Optimum Pressure Improves Functioning Of Lithium Metal Batteries

Nov, 2021 - By WMR

Optimum Pressure Improves Functioning Of Lithium Metal Batteries

Scientists determined the optimum pressure level needed for lithium metal batteries during cycling to enhance their performance.

Lithium-metal batteries (LMBs) provide promising alternative to the lithium-ion architecture that is used everywhere today with larger potential to hold energy. A team of material scientists and chemists from University of California, San Diego demonstrated that applying an exact quantity of pressure to lithium-metal batteries during their operations can stop the formation of tentacle-like growth that brings their performance down otherwise.

The lithium-metal batteries offer promising efficiency as they consists clean lithium metal for anode providing 10x more energy than the graphite used in today’s batteries. However, when lithium ions interact with the anode, they develop dendrites on the surface, which leads to deterioration of the battery. The team of scientists tested batteries using various characterization and imaging methods to study lithium-metal battery morphology and assess the performance of batteries when they are put under different pressures. The team observed that at low pressure, the deposited lithium ion changed the nature and took a porous and disordered form, which leaves enough space for development of dendrites. When higher pressure of 350 kilo Pascal was applied to the battery, the lithium ion deposited in straight columns without forming any pores in between, which leaves very small space for growth of dendrites.

The scientists claim that findings of this study answered the scientific question and also identified the ideal pressure required for batteries to enhance their performance.  Prevention of dendrites would be a key in the practices of bringing lithium-metal batteries back to life. However, using this high-pressure approach would require a different procedure to manufacture such batteries, yet these promising results can lead scientists to new possibilities.

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