All your gadgets that use lithium ion batteries--iPhone to Prius--could have their time between recharges increased by up to 5-times according to these researchers who have invented a new type of hybrid silicon-carbon electrode. Look for lithium ion batteries to adopt these new electrode technologies over the next few years. R.C.J.
Nanocomposites aim to boost the capacity of lithium ion batteries by five-times by hanging nanometer-sized silicon particles on trees of carbon black that self-assemble into porous micron-sized spheres, which increase an electrode's surface area with interconnected internal channels. The new nanocomposite material hangs 30 nanometer sized silicon particles on trees of carbon black which then self-assemble into porous spheres about 10-to-30 microns in diameter. The resulting electrode remains stable due to the durable carbon-superstructure that prevents cracking, but benefits from the increased surface area afforded by the smaller silicon nanoparticles.
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