Molecular Blemishes Boost Batteries

Ever noticed how the longer you own a smartphone, the more frequently you need to charge it? This is because the lithium rechargeable batteries that power many of today’s technologies have fixed lifespans, with their capacity for storing electricity waning over time.

This phenomenon—known as cycle instability—along with issues of cost, hazards and the scarcity of raw materials for lithium batteries have spurred the search for alternative power sources. 

Unfortunately, zinc-ion batteries still suffer from cycle instability. Strong interactions between embedded O2– ions and the zinc charge carriers hinder the diffusion of zinc ions across the battery, gradually compromising recharging efficiency and weakening the battery capacity of ZIBs over time.

To unlock more durable, high-performing ZIBs, disrupting these molecular interactions could be key, explained Dr Yu Zhigen , Senior Research Scientist at A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC). In a collaboration with Xue Junmin and Vincent Lee from the National University of Singapore’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Yu and a team of researchers explored novel ZIB design approaches to achieve superior battery performance.

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are the Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC).

Read the full article published on A*STAR Research.