Graphene may be key to a faster rechargeable battery. Cars and grid-storage systems would be even better if they could be discharged and recharged tens of thousands of times over many years, or even decades.
 
Researchers are also looking at replacing the lithium ions that shuttle between the two electrodes with ions and electrolytes that may be cheaper and potentially safer, like those based on sodium, magnesium, or zinc such as graphene.
 

“There are more mobile phones in the world than there are people. Nearly all of them are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which are the single most important component enabling the portable electronics revolution of the past few decades. None of those devices would be attractive to users if they didn’t have enough power to last at least several hours, without being particularly heavy. …
 
Lithium-ion batteries are also useful in larger applications, like electric vehicles and smart-grid energy storage systems. And researchers’ innovations in materials science, seeking to improve lithium-ion batteries, are paving the way for even more batteries with even better performance. There is already demand forming for high-capacity batteries that won’t catch fire or explode. And many people have dreamed of smaller, lighter batteries that charge in minutes — or even seconds — yet store enough energy to power a device for days.
 
Researchers like me, though, are thinking even more adventurously. Cars and grid-storage systems would be even better if they could be discharged and recharged tens of thousands of times over many years, or even decades. Maintenance crews and customers would love batteries that could monitor themselves and send alerts if they were damaged or no longer functioning at peak performance — or even were able to fix themselves…..
 
My research group looks at the possibilities of using two-dimensional materials, essentially extremely thin sheets of substances with useful electronic properties. Graphene is perhaps the best-known of these — a sheet of carbon just one atom thick. We want to see whether stacking up layers of various two-dimensional materials and then infiltrating the stack with water or other conductive liquids could be key components of batteries that recharge very quickly.
 
This article was originally published on The Conversation by Veronica Augustyn. Read the original article here.
 
This Is Why Graphene May Be Key to a Faster Rechargeable Battery
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