make mobile phones, electric vehicles and other products last longer. It is more environmentally friendly than lithium-ion batteries. However, the disadvantage of this type of battery is that it has a shorter service life than lithium-ion batteries and will degrade over time.
Lithium is a reactive element and will decompose other elements around it. Each charge-discharge cycle of a lithium-sulfur battery will form needle-like moss deposits on the lithium metal anode (battery negative electrode), causing a reaction that can lead to overall battery degradation. The deposit will decompose the electrolyte that transports lithium ions back and forth so that the electrodes cannot provide enough energy to allow the battery to be used for a longer time. This reaction may cause the battery to short-circuit and cause a fire.
Solving the instability of lithium-sulfur batteries is the key to extending their service life and making them more widely used.
The artificial tellurium layer formed on the lithium electrode can protect the electrolyte from degradation and reduce the moss structure that traps lithium that is formed during the charging process. The stable layer can be formed by a simple in-situ process, without complicated pretreatment or lithium metal anode coating process.
Compared with current lithium-ion batteries, lithium-sulfur batteries have a 9 times higher charging capacity for the positive and negative electrodes and can be used for a longer time on a single charge. Due to the abundant sulfur reserves, the production cost of such batteries is also very low. In addition, compared with the metal oxide materials in lithium-ion batteries, sulfur is also more environmentally friendly.
The researchers said that this method can also be applied to other lithium-based batteries and sodium-based batteries, and has applied for a provisional patent for this technology. Lithium-sulfur batteries are most suitable for devices that require light-weight batteries, which can run for a long time on a single charge without requiring multiple charge cycles. Lithium-sulfur batteries also have the potential to play an important role in extending the range of electric vehicles and increasing the adoption rate of renewable energy.

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