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Samsung extends battery life with graphene

Posted: 07 Jul 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:graphene  lithium-ion battery  Li-ion  silicon 

Scientists from Samsung's Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), the company's R&D hub, developed an optimised lithium ion battery by using silicon and graphene, thus increasing its lifespan. Samsung representatives told EE Times that this method can potentially expand the volumetric energy density of Li-ion batteries by 1.8 times.

SAIT fabricated anode material by growing graphene on the surface of silicon without forming silicon carbide. The new material has four times the capacity of commercial graphite. The research was first detailed in the journal Nature Communications.

Researchers previously attempted to use silicon for longer-lasting Li-ion because of its density and ability to hold a charge, but the anode expands with the addition of lithium. To combat this effecta no-go for small devicesthe SAIT team developed a sliding mechanism on the graphene layer that "accommodates the volume expansion of silicon while exerting a clamping force that helps maintain the integrity of the silicon particles during volume expansion."

Gr-Si electrode

Electron microscope images showing volumetric density of a Gr-Si electrode (left) before and (middle) after 200 cycles and (right) the ACSi electrode after 200 cycles. (Source: SAIT)

The carbide-free graphene was developed with a chemical vapour deposition process, which included using a mild oxidant, reported. The graphene also helped prevent the silicon from breaking down over time.

Despite figuring out a process, researchers still have not found a way to manufacture carbide-free graphene in mass quantities. Attempting to prove that something new not only works better, but it is also reliable for commercialisation is no easy feat, SAIT said.

Graphene coating layers

Illustration of the sliding process of the graphene coating layers that can buffer the volume expansion of Si. (Source: SAIT)

"The largest obstacle to realising graphene's full application potential is currently the high cost and low reliability for large-scale production and manufacturing," the SAIT representative said. "However, the team here is working very hard to make it happen."

- Jessica Lipsky
  EE Times U.S.

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