Self healing batteries could change mobile power

Scientists have developed a polymer that heals itself and have invented a way to coat battery electrodes with it to create a battery that self heals. The technology is said to inmprove the Lithium Ploymer batteries in use today by extending the life of current cells.

The team at Standford University and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory led by Chao Wang and Professor Zhenan Bao have been working on the technology and say:

“Self-healing is very important for the survival and long lifetimes of animals and plants,” said Chao Wang, a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford and one of two principal authors of the paper. “We want to incorporate this feature into lithium so they will have a long lifetime as well.”
“We found that silicon electrodes lasted 10 times longer when coated with the self-healing polymer, which repaired any cracks within just a few hours,” Bao said.

“Their capacity for storing energy is in the practical range now, but we would certainly like to push that,” said Yi Cui, an associate professor at SLAC and Stanford who led the research with Bao. The electrodes worked for about 100 charge-discharge cycles without significantly losing their energy storage capacity. “That’s still quite a way from the goal of about 500 cycles for cell phones and 3,000 cycles for an electric vehicle,” Cui said, “but the promise is there, and from all our data it looks like it’s working.”

Find out more at the phys.org article.

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